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Paris 2024: Yachting New Zealand holds up well in 2024 Olympic funding round

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 16 Dec 2021 15:50 PST 17 December 2021
Start Womens FX Qualifying Race - Tokyo2020 - Day 7- July, 31, - Enoshima, Japan. © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com / nz

Despite returning from Tokyo2020 with the worst medal tally, since the medal-less 2004 Athens Olympics, Yachting New Zealand has gained a funding increase of $425,000 a year over the Toko2020 levels.

In the Funding round announced this morning by Sport NZ has announced, Yachting, as one of eight "Podium" sports, Yachting has gained an increase to $4.837million per year, up from the 2021 level of $4.411million for the 2021 year.

We are waiting on comment from yachting New Zealand as to more details of the breakdown.

On the back of a three Gold and two Silver medal haul, across multiple events and crews, Rowing New Zealand was expected to get a boost and had a $1.5million a year boost to just under $8million per year.

Canoe Racing also got a boost of the same amount as Yachting, to $2.582million per year. Former Olympic yachting gold medalists Tom Ashley (Windsurfing) and Polly Powrie (W470) are employed at Canoe NZ as CEO and Operations manager respectively.

The increase is particularly pleasing given that five of the ten Olympic events will change for Paris2024. While New Zealand won a single medal at Enoshima, Kiwi sailors had two top five placings in the Mens Finn (5th) and Mens 470 (4th) - which extrapolates into three top five finishes out of six events contested. Sadly for NZ, the Finn and Mens 470 have been dropped, by World Sailing for Paris 2024.

The confidence in Yachting will also have been boosted by Tom Saunders' recent win in the Mens Laser World championships. Those Tokyo2024 placings and the Laser Worlds result given some credibility to Yachting New Zealand's processes, rather than having a medal haul that is based primarily around one very talented competitor.

Earlier this week, 2016 Olympic Silver medalists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech announced that they "would be turning a new page" in their sailing careers - with no indication of their new directions, however as well as finding talent for five new Olympic events, they may also be doing the same for the 49erFX. There is also no certainty that Olympic Gold and double Silver medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will be able to continue in the 49er class, given their commitments to SailGP, and the America's Cup - a process which is being worked through with Emirates Team New Zealand.

There has been no indication from Yachting New Zealand how it will work around the draconian Managed Isolation and Quarantine process, and indeed what its policy will be with international competition, given that currently three or four trips away are fairly standard, and on that basis multiple stays in MIQ are not really feasible.

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