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Top Kiwi Olympic hope injured in cycling accident

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World on 22 Mar 2011
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie power up the beat - Sail Auckland - 2011 - Day 2 © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com

Olivia Powrie, silver medalist at the 2010 Womens World 470 Championships, and a former womens world champion in the 420 class, has been injured in a cycling accident.

She will be replaced as a crew for some of the European regattas ahead of the vital qualification for 2012 Olympics in Perth in December.

Powrie crews for Jo Aleh, a 2008 Olympic representative in the Laser Radial class. The two sailors re-combined in 2009 to contest the Womens 470 and placed a very creditable second in the 2010 World Championships. They were best performed crew in the NZL Sailing Team in 2010.

NZL Sailing Team comprises New Zealand's top ranked sailors building up for the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth.

Details of the accident were revealed in a newsletter published by Team Jolly (Olivia 'Polly' Powrie and Jo Aleh).

Their newsletter reads:

Hi Everyone

Slightly different news this time, with a successful end to summer, followed by a slight accident, and a change of plans for the next month or so...

So we will start with the good!

We rounded off our summer at the NZ Women's Match Racing Nationals, with a convincing 3:0 win in the finals, over top New Zealand match racer Stephanie Hazard and her Koru Racing team. The winning team consisted of Polly on the helm, Miranda Powrie (main), Jo on trim, Merran Walbridge (bow) and Anita Trudgen (everything else!).

It was a great change from the 470, especially with switching over the helming/crewing roles! We learned a great deal, and went from the first day of struggling to get the boat handling right, to the last day where we were slick and not to mention rather quick...

We may not have had the greatest team colour scheme going, but we enjoyed every race, and the fun factor certainly showed through when the going got tough, awesome team, an an awesome weekend!

So combined with our 470 Womens National title, Jo's Laser Radial National Title, and this latest success, overall we can be pretty confident in saying we are staying near the top of womens racing in NZ..

Then comes the other news.... not quite such a happy note...

Last Sunday Polly was injured in an accident out on a training ride and hence will not be able to sail for some weeks. So while she works hard at recovering, rather than sit around in NZ, Jo will leave for Spain as planned and head to Palma for the first European World Cup event of the year, to sail with Bianca Barbarich-Bacher, who will be filling in for the next two regattas until Polly is able to get on the water again.

A slight set-back, but nothing that will hamper our overall aims, after all, it can't be too easy, and everything that doesn't kill us only makes us stronger...

Thank you for all the support.
Jo & Polly

Website: www.teamjollyracing.com

Special thanks to our supporters and suppliers:

SPARC and the New Zealand Academy of Sport, Yachting New Zealand, Donaghys, Kaenon Sunglasses, Harken, Mackay Boats and Quantum Sails.




The pics attached are:

1)

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