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YNZ announces team for 2011 Pre-Olympics in Weymouth

by Jodie Bakewell-White, Yachting NZ on 2 Mar 2011
NZL Sailing Team Yachting NZ

Yachting New Zealand’s appointed selectors have met to decide the New Zealand Team of sailors to compete at the Olympic Test Event Regatta in Weymouth from first – 14th August 2011.

Representatives have been announced in seven of the ten Olympic classes with announcements in the remaining three classes to be made following June’s Sail for Gold Regatta, also on in Weymouth.

Only one place is available per class per country as in the Olympics proper, to be staged in the same venue in 2012.

The selectors have chosen the following sailors in their respective classes:

Laser: Andrew Murdoch
Laser Radial: Sara Winther
Women’s 470: Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
Men’s 470: Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders
Star: Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk
Finn: Dan Slater
49er: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Announcements regarding selection in the Women’s Match Racing, Men’s RS:X and Women’s RS:X events will be made after the 2011 Sail for Gold Regatta which runs from sixth – 11th June 2011.

The YNZ Selectors will continue to monitor sailor performance in the on-going process towards selecting the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team. Places for next year are undecided with the earliest possible selections being made after the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship with others decided in the months leading up to the Games.

The Olympic Test Event, otherwise known as the ‘Pre-Olympics’ is staged at the same time and venue as next year’s ‘real deal’ Olympic Games Regatta giving organisers and national teams an opportunity to fine-tune their preparations.

Other major Olympic class regattas including the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series events and the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships on in Perth late this year all allow for multiple entries from one country in each event. In contrast the Olympic Test Event – like the Olympic Games – allows only one entry per country in each of the ten events.

'The Olympic Test Event is our chance for a full ‘dress rehearsal’ before next year’s Olympics,' explains YNZ Olympic Programme Manager Jez Fanstone. 'Our aim is to be the best prepared we can be come August 2012, and this event is an important part of that process.'

'It’s about knowledge gathering, the opportunity to work together as a team and to fine-tune things as we work towards Weymouth 2012. We’ll be testing our people and plans both on the water and off the water.'

Between now and August these sailors and other members of the NZL Sailing Team will be competing at various ISAF Sailing World Cup Series Regattas including Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma (2-9 April), French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyeres (22-29 April), Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik (24-29 May), Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth (5-11 June) and Kiel Week in Germany (18-22 June).

Another major mark on the 2011 calendar for our Olympic campaigners is the ISAF Sailing World Championships on from 3 – 18 December in Perth bringing together all ten Olympic Class World Championship events (each staged separately in other years) in what will potentially be the largest gathering of Olympic class sailors ever. The December event is significant on the road to the Olympic Games as 75% of national qualification is allocated on performance at this regatta.
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