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A pair of 15-year-old New Zealanders have sailed away with yachting's 420 class world championship title off the coast of Spain today.

In a stunning one-two result for New Zealand, Carl Evans and Peter Burling clinched the gold medals by a huge 25 point margin, with compatriots Simon Cooke and Scott Illingworth winning silver.

The New Zealand combinations were so far clear of the field at Gran Canaria that they had confirmed the first two spots with a race to spare and opted not to sail the final event.

Yachting New Zealand high performance and youth director Marty Watson said it was remarkable that two sailors in their mid-teens should finish so far ahead of an open field.

"Peter and Carl are an example of what can be achieved through diligence, and a focussed and disciplined approach," Watson said.

"They've sailed brilliantly in this regatta because they put enough work in to enable their talent to come through. We are all looking forward to their move into an Olympic class."

Evans of Auckland's Kohimarama Yacht Club and Burling of Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club dominated the regatta, winning seven of their 11 races. They only finished outside the top three twice.

The pair joined forces in the double-handed 420 at the start of the 2005 New Zealand season and went on to take out the national championship in Christchurch in April.

Watson said both sailors had shone as individuals through the junior ranks, in the Optimist, P-Class and Starling classes.

Kohimarama pair Cooke and Illingworth also paired up at the start of last year and have more age and experience than the two 15 year olds.

Cooke won the 470 world title in 2002 and earned himself the Yachting New Zealand Sailor of the Year title together with Peter Nicholas.

New Zealand's Shelley Hesson and Bianca Barbarich-Backer won the final women's race to place ninth. They will go on to contest the women's 470 event at the pre-Olympics regatta in China this month.

Hannah Mills and Peggy Webster of Britain won the women's championship

Next year's 420 world championships will be hosted by New Zealand, at the Takapuna Boating Club.

Elsewhere, Jo Aleh narrowly missed a top ten finish on a countback when she was 11th in the Olympic class Laser Radial world championships off California.

New Zealand results at the 420 world championships:

Men:

Carl Evans/Peter Burling 1, Simon Cooke/Scott Illingworth 2, Michael Langley/Riley Dean 15, Jason Saunders/Bruce Kennedy 21, Rowan Swanson/Ben Hanns 36th

Women:

Shelly Hesson/Bianca Barbarich-Bacher 9, Sarah Bilkey/Rosie Sargisson 11, Georgina Hill /Michelle Kennedy 18, Susannah Pyatt/Danielle Bowater 31, Stephanie Hazard/Cindy Hamilton 35

- NZPA