NZL Sailing Team- 470's win two more medals at Olympic Test Regatta
by Jodie Bakewell-White on 10 Aug 2014
New Zealand has added gold and silver on the final day of Olympic Sailing Test Event (Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014) to scoop a four medal haul in Rio, Brazil.
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie - Day 8 - Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 ISAF ©
Today, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie finished fourth in the medal race and broke the three way tie in the Women’s 470 to secure the gold ahead of the British who had to settle for silver.
Meanwhile Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox came from sixth on the leader board to bag a podium finish on the final day with a medal race win.
With gold already awarded to Burling and Tuke in the 49er, and silver for Maloney and Meech in the 49erFX today’s results bring the medal tally to four for the NZL Sailing Team.
The regatta, which acts as a trial run for the Olympic sailing regatta organisers, features the top sailors from around the globe in each of the ten Olympic classes.
Aleh and Powrie are delighted with the outcome of today’s race, describing it as one of the most high pressure races they’ve sailed.
Aleh talked to ISAF after racing; 'It was a pretty tough race. Sail by the seat of your pants, see what happens and keep hoping it will work out. We knew we had to beat both of them [Mills/Clark and Haeger/Provancha] and be top five if the Austrians won.'
'We always wanted to do well but just had to beat those boats. Pretty early on, as we started we were in the middle of them and kept an eye on them. The Americans dropped back pretty quickly so it was just between us and the Brits.'
'Everyone found it stressful. There was a lot happening. When the boys raced before the wind was a little bit more set but the wind had just changed. It was one of the most unstable Medal Races we've done.'
After a seven race series in the Men’s 470 event the kiwi pair of Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox had taken a win in race four and some decent results against tough competition to lie sixth overall.
However they saved the best to last with a cracking medal race win in Rio today to propel them onto the podium for a bronze medal. Australian’s Matt Belcher and Will Ryan took out the gold with Brits Luke Patience and Elliott Willis claiming the silver.
The Laser and Laser Radials also concluded the regatta today with New Zealand represented in the Laser medal race by Sam Meech, older brother of 49erFX crew Molly. Meech finished fifth in today’s final race to wrap up the regatta in ninth overall.
A handful of the NZL Sailing Team return to New Zealand for a short break now, while many will spend the coming weeks out of the country.
The next major event on the Olympic sailing calendar is widely accepted as this year’s pinnacle event – the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain from 8-21 September 2014. The Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds is the first Olympic Qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. 50% of Rio 2016 spots will be decided in Santander.
Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, 2-9 August 2014 New Zealand’s final results
Full results right click here
Gold medal: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)
Gold medal: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470)
Silver medal: Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)
Bronze medal: Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470)
6th Andrew Murdoch (Finn)
9th Josh Junior (Finn)
6th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17)
8th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (49er)
9th Natalia Kosinska (Women’s RS:X)
9th Sam Meech (Laser)
14th Andy Maloney (Laser)
11th Sara Winther (Laser Radial)
Support and coaching: Jez Fanstone, Mark Howard, Nathan Handley, Simon Briscoe and Hamish Willcox, Craig Panther, David Slyfield, Louise Johnson, Christel Dunshea- Mooij
About the NZL Sailing Team
The NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners who have made the top 20% in their most recent (respective) class World Championships or pinnacle event and have shown consistency of performance over the year including other significant Championships.
Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Programme is focussed on winning medals at the Olympics in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
NZL Sailing Team sailors all started out at grass roots yacht clubs around the country and with commitment, dedication and drive have risen to be world class athletes; they work hard in the gym, train long hours on the water and are supported by great coaches.