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New Zealand Paralympic sailing team make their mark at 2013 OCR Miami

by David Shacklady on 4 Feb 2013
David Shacklady

The New Zealand Paralympics sailing team, made up of some of the countries finest sailors David Barnes, Rick Dodson, Andrew May and coached by Steve Cranch managed to make their mark on the 2013 Rolex OCR Miami Regatta.

The team were open minded going into the event seeing as they hadn’t been sailing together long, not to mention the fact they hadn’t laid eyes on a Sonar before.

David Barnes and Rick Dodson are two of New Zealand’s most accomplished sailors with both of them being on the Americas Cup teams, plus hold multiple world championship titles in the 470 Class and OK Dinghy championships, to list a few of their career accomplishments. Andrew May a two time Paralympian with numerous sailing accomplishments, joins David and Rick as bow man.

After only three days training in the Sonar, the team where ready to compete and represent N.Z. Over 10 races the team sailed exceptionally well picking up an incredible first place in Race 7, against the current Paralympics Sonar medallists and a well fought two fourth places in Races 2 & 6. The team experienced a few challenges before Race 9 after breaking headsail halyard, but managed to get themselves back in time (just) to start race 10.

The N.Z team finished up sixth overall which is greatly commendable effort. 'Its been a great regatta and we have learned so much coming to Miami, that is has proved invaluable' says coach Steve Cranch.

The team now return to New Zealand in order to plan for their next competition

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