Zak Merton and Sam Barnett from Tauranga have been selected to represent New Zealand in the Boy's 420 at the 2014 ISAF Youth World Championships on from 12-19 July in Tavira Portugal.
The pair sailed together in 2013 as well, finishing in 5th place at the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Limmasol, Cyprus.
Top 3 Sailing Achievements…
- 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, Cyprus – 5th 420
- 2013 420 Open World Championships, Spain 2013 – 15th
- Yachting New Zealand Youth Worlds Trials – 1st in 2013 and 2014
Q&A with Sam…
Q: How did you get into sailing?
A: I really enjoyed Waterwise at Devonport Primary, so my parents encouraged me to sign up for a learn to sail course at Wakatere Boating Club. At Wakatere Terry Nicholas coached and encouraged me to my first regatta, the Winter Champs in 2009.
Q: Favourite thing to eat after a long day on the water?
A: A healthy wrap
Q: Favourite place to sail?
Q: Which New Zealand sailors do you admire most?
A: Jo Aleh, Polly Powrie, Richard and Peter Burling
Q: What is the best thing about sailing your youth class boat?
A: The racing is really intense
Q: How will you prepare for the Youth Worlds and which regattas will you be attending in the lead-up?
A: We are putting heaps of time on the water, perfecting our technique. We went to Great Britain for the British Youth Nationals in May, as a build up, and to find out what we needed to work on before the youth worlds. We finished a close 3rd.
Q: What was the most proud moment of your sailing to date, and tell us how you felt?
A: Qualifying for the NZ Asian Champs Optimist team. It was so thrilling to realise I could achieve my goals and represent New Zealand.