Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Two Young Kiwis finish in top eight at Sailing World Cup Regatta

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Two young Kiwis have finished in the top eight at the 2009 Semaine Olympique Francaise Regatta which has now concluded in Hyeres, France. 20 year old James Sandall from Hawkes Bay finished 5th overall and 19 year old Josh Junior from Wellington finished 8th.

Sandall, who represents the Wairoa Yacht Club in Hawkes Bay, climbed up the leaderboard as the ISAF Grade 1 regatta progressed and stormed into the top ten on the penultimate day of racing earning a place in the medal race. Sailing off against some of the world’s best Laser sailors in last night’s double points race Sandall was 6th across the line securing him 5th overall. His final pointscore was equal to that of the German sailor who won the medal race and took 4th place overall on count back. This is by far Sandall’s best result in a top international regatta to date.

An 8th place for Josh Junior from Worser Bay Boating Club, Wellington is also an impressive result, bettering his 11th placing at the most recent of the European regattas, Princess Sofia Mapfre in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Junior was lying 5th going into last night’s medal race but was deemed across the start line early, which saw him slip to 8th overall.

“This is a really good result for both these guys at a top European regatta,” comments Jez Fanstone, Yachting New Zealand’s Olympic Programme Director. “To make the top ten and get the opportunity to start in the medal race is a great achievement and really puts them on a steep learning curve.”

The top spot in the Laser class went Great Britain’s Paul Goodison who won Olympic Gold in China last year. Maxim Semerkhanov of Russia was second and Matias Del Solar of Chile was third.

Semaine Olympique Francaise is the fourth of seven regattas which make up the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series. The event attracted a fleet of 140 in the Laser class.
Next in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series is Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands which runs 27th – 31st May 2009.

New Zealand’s Final Results

Laser (140 boats)
James Sandall 5th (Wairoa Yacht Club)
Josh Junior 8th (Worser Bay Boating Club)
Mike Bullot 25th (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Andy Maloney 29th (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Matt Coutts 47th (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Sam Meech 48th (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Blair McLay 74th (Torbay Sailing Club)

Laser Radial (54 boats)
Sara Winther 20th (Takapuna Boating Club)

Women’s RS:X (32 boards)
Justina Sellers 24th (Takapuna Boating Club)

Yachting New Zealand

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