NZL sailing sisters become two-time Bronze medallists

Published: Wed 21 Dec 2016 09:34 AM
Yachting New Zealand
20 DEC 2016
Aon Youth World Sailing Championship: NZL sailing sisters become two-time Bronze medallists
Beaming smiles were clear to see from sisters Kate and Greta Stewart who claimed their second youth sailing world championship medal in the 29er Girls skiff class in home waters of the Hauraki Gulf today.
The pair will be awarded with their second Bronze medal at prizegiving tonight in what is regarded as the pinnacle youth sailing event following the final day of the Aon Youth Sailing World Championship held off Torbay this week.
Their achievement marks the end of a five-day regatta which has attracted over 380 international competitors along with visitors and supporters to Auckland’s North Shore.
Points were tight at the top for the 29er girls this morning, with the 2nd placed Polish team within reach to beat. Although Kate and Greta say they would have ideally liked to finish with the Silver, they’re delighted with their result in what has been a very challenging week on the water.
“It feels amazing to have got our second youth worlds medal. Of course we would have liked to have done better, but we’re still really happy and it’s such a great event to be a part of,” says crew Kate.
Kate and Greta are the only members of the 13-strong New Zealand team to have medalled at this event, with other results across the classes ranging from 6th to 18th.
Surrounded by friends, family and fellow New Zealand competitors coming off the water, Kate described the final race in a beautiful South-Easterly breeze of 7-11 knots as “stressful”.
“We had a nice start, and were pretty well placed at the top mark. But we had to do turns which didn’t help us too much and it was hard to come back from there. The Polish girls sailed really well too,” she explains.
Emphasising how commendable a top-three placing is at these events, Yachting New Zealand Talent Development Manager Ian Neely says no medal is ever easy to come by at the youth worlds.
“Kate and Greta winning a medal again was a fantastic effort in a really tough week where it was easy for things to go wrong. It’s been a difficult week for our team in interesting conditions which haven’t been that normal for what we usually have in the Gulf,” he explains.
With some younger members of the team including 29er and 420 Boys helms Francesco Kayrouz and Josh Berry at their first world event, Ian says there’s been some great potential shown for the future.
Along with crews Oscar Gunn and Henry Haslett, the boys finished up their regattas with a 10th and 13th respectively.
Previous youth worlds medallist, Laser Radial sailor George Gautrey had a strong start to the event, but had a few tough days which set him out of medal contention to see him finish in 7th overall.
“He probably had the toughest week of anyone. It was just one of those weeks where anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong,” Neely comments.
Other NZL results included Nacra 15 pair Jackson Keon and Tom Fyfe who had a strong performance in their last race, placing 4th to finish up in 6th overall, Laser Radial sailor Olivia Christie who came 18th, 420 girls pair Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith who came 8th, and RS:X board sailor Patrick Haybittle who wrapped up his regatta in 9th.
Sailors will attend the closing ceremony and prize giving tonight.
Provisional results for the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team at the Aon Youth Sailing World Championship:
420 Boys
13th Josh Berry and Henry Haslett: 13,13,14,6, (16),13,15,10,5
420 Girls
8th Courtney Reynolds-Smith and Brianna Reynolds-Smith: 6,4, (16),12,3,13,5,6,9
29er Boys
10th Francesco Kayrouz and Oscar Gunn: 11,11,11,1,4,8, 13,12,2,10,(18),15,17
29er Girls
3nd Greta Stewart and Kate Stewart: (13),4,7,7,6,4,5,3,2,7,6,7,6
Nacra 15
6th Jackson Keon and Tom Fyfe: 3, (21DSQ), 2,10,7,10,6,11,13,8,15,8,4
Laser Radial Boys
7th George Gautrey: 5,2, 5DPI1,8DPI1,13, 26, 19, (49),21
Laser Radial Girls
18th Olivia Christie: 7,18,30,7, (48[UFD],17, 30, 19,11
RS:X Boys:
9th Patrick Haybittle: 4,6,10,11,8,7, (28UFD), 18,11,8,3,8,20
Full results see here:
The Youth Worlds was first held in Sweden in 1971. The 2016 Youth Sailing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand will be the 46th edition of the championship. More than 380 sailors from 66 nations sailing in more than 260 boats across nine disciplines will compete in New Zealand.
Past notable winners include American's Cup skippers, Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL); Olympic medalists, Nathan Outteridge (AUS), Iain Jensen (AUS), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Amelie Lux (GER), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Iain Percy (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Elise Rechichi (AUS), Dan Slater (NZL) and Tessa Parkinson (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN). The most successful Youth World Champions are Great Britain's Sally Cuthbert and Poland's Zofia Klepacka having won four successive titles in the Laser II and Mistral respectively.
Australia is the current holder of the Nations Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds. France is the most success nation through the history of the Championship, winning the Nations Trophy on a record eleven occasions and holding a record 76 medals: 28 gold, 30 silver and 18 bronze.

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