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The praise flowed like champagne - and with as many bubbles - yesterday as young New Zealand yachties Carl Evans and Peter Burling successfully defended their 420 world title off Takapuna.

The New Zealand team completed a whitewash of the regatta, winning all three medals in the men's and women's championships - something it is understood no other country has achieved.

Going into the final day, Evans and Burling had a six-point lead over fellow New Zealanders Simon Cooke and Scott Illingworth.

With two races to come, the 16-year-olds sailed a conservative yet smart race in rough conditions to finish third in the first race which was enough to secure them the world title with a race to spare.

"We just had to finish close to him [Cooke]," Burling said.

"So we started next to him and stayed with him for the whole race."

Cooke and Illingworth won the silver medal ahead of Rowan Swanson and Bruce Kennedy.

In the women's championship, Shelley Hesson and 14-year-old Bianca Barbarich-Bacher edged out Sarah Bilkey and Rosie Sargisson to win the silver medal.

Gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie avoided yesterday's difficult conditions, having done enough on Monday to win.

Cooke, who also finished second to Evans and Burling in last year's 420 world championships, described the youngsters as "phenomenal", and Alinghi strategist and former New Zealand 470 champion Murray Jones, who was watching his son compete, said they were "exceptional".

In their 11 gold fleet races, Evans and Burling had four wins, three seconds, three thirds and a fifth.

"I have had a lot to do with double-handed sailing in the last 15 or 20 years in New Zealand and by far they are the best we have ever seen come through," Cooke said.

"They are brilliant on their own as well - they are very good single-handed sailors - so whatever they do in the years to come you will see their names again.

"They do a lot of hours, they are very talented and they don't make mistakes. It is hard work for anyone who wants to get close to them."

New Zealand 420 head coach Mat Brown said the New Zealand team exceeded expectations.

"It has been nice to watch the hard work over the last few years pay off. I think Carl and Peter and Simon and Scott - they were the world's best.

"They were a long way ahead and they have stayed there.

"With the girls, Shelley [Hesson] finished ninth last time and Sarah [Bilkey] was eleventh and they are now second and third."

He did concede that the Kiwis had an advantage sailing at home.

"The Europeans now realise how difficult it is to travel and do a world championship.

"They have had to come here and charter boats, or have had to bring their own boats. We do that all the time. We are always on the back foot when we go elsewhere.

"Here, we showed them how good we are in our own waters, our own boats and our own comforts."