, 2022-06-23 18:44:33,
Back row from left, Bej Lencek, Jake Dickey, Sebastian de Vos, Ekhi de Jager, Tara Labat and Jed Potbury, and front Winston Liesebach (left) and Finn Balchin. Photo / Warren Buckland
strong>By Thomas Airey
The first of eight young Hawke’s Bay yachties looking to take on the world this year departed on Sunday with Optimist sailor Jed Potbury, 14, heading to the world championships in Turkey.
He is one of a host of talents who have come up under coach Adrian Mannering at the Napier Sailing Club.
The club hosted the National Starling and Optimist Championships over Easter and successful results for the locals earned them selection into four teams travelling to represent New Zealand.
Tara Labat, 14, is going to Denmark for the European championships in August, the same month Winston Liesebach and Finn Balchin, both 16, head to Lake Balaton, Hungary, for the 420 World Championships.
Sebastian de Vos, 12, and Bej Lencek, 13, made the New Zealand Senior Development team and Ekhi de Jager and Jake Dickey, both 11, made the New Zealand 12 and Under Development Team – all will head to Noumea in October for the New Caledonian championships.
Mannering said the crop of young sailors will kick on to even greater honours in the next year or so.
“There’s a great pool there and it’s only going to get better,” he said.
“You get a whole group and then they start feeding off each other, they’re having fun together and they don’t know it but they’re pushing each other.”
The young talents also benefit from the presence of professional coach Orestes Reyes, who first came to Napier for the Optimist World Championships in 2011 with the team from his native Peru.
“We’re fortunate to know him personally, so we’ve had him for the last four…
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