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sail-world.com -- New Zealand opens 2016 Olympic account in Palma on Monday

New Zealand opens 2016 Olympic account in Palma on Monday    
Thu, 28 Mar 2013


A team of New Zealand’s Olympic class sailors are gearing up for ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma where racing is set to get underway on Easter Monday. This ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta runs over six days from April 1st-6th,,and is part of the six event ISAF World Cup tour, which began in Melbourne, Australia in December 2012.

With the NZL Sailing Team’s 2012 Olympic medalists – targeting other international regattas in coming months, and not sailing in Palma, the door is open for some of the less well known campaigners to make their mark early on in the four year Olympic cycle.

Eleven kiwi individuals or crews, including five NZL Sailing Team members, are entered in six events; they include…

Andrew Murdoch – Finn (NZL Sailing Team)
Josh Junior - Finn
Andy Maloney – Laser (NZL Sailing Team)
Sam Meech - Laser (NZL Sailing Team)
Thomas Saunders - Laser
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox - 470 Men (NZL Sailing Team)
Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson 470 Men
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team)
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders - Nacra 17
Tomer Simhony (sailing with an international partner) - Nacra 17

Double Olympian in the Laser class, this will be Andrew Murdoch's international debut sailing in the Finn class. The Northland sailor has switched classes opening his Finn campaign at New Zealand’s domestic regattas – 2013 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland and the 2013 Finn National Championships.

Josh Junior will be the other kiwi to watch in the Finn class.

Lining up in the 49er event are key training partners to Peter Burling and Blair Tuke during the last cycle, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski – they will be the NZL Sailing Team’s only entrant in the 49er skiff class in Palma this year. Placing sixth in last year’s 49er World Championships the pair, both just 20 years of age, earned their place in the NZL Sailing Team and clearly have the talent to produce results when starting in a world class fleet.

A total of three kiwis will compete in the Laser including Andy Maloney fresh from a silver podium finish at Musannah Race Week in Oman where a good number of the world’s top Laser sailors were getting familiar with their 2013 World Championship venue (mid November). Sam Meech and Thomas Saunders are the other two New Zealanders in the fleet.

2012 Olympian Paul Snow-Hansen has a new partner in Dan Willcox, preparing now for the start of racing in the Men’s 470 class in Palma.

: And New Zealand sailors will race in two events new to the Olympic schedule for 2016 Rio including the 49er FX chosen as the Women’s skiff, and also the Nacra 17 selected as the mixed multihull boat for the next Olympic Games.

Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have dominated in the 49erFX at Australian and New Zealand regattas during the southern summer and will be eagerly anticipating the chance to race in a large international fleet at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma.

Jason Saunders, 2012 Olympian in the 470 class, is now in partnership with Gemma Jones taking on the exciting challenge of the mixed multihull class – the Nacra 17.

Coaches and support to the NZL Sailing Team in Palma include…

Jez Fanstone
Hamish Willcox
Nathan Handley
Mark Howard

by Jodie Bakewell-White edited by Sail-World



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