The NZL Sailing Team is getting set for more action with the final regatta of the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup Series about to get underway in Hyeres, France. The kiwis will join over 800 of the world’s best Olympic and Paralympic sailors to do battle on the water next week.
The Maloney (left) and Meech (right) siblings with their medal haul at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma
Racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres will take place on the ‘Rade de Hyeres’ starting on Monday 22nd April and running over six days with the medals decided on Saturday 27th April.
'For our sailors this is another opportunity to test themselves at the highest level,' says Jez Fanstone, High Performance Director at Yachting New Zealand.
'For many of our sailors this will be the third opportunity to race during this trip and they will be keen to put together all they have learned during this time, and to execute well in Hyeres.'
After New Zealand’s triple medal haul at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma earlier this month all eyes will be on the black NZL bibs in the Laser and 49erFX fleets.
New Zealand’s new crop of talent will be back in action. Both Andy Maloney and Sam Meech, who won gold and bronze in the Laser respectively in Palma are getting ready to go in Hyeres, as are their younger sisters who form the world number two ranked 49erFX duo – Alex Maloney and Molly Meech. The girls took the silver medal in their class in Palma and are also in countdown mode for racing in Hyeres.
The Maloney and the Meech siblings were introduced to sailing at a very young age both families independently undertaking global cruising voyages with young children before re-settling in New Zealand. With sailing in the blood Andy, Alex, Sam and Molly all took up junior, then youth dinghy sailing, each demonstrating their talent and drive early on.
Both Andy and Sam were part of the tight knit NZL Sailing Team Laser Squad through the 2012 Olympic cycle, missing out on the one 2012 New Zealand berth to 2008 Olympian Andrew Murdoch. With Murdoch (and Josh Junior) choosing to switch to the Finn class, Andy Maloney and Sam Meech now make up the current Laser Squad, with up-and-coming campaigner Thomas Saunders in the mix as a training partner.
Another one to watch is Andrew McKenzie, who was recently named as New Zealand’s representative in the Laser class for the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships on in Cyprus in July. The 17 year old is honing his skills in preparation by taking on the world’s best Olympic campaigners joining the Laser open fleet in Hyeres next week.
The 49erFX women’s skiff makes its Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games, the inclusion announcement sparking the interest of Alex Maloney and Molly Meech immediately. Alex has stepped up from formerly sailing the 29er skiff, pairing with Molly Meech who previously sailed the Laser Radial.
The young kiwi pair won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne in December, backing that up with victory at Sail Sydney Regatta soon after earning them their ‘crew to watch’ billing before ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma. And they didn’t disappoint coming away with the silver medal.
Men’s 470 pair Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox went on from Palma, where they finished 11th to sail 2013 International 470 Spring Cup in France, delivering a bronze medal performance there ahead of racing in Hyeres.
In the Finn class New Zealander’s Andrew Murdoch and Josh Junior line up again.
14 kiwi individuals or crews, including five NZL Sailing Team representatives, are entered in six events; they include…
Andrew Murdoch – Finn (NZL Sailing Team)
Josh Junior – Finn
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team)
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX
Andy Maloney – Laser (NZL Sailing Team)
Sam Meech - Laser (NZL Sailing Team)
Thomas Saunders – Laser
Andrew McKenzie – Laser (2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team)
Michael Cate - Laser
Jack Collinson - Laser
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox - 470 Men (NZL Sailing Team)
Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson 470 Men
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders - Nacra 17
Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden - Nacra 17
About ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres
The 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup – Hyeres is set to take place 22-27 April where more than 800 sailors across ten Olympic and two Paralympic events will sail. After regattas in Melbourne, Australia, Miami, USA and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères will bring the 2012-13 series to a close and will feature the world’s top sailors.
To reflect lessons and sailor feedback from ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma modifications have been made to the scoring format in Hyères. The Qualifying Series for ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères has been shortened to two days. The first race of the Final Series shall be a non discardable carry forward race with points equal to a boat’s final rank in the qualifying series. Three days of Final Series racing then culminates in the Medal Stage where the 49er and 49erFX will sail three Stadium Races and the remaining eight fleets will sail two Medal Races.
About the NZL Sailing Team
NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners who share the ultimate goal to win Olympic medals for New Zealand at the Rio Games in 2016.
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.