Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie - from P-Class to Olympic Gold Medal

by Jodie Bakewell-White on 18 Sep 2012
Selling the Dream - P-class gathered around Team NZ’s America’s Cup boats in 2000 Powrie Images

The ‘Mighty P-Class’ – the little kiwi boat nearly all of New Zealand’s best sailors ‘did time’ in as a junior sailor is arguably this nation’s secret to continually producing world beating sailors’ in all disciplines of the sport.

New Zealand's latest Olympic champions, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, secured their place in New Zealand sailing history collecting the Women’s 470 Gold Medal last month in Weymouth, England. Both sailed the P-Class in their formative years.

This Sunday, when Jo and Olivia re-visit their junior Yacht Club they will be re-united with the actual P-Class yachts they each sailed. It’s the annual Kohimarama Yacht Club opening day heralding the start of the summer sailing season and this year will be extra special for yacht club members with the gold medal sailors along as special guests.

Thanks to some quick work from long-time club member Peter Wilkinson, Olivia’s original P-Class is being purchased for the Yacht Club returning from its recent home in Wellington in time for Sunday’s opening day.

'Polly’s [Olivia] P class was built by Russ Trainor of Torbay and then I painted it and rigged it,' tells Sefton Powrie, Olivia’s Dad. 'Miranda and Tom [Olivia’s siblings] sailed it before Polly. We lent it to James Williamson and he won the Tanner Cup in it.'

'Russ also built Mark Kennedy’s P class another Tanner cup winner. They were fast,' he continues. 'I think these were about the last of Russ’s, he was probably about 80 then!'

Jo’s P-Class, safely gathering dust under a house in recent years, will also be at the Kohimarama Yacht Club on Sunday. Speaking to Gun Caundle of the P-Class Association in January this year, Jo recalls her boat well:

'The last year I sailed in a P Class I finally got my own good boat. We found it in Christchurch. Just a hull. We got it shipped up, the only one we could find. I remember it arrived all wrapped up in carpet. Within about half an hour I put it downstairs in the living room and stripped all the fittings off,' she explained.

'My mum and I redid the whole boat. We had a deck, so she built a sort of room on the deck so the P class could fit in it. We painted and varnished it. Mum is the handy one, very practical. We got lots of advice. Boat builders lent us stuff, which was all very helpful.'

'This good boat was P345 Impulse. A Griffin. They are pretty quick P Classes. Difference between other P’s, they had (more of) a bow. There was no flat under the front triangle. We had great fun at the Nationals. We turned up for measuring, and they (the measurers) put the jig on and (said), 'It’s in the way.'

'They couldn’t measure it properly (with the jig). There was a loophole in the rules and they couldn’t get the jig to fit properly, so they had to do all these other measurements. About five measurers, umming and arring with tape measures out. But it was legal. It passed.'

Jo and Olivia are excited at the prospect of being re-united with their old boats, and all going well they may even get the chance to hit the water in them one more time this weekend.

From www.yachtingnz.org.nz









Naiad/Oracle SupplierZhik Yachting 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Oh, and by the way we won a million dollars
Sailing history has been made by a New Zealand crew in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing July 11, 2016 - Sailing history has been made by the New Zealand crew of Phil Robertson, Stu Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing - $US1million (NZD $1.37m), with their nail-biting win in the World Match Racing Championships in Sweden.
Posted on 14 Jul
Rio 2016 - Yachting New Zealand defends Olympic selection practices
Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices and criticism by the Chairman of the NZ Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson of the way it treated two Olympic sailors after they had qualified New Zealand for the 2016 Olympic sailing regatta at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in santander in September 2014.
Posted on 9 Jun
Gladwell's Line - Olympic Appeal over in NZ but hotting up in Oz
The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland with the announcement at the end of a Mediation Hearing by the Chairman of the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson, that he would not overturn the two non-selection decisions by Yachting New Zealand.
Posted on 2 Jun
Rio 2016 - Murdoch confirms that he won't Appeal tight selection call
Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors who gave the nod for Rio 2016 to Josh Junior, who will be on his first Olympic regatta. 'I don't think I would get a result in my favour out of the back end of it,' Murdoch told Radio Sport. ït would also hinder Josh's preparation as well.'
Posted on 12 May
Olympic board sailor lashes out as Spanish hope for Olympic windfall
2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio 2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio that has left the boardsailing classes vacant for August's Games, according to a story published on the stuff.co.nz website. The online news arm of Fairfax media has picked up comments from Tobin's Facebook page.
Posted on 12 May
Rio 2016 - Yachting NZ fails to nominate in three Qualified Classes
Yachting NZ have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Yachting New Zealand have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Two singlehanded sailors have been added to the Kiwi Olympic team in the two Mens singlehanded classes - the Finn and Laser. Appeals are being lodged today by two sailors in the Womens events.
Posted on 10 May
Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - First leg lottery dictates RSX leaderboard
2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska had another trying day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska (NZL) had another character-testing day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres in the Women's RSX Windsurfer. However, she moved up the leader board to lie 28th overall in the 40 strong fleet and placed ninth in the first race of Day 2.
Posted on 29 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Strong team but is Yachting's policy too extreme?
On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five double-handers On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five events at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. However despite qualifying in all ten Olympic classes, will only seven be sent?
Posted on 14 Mar
NZL Sailing Team - Three World Champions named in five events for Rio
The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events, this morning at Wakatere Boating Club on Auckland's North Shore. Three of the crews named have won world championships in the current Olympic cycle in their respective classes.
Posted on 13 Mar