ISAF World Cup- Team Jolly on winning the Gold Medal at Weymouth
by Jo Aleh on 13 Jun 2012
NZL Sailing Team members, Jo Aleh and Olivia (Polly) Powrie update on their campaign heading towards the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth, England:
Jo Aleh, Olivia Polly Powrie (NZL), Amanda Clark, Sarah Lihan (USA), Hannah Mills, Saskia Clark (GBR), receives awards on Day 6 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
So, a little update on what we have been up to over here in summery (or not) Weymouth...
For the last week, we have been racing in the Sail for Gold Regatta - the last World Cup event for us of the year, and pretty much the last big regatta we will do until the games. Nicely for us, it went rather well....
The 470 course for the regatta was out in the back paddock, a good 25-45 minute tow from the launching ramp (the tow being the coldest part of the day we made sure we were kitted out well with big jackets, beanies and I must admit I even wore mittens on day one). At least once we got out there, we were treated to some great sailing conditions, with the waves growing as the regatta went on...
We started the regatta out with light winds, and a whole lot of waiting around - We spent 9 hours on the water, with one twenty minute break in the middle when we came ashore only to go straight back out.
We had a mixed opening day with one decent race and one shocker, but were more just happy for it to be over, as it was in no way warm out there!!
The second day brought a touch more wind, as well as a touch of rain.
We had another ok day, with a third in the first race, followed up by a few mistakes in the next race to come away with an eighth.
On day three of the regatta the wind finally came in, sadly this also brought the rain, which settled in well and it has been raining on and off ever since (as I write this - it is raining...). We made things hard for ourselves in the first race of the day, with a rather average start and first leg, but made our way back up through the fleet, only to stuff it up a little on the last downwind to the finish to get yet another eighth. We at least made up for it in the next race, where we finally sailed a good clean race, and won the last race of the day by quite a margin.
Day four ended up being the last day of fleet racing for us (day five was abandoned as it was literally blowing a gale - with a few boats unintentionally sailing around the boat park during the night - ours was tied down and luckily stayed put!). It was the wettest day we had seen so far, and the visibility was a little limited on and off the water. The waves were rather awesome, and we had a great time boosting around the track. We sailed two tidy races, starting slowly but chipping away well and letting other people make the mistakes, and came out of the day with two race wins.
This put us in a semi-comfortable spot going into the final double points medal race, we were nine points ahead, so we just had to make sure we sailed a clean race, and as long as we were top five, we were definitely safe. We had a slightly poor start as we really did not want to be over, and rounded the first top mark in seventh with all the boats we had to keep an eye on either behind us, or not far ahead.
From there we just chipped away at the boats in front, and moved up to third by the finish (then accidentally capsized crossing the finish line). Which was enough to give us the regatta win by twenty points, with the American girls sailing a great race to move up the leader board to second, infront of the Brits in third.
Awesomely for NZL Team 470, Paul and Jason had their best ever World Cup regatta, and took out the bronze in the men's event after leading the regatta part way through (after four race wins in a row!) so we are really looking forward to training with them over the next few weeks!
So now a few days off, and then back into it! With plenty left to work on before the Games, and the clock ticking down...
Thank you for all your support
Jo & Polly
Thank you to all our supporters and suppliers: Yachting New Zealand, High Performance Sport NZ, Harken, Donaghys, Kaenon Sunglasses, Lynn River and Mackay Boats.
Thank you also to Nathan Handley, our awesome coach, and the third member of Team Jolly!