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Hamish McLaren and Sophia Higgott

Youth team show talent in Tutukaka

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The NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team were supposed to be in Brazil last week competing at the youth sailing world championships but Tutukaka wasn’t a bad alternative.

The 2020 youth worlds were cancelled due to Covid-19 but Yachting New Zealand still selected a youth team from the winners of each class at October’s NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Championships at the Manly Sailing Club.

Yachting New Zealand still wanted to recognise and reward those sailors who excelled at the youth championships so held a camp at Tutukaka last week. A training partner for each class was also invited along to the same venue members of the NZL Sailing Team members have been using on a regular basis this year as they prepare for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“It was an amazing week,” Yachting New Zealand talent development manager Geoff Woolley said. “It was a shame we weren’t able to get to the youth worlds this year but this was a really valuable exercise that brought some of the best young talent together.

“It was a great way for members of the team to get to know each other better and work on the culture within the squad. We’re really excited about the future crop of sailors we have in this country.”

The youth sailing world championships are scheduled to return to the sailing calendar next year at a venue still to be decided. New Zealand has a proud history at the event, having won 55 medals since the first in Sweden in 1971, and next year's team will be picked from the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Championships which will probably be held in October.

Blake McGlashan should have been competing at his third youth sailing world championships but took the opportunity in 2020 to mix things up. Not only did he switch from the 420 to the 29er, but he also took the helm and tried sailing with a different partner, winning the 29er title at the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Championships with Jack Frewin.

“It was great to be in a training environment with everyone from all the other classes,” McGlashan said about the training camp in Tutukaka. “It really helped to build a bond between the team and you learned a whole lot about each other.

“It was great fun and a great addition to the youth programme.”

2020 NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team

Girl's Laser Radial - Greta Pilkington (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron)
Boy's Laser Radial - Caleb Armit (MBSC)
Windfoiling - Eli Liefting (Royal Akarana Yacht ClubC)
Boy's 29er - Blake McGlashan (MBSC) / Jack Frewin (Howick Sailing Club)
Girl's 29er - Lucy Leith (MBSC) / Liz Shapland (MBSC)
Girl's 420 - Amelia Angus (Kohimarama Yacht Club & MBSC) / Rebecca Hume (MBSC)
Boy's 420 - Mason Mulcahy (MBSC)/ Cam McGlashan (MBSC)
Nacra 15 - Hamish McLaren (RAYC) / Sofia Higgott (Maraetai Sailing Club)

  • Pic: Top Nacra 15 pair Hamish McLaren and Sofia Higgott revelled in Tutukaka. Photo: Adam Mustill Photography.