New Zealand's top youth match racing team will head to the US next month full of confidence after finishing fourth at the youth world match racing championships in Italy at the weekend.
The team of Nick Egnot Johnson, Sam Barnett and Zak Merton were beaten in the semifinals by the top Italian crew and then went down to the American combination in the petit final to finish fourth overall.
Earlier they had finished round robin one in second with a record of nine wins and two defeats and then won a must-win match over Sweden in their final round robin race to qualify for the semfinals.
The event was won by the Italian crew skippered by Ettore Bottocini, who is ranked fifth in the world match racing rankings, when they beat Australia's Will Boulden (ranked 14th). Egnot Johnson is ranked 107th, although that's now likely to go up.
The New Zealand trio, who are a relatively new team and who are members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's performance programme, will next month head to the US to compete in four events across Chicago, Detroit and New York as part of the US match racing grand slam.