World contenders

New Zealand and Australian sailors made a strong start to the youth sailing world championships in Corpus Christi.

19 July 2018


The New Zealand Team have six young guns inside the top 10. Meanwhile, Australian sailors have top three in the 420 boys, the 29 boys and the laser Radial.

Seb Lardies and Scott McKenzie from New Zealand are second in the 29er boys, with Henry Larkings and Miles Davey in third. Josh Armit leads the Laser Radial, with Aussie Zac Littlewood in third. Greta Stewart and Tom Fyfe from New Zealand move to second in the Nacra 15.

Rome Featherstone and Otto Henry are chasing leaders Joseph Hermus and Walter henry in the 420 boys.

It represented a good start to the pinnacle event for youth sailors and most of the sailors revelled in the perfect 12-14 knots conditions at Corpus Christi.

“It was a really good, solid start to the regatta,” Yachting New Zealand head youth coach Matt Thomas said. “It was good to see all the main contenders in solid positions to go forward.”


Lardies and McKenzie bookended two seconds with a seventh, extending their lead over  Henry Larkings and Miles Davey of Australia in third. The pair are expected to be among the contenders in the boy’s 29er after showing some good lead-in form in regattas in Germany and Poland and know what to expect at such an important regatta after finishing eighth at last year’s youth worlds in China.

Josh Armit rounded off a good day in the Laser Radial to establish a bigger lead over Australia’s Zac Littlewood, who currently sits in third. The boy’s Laser Radial is the biggest fleet at the youth worlds, with 58 competitors.

Armit said that he hasn’t been looking at the results and is just trying to focus on getting better every day.

“I’ve been learning a lot during the week and really just enjoying the warm conditions,” said Armit, who placed fifth at last year’s Youth Worlds. “It’s great racing against my mates. There’s quite a few boys up there to contend with, some from last year’s Youth Worlds and some new ones. The fleet size is quite different from back home, so I’m just trying to do my best and have some fun.”

Although he didn’t admit it, Armit has to enjoy seeing Littlewood’s bow behind him instead of staring at his transom. Littlewood has had Armit’s number this year, defeating him at the Australian Nationals and the Men’s Laser Radial World Championship in Germany last month, where Littlewood won overall. Littlewood fell a bit off the pace today by posting an eighth and his discard, an 11th.

“I’m my biggest obstacle to winning,” said Littlewood.

“At our qualifications in Queensland it was windy, hot and choppy, just like here. I managed to beat Josh at that event. He’s a good competitor, so it’ll be exciting to see who comes out at the end of the week.”

Stewart and Fyfe fought their way back into contention in the Nacra 15 off the back of two seconds and a ninth in their three races today. The Argentine pair of Teresa Romairone and Dante Cittadini showed their class, winning all three races, and now have a 13-point lead with three days remaining.

Stewart and Fyfe had a straightforward plan: “Keep it simple, get good starts and go fast in the right direction.”

As many as 382 sailors from 66 countries are competing at Corpus Christi this week.

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