NZL Sailing Team- Womens Match Racers qualify NZ for 2012 Olympics

Susannah Pyatt, Jenna Hansen, Stephanie Hazard - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Kristine Lederis
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt have finished their match racing regatta today with an impressive ninth place overall. At the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, these three sailors have qualified New Zealand a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games.

'It was a very very long event' Susannah said after their last day of racing today. 'All the teams were so even, each day was important.'

Although they narrowly missed out on the quarter final round due to a tie break (top eight teams only), this is not an achievement to be taken lightly. The fleet has been extremely competitive; an illustration of this is that the team that won the Olympic test event this year was unable to even qualify their country.

'It was mixed emotions when we got off the water. We were stoked to have just qualified the nation convincingly, but it was nerve-wracking waiting for the other results to come in to see if we made the next round' Said Susannah.

Meanwhile racing continued in the other four fleets, two races for the Men’s RS:X, Laser and Women’s 470, and three for the men’s 49er.

Tom Ashley was the NZL Sailing Team’s top performer today, he placed third and fourth in his two races on the centre course of Bathers Bay. This racing area is developing a reputation of being the most difficult race course, partly due to the shifty conditions, and Tom wisely navigated the breeze and has moved up in the overall standings to fourth.

The men’s laser course saw some big changes in overall standings, and Andrew Murdoch has re-set the pace for the Lasers of the NZL Sailing Team. He has climbed up the leader board and now sits in eighth overall after the first two days of racing.

'I got a yellow flag during the start of the second race, and that was my best race so far in the regatta' Andrew said. A yellow flag is the judge’s penalty signal for a rule 42 (pumping) infringement, and Andrew managed a fourth place finish in that race even after the unfortunate start. 'Sailing through the fleet like that was a bit of a confidence builder'

Wednesday is the last day of sailing in the relatively even yellow/blue/red qualifying pools. On Thursday, the Men’s RS:X, Laser and 49er will be split into fleets based on their results from this regatta (gold/silver/bronze fleets). The women’s 470 fleet remain in one fleet throughout the regatta due to their smaller fleet size.

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships

Womens Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
9th overall- final result

New Zealand’s current standings

49er- 67 Teams
4th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (5, 3, 2, 16, 6, 6)
28th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (34DNC, 13, 18, 17, 11, 5)
61st Chris Burgess and Rohan Swanson (26, 29, 34DNC, 22, 29, 30)

470 Women- 48 Teams
10th Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (7, 4, 14, 25)
41st Vicki Francis and Erica Dawson (32, 43, 43, 44)

Men’s Laser- 147 Competitors
8th Andrew Murdoch (6, 7, 7, 4)
12th Mike Bullot (12, 4, 2, 12)
20th Andrew Maloney (17, 5, 2, 13)
21st Sam Meech (12, 11, 4, 10)
28th Josh Junior (7, 3, 5 32)
95th Tom Saunders (26, 35, 12, 50DNF )

RS:X Men’s- 89 Competitors
4th Tom Ashley (2, 7, 3, 2)
12th JP Tobin (6, 4, 6, 10)
57th Antonio Cozzolino (26, 32,25, 33)
80th Carl Evans (38, 47DNF, 34, 38)