Yachting: World comes to Takapuna as 470s class set scene

By Dana Johannsen

Takapuna Boating Club are playing host to their 14th world championship event, with the 470 junior world championships starting this weekend.

More than 30 boats from 13 countries will be competing in the regatta, including three New Zealand entries in the women's fleet and six local boats in the open field.

The first points race gets under way today, with the medal races scheduled for next Friday.

With several teams entered in the age group event also regularly competing in the senior classes, organisers are expecting tight racing.

Several of the New Zealand entrants have previously represented the country at the ISAF Youth Worlds, including James Turner, Ben Goodwin, Sarah Berry, Emma Berry, Vicki Francis, Erica Dawson and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher.

Sarah and Emma Berry, sisters from Wellington's Worser Bay Boating Club, have been quiet on the local scene lately, but won medals at a world championship in the 420 class off Takapuna Beach in 2007.

The sisters have had to put sailing on the backburner while they concentrate on their university studies, but Emma Berry said they were excited about competing at home.

"I love sailing at Takapuna, it's one of my favourite places and there's always a great breeze," she said.

Another team of siblings to look out for next week are Australian juniors Matthew and Robert Crawford, who won the pre-worlds regatta last weekend.

The Crawford brothers were closely followed by New Zealand's two Olympic 470 teams, Paul Snow Hansen with Jason Saunders, and Jo Aleh with Olivia Powrie. Both of these high-performance crews from the New Zealand sailing team will not be competing in the junior event as they are past the age of eligibility.

New Zealanders Luke Stevenson (Tauranga) and Sam Bullock (Takapuna) are another of the Kiwi crews to watch, having gained one of the top junior results at the ISAF world champ s in Perth in December, and a fifth at the Takapuna pre-worlds event despite gear breakages.

World champs

470 Junior World Championships
* Takapuna Boating Club
* Today-Friday, February 3

- NZ Herald

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