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New Zealand pair win youth world title with a day to spare

It was "horrible" at the time but a disappointment last week has helped Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan win gold in the boy's 420 at the Hempel youth sailing world championships with a day to spare.

The pair have an unassailable 17-point lead heading into tonight's (NZ time) final race after they were seventh and fourth in today's two races.

It was the highlight of New Zealand's best day at these youth worlds in Gdynia, Poland, and Samantha Stock won a race in the girl's Laser Radial and Helena Sanderson and Jack Honey also won a race in the Nacra 15 and have an outside chance of claiming a medal.

Menzies and McGlashan were overtaken on the final day of last week's 420 world championships in Portugal after leading throughout and the rawness of that experience drove them this week.

"It helped us," Menzies said. "At the time it was horrible but it fueled us more. We learned from it and it made us stronger."

It's why McGlashan said they felt relief more than anything else at their result at the youth worlds.

"We were in the exact position at the open worlds and that didn't go as planned," he said. "To pull it off is almost unreal."

They did it by sailing consistently well all week, winning two of the eight races and never finishing outside the top 10. They had to fight for every point, however, and even today recovered from 16th in one race to finish fourth.

They also did it against a large number of last week's fleet at the open 420 world championships, including eventual winners Martin Wizner and Pedro Ameneiro of Spain who this week find themselves in a nine-boat battle for second and third.

Menzies and McGlashan have been coached this week by former women's 470 Olympic champion Jenny Armstrong and she's been impressed by their relationship and the way they have handled the pressure this week.

"They have got a good thing going and once they are in the groove and happy they are unbeatable," Armstrong said. "It's going to be interesting to watch them in the years to come."

There's plenty of potential among the rest of the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team and the Nacra 15 pair of Sanderson and Honey climbed up five places to fourth overall today on the back of an eighth, first and second.

They are now 12 points off third but will need to pull out another top finish tomorrow and hope other results go their way to snare a medal.

"It's really good to see all the hard work paying off," Yachting New Zealand head youth coach Matt Thomas said of Sanderson and Honey. "They had two fantastic races today. They have been in strong positions all week but made less errors around the course today. They have learned from all of those little mistakes.

"It was also great to see Samantha displaying her potential [with a race win today]. She's another one who has had an up-and-down week but was determined to finish strongly and it's nice to see when that is rewarded."

Stock is now eighth in the girl's Laser Radial and Eli Liefting and Jack Frewin are the next best of the Kiwis in 10th in the boy's 29er.

Luke Cashmore is 17th in the boy's Laser Radial, Sydney Cunliffe and Rebecca Hume 23rd in the girl's 420 and Sophia Fyfe and Holly Liefting 25th in the girl's 29er.

Menzies will stay in Gdynia after the completion of the youth worlds to compete in next week's 29er world championships but McGlashan will return to New Zealand to go back to school.

The pair have clearly learned a lot in their sailing education over the last couple of weeks.

Results and standings after day 4 of the youth sailing world championships in Gdynia, Poland, overnight (NZ time):

Boy's 420 (30 boats)

1st: Seb Menzies / Blake McGlashan (NZL) 1 (9) 2 4 1 7 7 4 - 26 points
2nd: Martin Wizner / Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) 3 8 1 5 12 (15) 5 9 - 43 pts
3rd: Tal Sade / Noam Homri (ISR) 11 (13) 5 7 4 1 10 6 - 44 pts

Girl's 420 (24 boats)

1st: Madeline Hawkins / Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA) 1 (7) 1 1 3 5 4 5 - 20 pts
2nd: Neus Ballester / Andrea Perello (ESP) 2 (11) 10 11 2 10 6 1 - 42 pts
3rd: Theresa Steinlein / Lina Plettner (GER) 4 (10) 3 10 10 2 10 6 - 45 pts

23rd: Sydney Cunliffe / Rebecca Hume (NZL) 19 20 21 15 21 20 20 (22) - 136 pts

Boy's 29er (28 boats)

1st: Mathias Berthel / Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) 4 4 2 3 1 3 1 3 4 (8) 2 - 27 pts
2nd: Ville Korhonen / Edvard Bremer (FIN) 1 3 3 (29 RET) 5 11 10 15 5 1 1 - 55 pts
3rd: Archie Cropley / Max Paul (AUS) 5 8 (13) 4 8 7 4 1 3 7 13 - 60 pts

10th: Eli Liefting / Jack Frewin (NZL) 16 15 10 7 7 (21) 7 5 8 18 19 - 112 pts

Girl's 29er (25 boats)

1st: Berta Puig / Isabella Casaretto (USA) 3 5 1 7 (8) 7 2 5 1 2 1 - 34 pts
2nd: Antonia Schultheis / Victoria Schultheis (MLT) 5 2 3 3 10 9 4 (21) 6 5 3 - 50 pts
3rd: Martina Carlsson / Amanda Ljunggren (SWE) (14) 9 6 1 1 1 9 2 11 4 9 - 53 pts

25th: Sophia Fyfe / Holly Liefting (NZL) 21 (26 UFD) 25 20 17 13 19 25 22 21 - 198 pts

Nacra 15 (21 boats)

1st: Will Cooley / Rebecca Hancock (AUS) 2 3 2 5 5 4 7 (8) 4 2 8 5 - 47 pts
2nd: Titouan Petard / Marion Declef (FRA) 6 9 1 4 1 5 9 6 5 7 4 (14) - 57 pts
3rd: Silas Muhle / Levke Moller (GER) 1 15 3 1 12 1 5 1 (18) 16 1 - 59 pts

4th: Helena Sanderson / Jack Honey (NZL) 4 6 10 6 11 8 6 9 (13) 8 1 2 - 71 pts

Boy's Laser Radial (57 boats)

1st: Zac Littlewood (AUS) 26 6 1 (58 RET) 2 1 2 2 - 40 pts
2nd: Tytus Butowski (POL) 3 5 7 10 6 2 8 (25) - 41 pts
3rd: Yigit Yalcin Citak (TUR) 8 (22 SCP1) 13 3 8 7 9 3 - 51 pts

17th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 11 (25) 9 17 22 21 21 15 - 116 pts

Girl's Laser Radial (47 boats)

1st: Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) 1 3 7 (22) 4 2 12 2 - 31 pts
2nd: Ana Moncada (ESP) 17 4 4 5 3 1 (48 BFD) 12 - 46 pts
3rd: Shai Kakon (ISR) 4 6 9 6 13 (15) 5 4 - 47 pts

8th: Samantha Stock (NZL) 13 25 3 (29) 8 6 1 14 - 70 pts

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