Yachting NZ appoints Jez Fanstone (GBR) as new Olympic Program Manager

New YNZ Olympic Programme Manager, Jez Fanstone (foreground) with triple Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie (GBR) in the background as they wait for the start of a race in the Finn class at Qingdao in the 2008 Olympics.

Yachting New Zealand today announced the appointment of Jez Fanstone, as the new Olympic Programme Manager.

He takes over from Rod Davis, who held the role through to the end of the 2008 Olympics.

The appointment of Fanstone is seen as something of a coup for Yachting New Zealand, as his previous role was with the British Olympic Yachting Team, where he was triple Olympic Gold medalist, Ben Ainslie's coach in the Finn class. For the last five years Ainslie has absolutely dominated the Finn class winning five world championships and two Olympic Gold medals.

Fanstone will also bring the knowledge of the 'British system' to the yachting New Zealand Olympic programme.

Fanstone started work this week with Yachting New Zealand, and doesn't see any major changes being made at this stage. 'I've seen all the plans, it all looks good to me and it all makes sense', he told Sail-World.

Married to double round the world sailor, Leah Newbold (NZL), Fanstone has been living in New Zealand for two years and has two children.

We will feature a full interview with Jez Fanstone tomorrow in Sail-World.

Tom Ashley (centre) receives his Olympic medal in Qingado

Yachting New Zealand also announced that Olympic board sailing gold medalist, Tom Ashley, will be joining their staff in an advisory role. Ashley will continue his 2012 Olympic campaign, while taking a year off from international sailing, but still maintaining his physical training including running a marathon.

He will attend Auckland University studying Law, this year. His sailing will be restricted to NZ competitions including Sail Auckland regatta and the RS:X Nationals.

Ashley told Sail-World that he was had promised himself to give away board sailing for a year leading into the 2008 Olympics, however after a break from the sport, he had got the old fire back, and was ready to go again.

Sail-World will also feature an interview with Tom Ashley in tomorrow's edition.

See TVNZ's Martin Tasker's report by http://tvnz.co.nz/othersports-news/ashley-confirms-golden-defence-2455117/video!clicking_here