NZL Sailing Team: First Olympic selections announced

The NZ sailors announced on 21 December 2011 for the 2012 Olympic Regatta
Kristine Lederis
The first members of an expected 200-strong New Zealand Olympic Team were named today.

NZL Sailing Team Logo are New Zealand’s National Sailing team competing in Olympic sailing events
Yachting NZ
The team announced at a function at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is as follows:

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (Women’s 470)
Andrew Murdoch (Laser)
Jon Paul Tobin (RS:X)
Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders (Men’s 470)
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt (Women’s Match Racing)
Sara Winther (Laser Radial)

The sailor's nomination and selection followed top ten performances at the recently concluded ISAF World Sailing Championships in Perth. New Zealand won one silver and two bronze medals at the Championships, at which all Olympic classes compete every fourth year before the Olympics

Olympic Scholarship holders Blair Tuke and Peter Burling (49er) won silver at Perth on the back of a bronze win earlier this year at the Olympic Test event.

'We’re really growing in confidence and moving steadily up the results table,' said Tuke, heading for his first Olympic Games. 'Being named to the Olympic team is a huge boost and we’re focused on an even better performance at Weymouth in 2012. '

Susannah Pyatt, Jenna Hansen, Stephanie Hazard - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Kristine Lederis
Burling represented New Zealand in Beijing where he finished tenth in the 470 class. 'The Olympic Games are an opportunity to once again represent my country with pride.'

Yachting New Zealand Olympic Director Jez Fanstone says the athletes make up a young team with strong podium potential.

'The athletes named today are the in-form athletes who have performed at the 2011 ISAF worlds and who are on track to perform at London 2012,' he said.

'Our goal is to learn the lessons from these worlds, to continue improving and to be back on the podium in 2012. Today’s announcement is a celebration of a successful World Championship and a successful year for the NZL Sailing team.'

There are nine athletes under 25 years of age in the sailing team and equal mix of male and female sailors.

There are three remaining classes not yet selected – Finn, Star and Women’s RS:X. The Star class is yet to qualify an Olympic spot for New Zealand. The process will continue until the completion of class world championships in 2012.

The 2012 Olympic sailing course is situated at Weymouth where conditions are expected to favour the New Zealand team. 'They’re well-balanced conditions not un-like the East Coast Bays of Auckland,' said Fanstone.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders leading the 470 fleet downwind. Photo by Ocean Images.
Alex Ocean Images

2012 Olympic Sailing Team

Men’s single handed class- Laser
Andrew Murdoch
Yacht Club: Kerikeri Cruising Club
Age: 29 years

Women’s single handed class- Laser Radial
Sara Winther
Yacht Club: Takapuna Boating Club
Age: 30 years

Mens double handed class- 470
Paul Snow-Hansen
Yacht Club: Wakatere Boating Club
Age: 21 years
Jason Saunders
Yacht Club: Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club
Age: 21 years

Women’s double handed class- 470
Jo Aleh
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Age: 25 years
Olivia Powrie
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Age: 24 years

Men’s skiff class- 49er
Peter Burling
Yacht Club: Tauranga Yacht Club
Age: 20 years
Blair Tuke
Yacht Club: Kerikeri Cruising Club
Age: 22 years

Women’s Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Sandspit Yacht Club
Age 22 years
Jenna Hansen
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Whangarei Cruising Club
Age: 25 years
Susannah Pyatt
Yacht Club:Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Murrays Bay Sailing Club
Age: 21 years

Men's Windsurfing RS:X
Jon-Paul Tobin
Yacht Club: Takapuna Boating Club
Age: 34

Other may be added to the team dependent on performances major regattas until June 2012
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