A couple of New Zealand crews stood out on a testing opening day of the Hempel youth sailing world championships in Gdynia, Poland.

Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan, fresh from a silver at last week’s 420 world championships, won the first of the two races sailed today in the boy’s 420 and are second overall and Helena Sanderson and Jack Honey are seventh in the Nacra 15.

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A handful of classes didn’t race on day one – girl’s 420, girl’s 29er and both RS:X classes – due to a dying wind and they will look to make up for lost time when racing gets under way tonight (NZ time).

The fickle breeze was only one feature the 409 youth sailors from 66 countries had to contend with at the 49th running of the youth worlds. There was also a decent amount of current, thermal features, thunder and general storm clouds.

“It was a very tricky day to test skill and nerves,” Yachting New Zealand head youth coach Matt Thomas said. “It was an especially hard task given the fact it’s a first day of the youth worlds for the majority of the team. Settling in was hard.”

Most of the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team are sailing in their first youth worlds, an event where experience can often prove invaluable.

Menzies and McGlashan, although only 14 and 16 respectively, were fifth at last year’s youth worlds and also have a gold and silver from the 420 world championships.

Seb and Blake

They will be among the teams to beat this week and made a good start with a first and ninth in their two races. But only 10 points separate the top 11 teams in their fleet, illustrating how tight things are early on in the regatta.

Sanderson and Honey are at their first youth worlds and are up against a multitude of combinations who either competed at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Argentina or youth sailing world championships in the United States, or both.

Helena and Jack

They were far from overawed, finishing fourth, sixth and 10th in the 21-boat fleet to be only three points off third.

Only one race was possible in both the boy’s and girl’s Laser Radial, with Luke Cashmore 11th and Samantha Stock 13th. Eli Liefting and Jack Frewin are 17th after three races in the boy’s 29er.

“It was a mixed bag today,” Thomas said. “The most solid start came in the Nacra 15 and boy’s 420 but, with so far to go and such big scores across the fleets, it’s impossible to define anything so early.

“It’s a youth worlds, which is quite unique in its pressures and outcomes. Calm heads, steady nerves and racing to the last second will be key this week.”

Results and standings after day 1 of the youth sailing world championships in Gdynia, Poland, overnight (NZ time):

Boy’s 420 (30 boats)

1st: Achille Casco / Elliot Schick (SUI) 5 4 – 9 points
2nd: Seb Menzies / Blake McGlashan (NZL) 1 9 – 10 pts
3rd: Martin Wizner / Pedro Ameneiro (ESP) 3 8 – 11 pts

Boy’s 29er (28 boats)

Vile Korhonen / Edvard Bremer (FIN) 1 (3) 3 – 4 pts
2nd: Mathias Berthel / Alexander Franks-Penty (NOR) (4) 4 2 – 6 pts
3rd: Marius Westerlind / Olle Aronsson (SWE) 2 7 (24) 9 pts

17th: Eli Liefting / Jack Frewin (NZL) (16) 15 10 – 25 pts

Nacra 15 (21 boats)

1st: Silas Muhle / Levke Moller (GER) 1 (15) 3 – 4 pts
2nd: Will Cooley / Rebecca Hancock (AUS) 2 (3) 2 – 4 pts
3rd: Titouan Petard / Marion Declef (FRA) 6 (9) 1 – 7 pts

7th: Helena Sanderson / Jack Honey (NZL) 4 6 (10) – 10 pts

Boy’s Laser Radial (57 boats)

1st: Otto Dahlberg (FIN) 1 – 1 pt
2nd: Connor Nelson (USA) 2 – 2 pts
3rd: Tytus Butowski (POL) 3 – 3 pts

11th: Luke Cashmore (NZL) 11 pts

Girl’s Laser Radial (47 boats)

1st: Chiara Benini Floriani (ITA) 1 – 1 pt
2nd: Manon Peyre (FRA) 2 – 2 pts
3rd: Simone Chen (SGP) 3 – 3 pts

13th: Samantha Stock (NZL) 13 – 13 pts

» Full Results

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