By winning the today’s medal race at the 2013 470 European Championships in Formia, Italy the NZL Sailing Team women’s 470 pair of Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have won the Silver Medal.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox have finished 8th overall in the Men’s Open 470 European Championship – another strong result for this new partnership.
Going into the day lying 3rd overall Aleh and Powrie are delighted to finish the six day regatta on a high note with today’s race win; 'Great way to finish off the 470 European Champs today,' says Jo Aleh. 'It was always going to be tough to try and move up the leader board, but we did all we could today, with a nice clean race sailed.'
'We had a great start and picked our way up the course to round the top mark in the lead just ahead of the Austrians, who by the way have sailed amazingly this week. The downwind was very tight, but we just got the crucial gybe in, and from there we were able to sail away for the race win.'
After crossing the line the kiwis, who have been supported by Leslie Egnot as Coach at this regatta, turned to watch the finishing order of their rivals which would determine their overall result;
'It was then just a matter of waiting to see where the French and the Austrians ended up,' explains Polly Powrie. 'Luckily for us, we got one out of two, and managed to move up the overall standings to finish in 2nd overall.'
The French pair of Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron crossed the finish today in 3rd to secure the gold medal and a French double-gold across the Men’s and Women’s fleets. It was the Austrian duo of Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar that the kiwis displaced on the leader-board today, and they had to settle for 3rd overall after placing 7th in the medal race.
So far 2013, and their return to international campaigning following Olympic Gold, has gone well for Aleh and Powrie who know all too well the long road ahead to Rio 2016. During this tour they’ve collected two Gold Medals at Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup Regattas in Garda, Italy and Medemblik, Netherlands, and now add this 470 European Open Championship Silver.
The results bode well for the up-coming 2013 470 World Championships around six weeks away. Aleh and Powrie are straight into post regatta pack-up and will depart Formia tomorrow to deliver their boat and equipment to the World Champs venue in La Rochelle, France before flying home to New Zealand for a short break.
While Men’s pairing Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox didn’t get the medal race result they sought, the new combination have consistently finished either in or close to the top ten at all five major international regattas they’ve contested this year.
They describe today’s race; 'Not quite how we would have liked to finish. A 7th place in the medal race put us back to 8th overall. We missed the first bit of pressure and got out of phase. It was very hard from there, happy to pick up one place on the final downwind.'
Snow-Hansen and Willcox will also deliver their gear to La Rochelle and fly home to New Zealand.
The 470 World Championships is on in La Rochelle, France commencing in late July and running into early August. Check out this calendar of Olympic class yachting to find out what’s coming up.
470 Open European Championship, Formia, Italy New Zealand’s Standings
Women (41 boats)
2nd Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (35 points)
Men (69 boats)
8th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox
37th James Turner and Carl Evans
by Jodie Bakewell-White - 9:29 PM Sat 15 Jun 2013 GMT
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