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New Zealand pair narrowly miss second medal at youth worlds

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Helena Sanderson and Jack Honey were left with a feeling of what might have been after falling just short of picking up New Zealand's second medal on the last day of the Hempel youth sailing world championships in Poland.

The pair were eighth in the final race of the Nacra 15, which left them sixth overall but only three points behind the German combination in third.

It was a disappointing conclusion for the young Bay of Islands pair, who couldn't help but think of situations earlier in the regatta when they had lost a couple of places, but it has left them hungrier for future success.

Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan, who had already guaranteed gold heading into the final day of the boy's 420, put an exclamation mark on their performance by comfortably winning the last race. It was their third win in the nine-race series and left them 20 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

Samantha Stock was the next best of the Kiwis in ninth in the girl's Laser Radial, Eli Liefting and Jack Frewin were 14th in the boy's 29er, Luke Cashmore 15th 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.

It meant New Zealand were ninth out of 67 countries in the standings for the Nations Trophy, which was won by Spain.

Sanderson and Honey went into the final race in fourth, 12 points off the bronze medal position, but they sensed an opportunity when the German combination were deep in the pack. So did a couple of other crews also in contention but the Germans did just enough to clinch bronze.

"We are pretty disappointed," Honey said. "We came into the regatta with high expectations but we felt like we improved throughout the week and came away with some good lessons.

"It was our first major international event so it was really cool for us coming from New Zealand where we train with three boats max to come over here and know we are competitive and doing stuff right. We were sailing well, we just needed to put the boat in better positions."

Sanderson added: "It's such a different event to anything else we've done before so the whole thing was just a really great experience. It's been a real eye opener to what the international fleet is really like."

Sanderson is still only 15 but, at 17, Honey will be too old when next year's youth worlds roll around in Brazil. He's one of only a handful of this year's NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team who won't be eligible in 12 months' time and Yachting New Zealand head youth coach Matt Thomas said this was significant.

Trials are held each year and, for the majority of this year's New Zealand team, it was their first youth sailing world championships.

"The bonus for these guys, if they do get selected, is that it will set them up for the next ones," Thomas said. "That's what we had in Corpus Christi last year [when New Zealand won a record-equalling four medals].

"It was a really experienced team last year, because just about everyone had been before. The ones who medalled had all been before. It's a really clear indication of how important it is to gain experience, because it's often the second or third time when you win a medal."

The majority of the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team return home but Liefting and Frewin will stay in Gdynia for the 29er world championships along with Menzies who will compete with Sam Street.

Results and standings after day 5 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 1 - 27 points

2nd: Demetrio / Gabriele Centrone (ITA) 6 14 9 3 5 5 (28) 2 3 - 47 pts

3rd: Tal Sade / Noam Homri (ISR) 11 (13) 5 7 4 1 10 6 8 - 52 pts

Girl's 420 (24 boats)

1st: Madeline Hawkins / Yumi Yoshiyasu (USA) 1 (7) 1 1 3 5 4 5 6 - 26 pts

2nd: Neus Ballester / Andrea Perello (ESP) 2 (11) 10 11 2 10 6 1 1 - 43 pts

3rd: Theresa Steinlein / Lina Plettner (GER) 4 (10) 3 10 10 2 10 6 5 - 50 pts

23rd: Sydney Cunliffe / Rebecca Hume (NZL) 19 20 21 15 21 20 20 (22) 21 - 157 pts

Boy's 29er (28 boats)

1st: Mathias Berthel / Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) 4 4 2 3 1 3 1 3 4 (8) 2 8 4 - 39 pts

2nd: Ville Korhonen / Edvard Bremer (FIN) 1 3 3 (29 RET) 5 11 10 15 5 1 1 1 7 - 63 pts

3rd: Archie Cropley / Max Paul (AUS) 5 8 (13) 4 8 7 4 1 3 7 13 9 10 - 78 pts

14th: Eli Liefting / Jack Frewin (NZL) 16 15 10 7 7 21 7 5 8 18 19 22 (24) - 154 pts

Girl's 29er (25 boats)

1st: Berta Puig / Isabella Casaretto (USA) 3 5 1 7 (8) 7 2 5 1 2 1 1 1 - 36 pts

2nd: Antonia Schultheis / Victoria Schultheis (MLT) 5 2 3 3 10 9 4 (21) 6 5 3 3 5 - 58 pts

3rd: Martina Carlsson / Amanda Ljunggren (SWE) (14) 9 6 1 1 1 9 2 11 4 9 4 3 - 60 pts

25th: Sophia Fyfe / Holly Liefting (NZL) 21 (26 UFD) 25 20 17 13 19 25 22 21 20 22 - 240 pts

Nacra 15 (21 boats)

1st: Will Cooley / Rebecca Hancock (AUS) 2 3 2 5 5 4 7 (8) 4 2 8 5 1 - 48 pts

2nd: Titouan Petard / Marion Declef (FRA) 6 9 1 4 1 5 9 6 5 7 4 (14) 13 - 70 pts

3rd: Silas Muhle / Levke Moller (GER) 1 15 3 1 12 1 5 1 (18) 16 1 17 - 76 pts

6th: Helena Sanderson / Jack Honey (NZL) 4 6 10 6 11 8 6 9 (13) 8 1 2 8 - 79 pts

Boy's Laser Radial (57 boats)

1st: Yigit Yalcin Citak (TUR) 8 (22 SCP1) 13 3 8 7 9 3 5 - 56 pts

2nd: Zac Littlewood (AUS) 26 6 1 (58 RET) 2 1 2 2 23 - 63 pts

3rd: Tytus Butowski (POL) 3 5 7 10 6 2 8 (25) 22 - 63 pts

15th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 11 (25) 9 17 22 21 21 15 14 - 129 pts

Girl's Laser Radial (47 boats)

1st: Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) 1 3 7 (22) 4 2 12 2 2 - 33 pts

2nd: Ana Moncada (ESP) 17 4 4 5 3 1 (48 BFD) 12 7 - 53 pts

3rd: Shai Kakon (ISR) 4 6 9 6 13 (15) 5 4 8 - 55 pts

9th: Samantha Stock (NZL) 13 25 3 (29) 8 6 1 14 23 SCPI - 93 pts

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