Seb Lardies and Scott McKenzie showed their potential by winning two out of their three races at the youth sailing world championships in Sanya, China, yesterday to climb further up the leaderboard.

The pair were expected to be in the mix after winning the US 29er national championships and finishing fifth at this this year's 29er world championships but started the youth worlds slowly, finishing the first day in 16th. They've since posted four top-three results and are sixth overall but have made too many mistakes to so far threaten the top of the standings.

Yesterday they mixed their two bullets with a disqualification off the start line.

"We went well today with two decent starts which gave us the freedom to do what we wanted around the course," Lardies said. "In our second race we got caught up in an incident on the start which we couldnt recover from leading to a 17th. Subsequently we lost a protest relating to the start line incident.

"This day pushed us up the leaderboard and made us realise that, if we can minimise our mistakes, we can be up the front of the fleet. Our aim is to minimise mistakes and keep it clean around the course."

It will also be the aim of Josh Armit, who remained in third in the boy's Laser Radial. Armit was 20th in yesterday's first race, his worst result of the week, but followed it up with a fourth and is still only six points behind Russia's Daniil Krutskikh in the lead.

"I had an average day overall with poor starts, but had a good comeback for the fourth," he said. "I struggled to pick the shifts today with bigger variations in both shift and pressure."

A lot of sailors are struggling with the light airs and shifty conditions off Sanya and most in the NZL Sailing Foundation youth team would welcome more breeze. Similar conditions are expected today with the prospect of a little more puff for the final day on Friday.

Greta Stewart and Henry Haslett also picked up a race win yesterday, which helped them move up to seventh in the Nacra 15 fleet. They will need to sail well and hope other results go their way to climb into medal contention but Stewart has plenty of experience having won bronze medals at the last two youth sailing world championships.

Annabelle Rennie-Younger has slipped from medal contention in the girl's Laser Radial but was still feeling the effects of a protest from the previous day.

"Today I had terrible starts," she said. "I wasnt on the line as I was being conservative after losing my protest yesterday but I was sailing back through the fleet well after putting myself in a tough position.

"Today was disappointing. It wasnt part of my plan, but I'm happy to avoid the protest room today. Tomorrow Im going to be more aware on the start line and not worry about being aggressive."

Max van der Zalm is the only other New Zealander in the top 10 and is ninth in the boy's RS:X.

"Today I moved up the leaderboard as I am improving in these conditions and I have my eye on the top eight," he said. "I felt I was picking the shifts well and I was fast downwind, but my starts werent good. It was hard work with three predominantly non-planing races and then we had a one-hour sail back in after. I'm feeling exhausted right now.

"I would like to see some more breeze, so I can gauge myself against the top guys in a different set of conditions."

Results and standings after the third day of the youth sailing world championships in Sanya, China, yesterday:

Boy's Laser Radial (51 boats)

1st: Daniil Krutskikh (RUS) 3 (12) 6 4 4 11 - 28 points

2nd: Giacomo Giovanelli (ITA) 2 7 (21) 1 12 8 - 30 pts

3rd: Josh Armit (NZL) 1 14 1 14 (20) 4 - 34 pts

Girl's Laser Radial (40 boats)

1st: Charlotte Rose (USA) 1 1 (17) 1 4 1 - 8 pts

2nd: Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU) 3 2 (9) 2 1 4 - 12 pts

3rd: Luciana Cardozo (ARG) 8 7 6 4 (17) 7 - 32 pts

9th: Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) 11 4 (41 DSQ) 5 14 19 - 53 pts

Nacra 15 (18 boats)

1st: Max Wallenberg / Amanda Bjork-Anastassov (SUI) 3 3 5 5 1 (8) 3 5 7 - 32 pts

2nd: Lucas Claeyssens / Anne Vandenberghe (BEL) 1 2 1 7 5 3 12 2 (15) - 33 pts

3rd: Silas M邦hle / Romy Mackenbrock (GER) 4 4 (10) 1 2 9 8 6 3 - 37 pts

7th: Greta Stewart / Henry Haslett (NZL) (14) 6 8 11 6 6 5 1 11 - 54 pts

Boy's 420 (26 boats)

1st: Ido Bilik / Noam Homri (ISR) 2 1 9 (15) 1 3 - 16 pts

2nd: Otto Henry / Rome Featherstone (AUS) 4 2 2 1 (15) 13 - 22 pts

3rd: Thomas Rice / Trevor Bornarth (USA) 3 (9) 1 5 9 4 - 22 pts

19th: James Barnett / Sam Street (NZL) 21 (24) 17 7 12 17 - 74 pts

Girl's 420 (25 boats)

1st: Carmen Cowles / Emma Cowles (USA) (26 DSQ) 1 2 1 2 2 - 8 pts

2nd: Violette Dorange / Camille Orion (FRA) 8 (26 DSQ) 3 3 5 1 - 20 pts

3rd: Arianna Passamonti / Giulia Fava (ITA) (10) 10 5 5 1 3 - 24 pts

17th: Xanthe Copeland / Annabel Cave (NZL) 19 11 (26 DNF) 8 13 22 - 73 pts

Boy's 29er (30 boats)

1st: Rok Verderber / Klemen Semelbauer (SLO) 15 4 (17) 1 5 1 7 1 7 - 41 pts

2nd: Ville Korhonen / Robin Berner (FIN) 2 12 11 3 2 6 (13) 4 2 - 42 pts

3rd: Theo Revil / Gautier Guevel (FRA) 4 2 8 7 1 9 (15) 14 3 - 48 pts

6th: Seb Lardies / Scott Mckenzie (NZL) 12 21 13 2 3 17 1 (31 DSQ) 1 - 70 pts

Girl's 29er (20 boats)

1st: Margherita Porro / Sofia Leoni (ITA) 1 1 1 (8) 1 8 3 5 2 - 22 pts

2nd: Ismene Usman / Svea Karsenbarg (NED) 11 6 8 3 (14) 9 1 4 6 - 48 pts

3rd: Maiwenn Jacquin / Enora Percheron (FRA) 4 10 2 7 2 10 (11) 9 8 - 52

15th: Crystal Sun / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 14 9 14 10 (17) 16 6 14 15 - 98 pts

Boy's RS:X (26 entries)

1st: Yoav Cohen (ISR) 1 1 3 5 1 2 1 (6) 1 - 15 pts

2nd: Hao Chen (CHN) 2 6 1 1 2 1 2 (8) 2 - 17 pts

3rd: Sil Hoekstra (NED) (6) 5 4 2 4 4 4 2 4 - 29 pts

9th: Max van der Zalm (NZL) 9 (16) 13 11 8 7 6 10 8 - 72 pts

Girl's RS:X (19 entries)

1st: Giorgia Speciale (ITA) 3 2 (4) 1 1 1 3 3 2 - 16 pts

2nd: Emma Wilson (GBR) 2 1 3 2 3 (4) 2 2 1 - 16 pts

3rd: Ting Yu (CHN) 1 3 1 (5) 2 5 4 1 4 - 21 pts

15th: Veerle Ten Have (NZL) 14 16 (20 UFD) 17 16 12 10 14 16 - 115 pts

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Yachting New Zealand