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Yachting Announces National Team

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Yachting Announces National Team

Date Released: 26 April 2006
From: Jodie Perkins

Yachting New Zealand is announcing the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team for 2006. The ten member team will travel to Weymouth, England to compete at the ISAF World Youth Championships in mid July.

Just one entry for each of the seven classes per nation is allowed and the New Zealand representatives this year include the following.

Laser - Matt Coutts (Murrays Bay SC, Auckland)
Laser Radial - Cushla Hume-Merry (Evans Bay YC, Wellington)
420 Boys - Jason Saunders & Bruce Kennedy (Tauranga YPBC)
420 Girls - Sarah Berry & Emma Berry (Worser Bay BC, Wellington)
RS:X Board Boys - Scott Davies (Kohimarama YC, Auckland)
RS:X Board Girls - Justina Sellers (Takapuna BC, Auckland)
Hobie 16 - Rory Godman & Kelly Godman (Burkes St Leonard BC, Dunedin)

Results of YouthSail 2006 at Naval Point Club in Lyttelton last week were the final and most important step in the selection of the team confirmed today. Results from both the National Championship regatta for each class and YouthSail were considered as part of the selection process. The team includes sailors from Dunedin, Tauranga, Wellington and Auckland.

"I believe we have a really strong team," says Marty Watson, Yachting New Zealand Youth & High Performance Director. "We now have another two and a half months which we'll be using to further prepare the team before we head off to England."

A stand-out performer at YouthSail 2006 was Laser Radial sailor, 15 year old Cushla Hume-Merry from Wellington winning the class with eight straight race wins. Hume-Merry won the girl's Laser Radial Youth World Championship late last year in Brazil proving she has what it takes in big fleet international racing.

Matt Coutts of Murrays Bay SC fought out tough competition in the Laser class for this year's spot in the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team beating contenders like Blair Lindsay, Aaron Hume-Merry and Josh Junior. Coutts was selected for last year's St John's Rotary scholarship which provided him the support to attend CORK regatta in Canada where he won the Laser class in the Youth Festival event. Now 18 years-old this is Coutt's final year in the youth field.

Both the girls and boys 420 fleets were strong at the National Championships and YouthSail regattas held consecutively at Naval Point Club, Lyttelton and selection for the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team 2006 was a tough battle. Jason Saunders and Bruce Kennedy of Tauranga beat National Champions Carl Evans and Peter Burling into the team by grabbing the top spot at YouthSail. Kennedy is one of three 2006 team members who were at last years ISAF World Youth Champs in Korea.

A young pair of sisters from Worser Bay in Wellington, Sarah and Emma Berry edged out Susannah Pyatt and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher for the girls 420 place in the national team.

2006 is the first year that the RS:X board has been introduced to the ISAF World Youth Champs and will be sailed with a smaller rig size than their adult counterparts. The introduction of the new board as well as motivated work from National Coach Paul Page has seen revitalised interest in the board sailing class.

17 year-old Scott Davies of Kohimarama YC in Auckland was the top youth at the National Championship in January and has claimed a spot on the team. Justina Sellers (Takapuna BC), daughter of former Olympic Champion, Rex Sellers is the girls board-sailing representative.

The final two team members are the Dunedin brother and sister pair in the Hobie 16 class that were in the 2005 team to Korea, Rory and Kelly Godman.

The ISAF World Youth Championships is an annual regatta attracting the world's best youth sailors representing their countries. Last year 47 nations attended the Championship in Korea with over 300 sailors taking part. The regatta is well known for revealing sailing stars of the future and is regarded as somewhat of a Youth equivalent to the Olympic Games. Past medal winners for New Zealand include Chris Dickson, Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Dan Slater, Thomas Ashley and many more.

This year the regatta is on between 12 and 24 July at the same venue that will host the 2012 Olympic Games sailing regatta.

Principle sponsor of the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team is the NZL Yachting Trust. ASB Bank, The Southern Trust and Line 7 are also team sponsors.

ENDS

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