13 year old Sebastian Menzies (Seb) sails out of the Murrays Bay Sailing Club and is one of our yachting stars of the future. The Murrays Bay club has produced many of New Zealand’s world class sailors, including Dean Barker and previous AIMES Award recipients Andy Maloney and Dan Slater.
Seb started Rangitoto College in 2018 after attending Murrays Bay Primary and Murrays Bay Intermediate. He began sailing as an 8 year old at Murrays Bay – a natural progression given the strong family connection with yachting. Along the way he has had the full support on and off the water from his Dad, and also Grandpa, also a keen yachtsman.
In the 2015/16 season Seb finished as the 5th ranked optimist sailor nationally and was selected as part of the five strong team to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal. At only 11 years of age, competing in a field containing up to 15 year olds, he became one of New Zealand's youngest sailors to compete at the optimist worlds.
Seb came back for the 2016/17 season and despite his age dominated the New Zealand optimist competition winning all three ranking regatta’s and then going on to win the nationals. He finished the season unbeaten and with a perfect ranking score, the first time this has ever been achieved. The regattas were raced in the full range of conditions and Seb managed to dominate each of these, often with a race to spare. He won 18 of the 32 races sailed in the ranking series with a worst placing of 6th.
As a result of this great season Seb once again qualified for the New Zealand worlds team which was this time competed in Pattaya, Thailand. At 12 years of age he placed 28th from 280 sailors, the equal best result for a New Zealand sailor at the worlds since 2013.
As a result of his strong 2016/17 season Seb was recognised by Yachting New Zealand at their annual performance awards winning a Youth Performance Award and then going on to win the prestigious Emerging Talent award.
Seb has recently moved into the double-handed 420 youth class where he has teamed up with Blake McGlashan. They quickly moved to the front of the New Zealand 420 fleet and were unlucky not to take out the youth trials at their first attempt. Since then they have placed first in the under 17’s at the Australian Nationals in Fremantle and recently won the 2018 New Zealand 420 Nationals and in doing so they qualified to represent New Zealand at the Youth Worlds in Corpus Christie, USA in July 2018, where they were placed 5th. Seb became one of the youngest NZ sailors to attend the worlds since they began in 1971.
In between 420 regatta’s Seb jumped back into the P-Class where he won the 2018 Nationals at Kohimarama Sailing Club.
Seb manages to balance his sporting commitments with school work to ensure he can maintain a solid passage through his educational years. He is consistently on target to above expected levels in all subjects. He has won a citizenship award in Murrays Bay Primary and both years at Murrays Bay Intermediate, this is for a well rounded and caring member of class. Seb has also participated in Touch and Rippa Rugby, Rugby (East Coast Bays) and Soccer.
"I am very honoured and privileged to be the recipient of a Junior Excellence Sport Award,” said Seb Menzies when he was told his application had been successful in late September. "To be recognised as a top performer in the sport I love and have some extra financial support is most appreciated. Over the next 12 months I intend to continue campaigning in the 420 class with Blake (McGlashan). This will involve travelling to Melbourne, Hobart, Portugal and hopefully Poland if we qualify for Youth Worlds. I will use the funds to help cover the costs of attending these regatta’s."
Sebastian Menzies receives the Junior Excellence Award from the North Harbour Club – sponsored by Library Lane and NZ Force Construction – including a cash grant of $3,000.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our fantastic sponsors