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Caleb Armit

Armit claims bronze at ILCA 6 youth worlds

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Caleb Armit rounded out his youth sailing career in impressive fashion with bronze at the ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston yesterday.

The 17-year-old went into the final day level on points with Mattia Cesana but an 18th and 13th saw him slip off the pace as the Italian continued his remarkable run of low scores. Armit bounced back well to win the last race and confirm his place on the podium, although he admitted it wasn't on the step he had been aiming for.

"It's not the colour I was looking for but it's still a medal and still an achievement I am proud of," he said. 

The ILCA 6 youth worlds brought to a conclusion an intensive seven-week stint overseas that saw Armit finish second in the ILCA 6 at Kiel Week before a 17th at the Youth Sailing World Championships in The Hague where Armit struggled with the light winds, strong current and disturbed swells.

"I learned a lot in The Hague," he said ruefully. "I made a lot of mistakes there, so I tried to be a bit more aggressive in this regatta and it worked out the majority of the time."

That approach saw him win five of his 11 races, as well as bank three other top-three results. He revelled in the 12-15 knot winds that arrived most days in Houston, particularly downwind, which reminded him of sailing off his home club of the Murrays Bay Sailing Club.

Armit had a lot of success on the domestic scene, and would have competed in at least two youth worlds had it not been for Covid-19. He also won events like the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and Sir Peter Blake Regatta to establish a reputation as one of the brightest young talents in the country.

Caleb Armit
Photos: Eric Andresen

Armit will soon switch his attention to sailing the ILCA 7 - once he's caught up on some school work - and building on his experiences racing in tight international fleets.

"I really want to thank Yachting New Zealand for the support they have given me in having coaches Jenny Armstrong and Sam Mackay at my last few regattas, as well as Phil Douglas who has done heaps for me over the last few years," Armit said. "I'd also really like to thank the NZL Sailing Foundation for the massive support they give youth sailing."

Results and standings after the ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Houston:

Men (156 boats)

1st: Mattia Cesana (ITA) 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 (9) 1 6 4 - 22 points
2nd: Erik Norlen (SWE) 1 2 5 3 4 1 3 (7) 7 2 5 - 33 pts
3rd: Caleb Armit (NZL) 3 1 1 1 2 1 (27) 2 18 13 1 - 43 pts

Women (50 boats)

1st: Eve McMahon (IRE) 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 (4) 13 pts
2nd Linda Hensel (GER) 3 5 2 2 6 2 1 1 (8) 2 2 - 26 pts
3rd: Tea Peteh (CRO) 9 3 3 3 2 3 4 2 (13) 3 1 - 33 pts

Full results