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Tornado Worlds: 14-year-old Helena Sanderson (NZL) with her age 17 crew Jack Honey (NZL) making (pin

AUCKLAND (#1165) – This beaut photo courtesy of Richard Gladwell​, NZL editor of, is from the Tornado Worlds last week at Auckland's Takapuna Yacht Club. Posted in honor of our good friend of sailing promoter extraordinaire Victor "In the Pink" Felice (MLT/USA), who puts his money where his mouth is, buys boats, paints them pink, and then makes them available at minimal cost for regular folks to sail and race – in that great sailing state of Arizona no less. But I digress....

Further to the photo, Richard says, "That Tornado shot of mine of the girl with the blonde pony tail - was out shooting with her coach - she is only 14yrs old. Helena Sanderson (NZL) went into the Tornado out of an Optimist with a little time in a 29er and now sails a Nacra as well. They decided to do the Tornado Worlds instead of a regatta in Australia in another class; they wanted to sail against top adult sailors as they thought they would learn more. At 110kg combined weight, not a lot of height, and sailing a 1990 platform that was 20kg overweight, they were always going to struggle - but what a fantastic effort and attitude."

Helena sailed with 17yo crew Jack Honey (NZL). They finished a more than respectable 16th overall and were the 2nd-placed youth team, whether mixed-gender or not. Full results here.

So, Mr Gladwell, well said as usual. Puts all of World Sailing's fuss and bother about "gender equality vs. equity" into a rather different light?

Helena Sanderson (NZL, age 14) and Jack Honey (NZL, 17) racing in last week's Tornado Worlds at Takapuna YC in New Zealand. They were 2nd among youth teams, mixed-gender or otherwise.

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