Back to top anchor
Close main menu
Open main menu Close main menu

Entries open: NZ youth trials back to four-day format, wingfoiling to debut

Issue date

The road to youth sailing's pinnacle event at what many consider the mecca of the sport starts in just over a month on Auckland's North Shore.

Entries have officially opened for the 2024 New Zealand youth championships, to be hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club from April 15-18, with the winners of five of the six classes again being considered for selection for this year's youth sailing world championships at Lake Garda, Italy in July. 

The 2024 youth worlds take place only seven months after the 2023 edition in Buzios, Brazil - forcing the youth trials to be held relatively soon after last year's event in September, which was limited to two days due to the disruption caused by the Auckland wastewater spill, as well as rough conditions.


Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and features breathtaking scenery, clean waters and constant winds. Photo / World Sailing

"The 2024 youth trials will be an excellent opportunity to build on the lessons from Buzios, especially with that event still so fresh in everyone's memories," said Yachting New Zealand youth and events manager Sam Mackay.

The 13-strong NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team failed to win a medal at the 2023 youth worlds, with Joe Leith and Josh Ferrissey's fifth in the boys 420 the best return by a Kiwi competitor.

"The team had challenges adapting to big fleet racing, but the experience was still extremely valuable to a relatively young squad, many of whom had never competed at that level before. 

"Since then, we've focused on spending more time on the water, running quality racing and sailing in more conditions on opposite ends of the spectrum."

This year's youth trials will return to the full four-day format and include a debut for wingfoiling.


Wingfoiling will make its debut at the NZ youth trials in April.

"The four days will allow the sailors to test their skills in a wider range of conditions and put them under more of the same pressure that they are likely to face in Italy. Adding the rapidly growing wingfoiling fleet to the mix will make it even more exciting, even though it won't be a selection trial for them as wingfoiling hasn't been included in the youth worlds yet," Mackay said.

"This remains the pre-eminent youth regatta in the country and an opportunity for the sailors to put their hard work of the season together."

Competition is expected to be wide open this year, with several of last year's youth team members moving out of the youth classes - including Aimee Bright (girls windfoil), George Pilkington (boys ILCA 6), Naiomi Ferrissey (girls ILCA 6), Rowan Kensington (boys 29er) and Lucy Leith (girls 29er).

Racing will also be run by a star-studded lineup of officials, headed by former America's Cup PRO Harold Bennett.

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and features breathtaking scenery, clean waters and constant winds.

Click here for the 2024 New Zealand youth championships notice of race (NOR) and to enter. 

Entries close April 1.