NZL Sailing Team- Career highs for two kiwi campaigns

Paul and Jason- During the medal race - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Kristine Lederis

After two close medal races today at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships for Men’s Doublehander (470) and Women’s Singlehander (Laser Radial), New Zealand has come out with an eighth and tenth respectively. For Sara Winther in the Laser Radial and Paul Snow-Hansen with Jason Saunders in the 470, these results are personal bests.

'All of the team is not only delighted with their results today but their progress over the last two years and the amount of work they put into preparing for this.' Jez Fanstone, Olympic Programme Manager for Yachting New Zealand reflected on the recent achievements of these two campaigns.

'They both bounced back from less than ideal Olympic test event results earlier this year. The 470 men and Sara have had career best results at this regatta, these are their highlights.' Jez continued 'Both campaigns know they have areas to be worked on and room for improvement and even better results are yet to come.'

To achieve these overall places here off the shores of Fremantle is no small feat at all, especially when considering the calibre of competitors. The boats that were on the start line this week are the same ones that will be winning the medals at the 2012 Olympic Games.

'Paul and Jason were the youngest and least experienced 470 team in the gold fleet, the top 40 in the world, and so they were boxing outside their weight category.' Hamish Willcox, coach of Paul and Jason is pleased with their outcome at this regatta.

Sara Winther- During the medal race - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Kristine Lederis

Today the men’s 470 pair of Paul and Jason started well and sailed fast upwind, but one wrong decision on the final downwind leg pushed them back to a seventh. Until that point, they had been in the lead five for the whole race.

'They have come a long way in a very short time, they’ve only really been in the 470 for two and a half years and the exciting thing is we don’t know how far they can raise the bar. The result of this performance is that they can realistically aim for a medal in 2012.' Hamish concluded.

Sara Winther also had a great start in the Laser Radial medal race, showing good speed and was leading the third leg. Unfortunately, she was one of the handful of sailors penalized under rule 42 (pumping) and subsequently was out of the race.

'I’m really pleased that Sara has had a career best at this regatta, this is the first time she made the top ten at a World Championship.' Mark Orams is Sara’s lead coach, he continues: 'She’s worked really hard over the last 18 months and in particular the thing I’m most proud of is that she’s one of the smallest girls in the fleet, and to make the top ten in a place such as this is something she can be very proud of too.'

The women’s match racing squad of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt continued their regatta in good form today with three wins and only one loss.

The first half of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships are now over, with racing in the Women’s RS:X, Radial, Men’s 470 and Finn class coming to an end today.

Tomorrow, the Men’s RS:X, 49er, Laser and Women’s 470 commence racing, and stormy weather is predicted.

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
New Zealand’s Final Standings

470 Men
8th Gold Fleet - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders (13, 10, 12, 16, 18, 14)
16th Silver Fleet- James Turner and Matthew Jones (9, 20, 11, 17, 7)
17th Silver Fleet - Luke Stevenson and Sam Bullock (4, 11, 17, 8, 41DNF)
29th Silver Fleet- Gareth Moore and Ben Goodwin (22, 31, 21, 29, 24)
32nd Silver Fleet- Mike Snow-Hansen and Derek Snow (31, 41DNF, 34, 27, 26)

Laser Radial
10th Gold Fleet - Sara Winther (4, 26, 15, 15, 15, 22)
38th Gold Fleet - Miranda Powrie (45, 8, 32, 39, 48)
4th Silver Fleet - Rachel Basevi (1, 8, 52DNS, 6)

21st Gold Fleet -Dan Slater (23, 7, 20, 19, 18)
28th Gold Fleet-Matt Coutts (26, 30, 18, 37OCS, 21)
10th Silver Fleet- Nik Burfoot (12, 4, 16, 17, 6)
21st Silver Fleet- Brad Douglas (23, 17, 17, 15, 37DNC)
28th Silver Fleet- Rob Coutts (32, 28 25, 19, 20)

RS:X Womens
26th Gold Fleet - Steff Williams (34, 27, 23, 21, 16)
1st Silver Fleet -Natalia Kosinska (1, 2, 9, 2, 1)
7th Silver Fleet- Justina Sellers (4, 17, 3, 7, 5)

Womens Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
5 Wins, 3 losses- Stage 2 Round Robin