Monday, 20 June 2011

Skandia Sail for Gold : Triple medal haul for NZL Sailing Team

2011 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is over and the NZL Sailing Team took one gold and two silver medals, and a total of nine in the top ten

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) on top of the podium in the Women's 470. Image copyright onEdition.

by Jodie Bakewell-White

This makes New Zealand was the third best performing nation, behind Great Britain and France, at this crucial ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta just concluded at Weymouth, England – the 2012 Olympic venue.

470 Women: Jo Aleh and Olivia (Polly) Powrie secured the gold medal sailing a smart medal race last night safeguarding their 16 point leading margin. They crossed the line in 5th and ended the regatta 18 points clear of 2nd place.

Jo Aleh’s record for 2011 shows a clean sweep of wins at the major international events in which she has appeared starting with Princess Sofia Regatta, Spain (April), the International 470 Spring Cup, France (April) and now at Skandia Sail for Gold, England.

In a close battle for the minor podium places the silver medal went to local sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke and the bronze to Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron of France.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie will be back in Weymouth in August to represent New Zealand at the 2011 Olympic Test Event otherwise known as the Pre-Olympics; however selection for the 2012 Olympic Games is assured until next year.

RS:X Men: Jon-Paul Tobin had to settle for silver after an exciting on-water two-way battle went the way of the local sailor Nick Dempsey who claimed the gold.

“Coming into the medal race with a one point advantage over Nick Dempsey the Gold simply came down to who beat who,” explains Tobin. “From the gun it was on...just four seconds between us at the finish in favour of Nick giving him the overall by one point.”

Despite missing the gold this is Tobin’s best ever result on the RS:X at an ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta.

Tom Ashley finished the regatta in 9th place.

Just who will line up for New Zealand at the Olympic Test Event a couple of months from now is yet to be announced by Yachting New Zealand, and like the other classes, Olympic selection for 2012 is not determined until next year.

Laser: New Zealand’s second silver medal went to Andrew Murdoch in the Laser who shares the podium with Tom Slingsby of Australia who easily secured the gold, and Paul Goodison of great Britain who couldn’t topple Murdoch in last night’s medal race and had to settle for bronze.

While Slingsby delivered the safe, smart medal race finish required for the overall win the battle for silver between the kiwi and the Brit was much tighter and Murdoch needed the fortitude to finish ahead of Goodison to secure the silver.

But the local crowd had to watch their man round the first mark in last place only improving to 9th at the finish, while Murdoch placed 5th to take the silver.

This result coupled with his World Championship bronze just last year, Murdoch continues to demonstrate to the four other Laser sailors on the NZL Sailing Team just what it takes to get the results when it matters.

Like Aleh and Powrie, Murdoch has already been named in the New Zealand team to return to Weymouth for the Olympic Test Event in August where typically just one representative from each nation can start in each of the ten Olympic classes.

Younger kiwi campaigner Andy Maloney was also in last night’s medal race and was able to improve his final placing from 9th to 8th when he crossed the line in 5th place.

Other top ten results: While five of the top ten finishes for the NZL Sailing Team came in the Women’s 470, the Laser and the Men’s RS:X – the remainder came in the Laser Radial, the Men’s 470, the Star and the Finn.

Dan Slater was 6th in the Finn medal race which sees him finish 6th overall. Over in the Radial Sara Winther finished the regatta in 9th place, as did Star sailors Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk. Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders also claimed top ten coming home in 10th overall in the Men’s 470.

2011 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta
New Zealand Final Results

470 Women (45 entries)
1st Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie

RS:X Men (86 entries)
2nd JP Tobin
9th Tom Ashley
Silver fleet 38th Carl Evans

Laser (123 entries)
2nd Andrew Murdoch
8th Andy Maloney
19th Sam Meech
23rd Josh Junior
29th Mike Bullot
Silver fleet 42nd Spencer Loxton

470 Men (77 entries)
10th Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders

49er (63 entries)
12th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Finn (59 entries)
6th Dan Slater
26th Matt Coutts
52nd Bradley Douglas

Radial (91 entries)
9th Sara Winther
29th Miranda Powrie

RS:X Women (59 entries)
16th Natalia Kosinska
22nd Stephanie Williams
Silver fleet 11th Justina Sellers
Silver fleet 13th Jazmine Lynch

Star (41 entries)
9th Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk

Women’s Match Racing (24 entries)
19th Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt

2.4 metre (34 entries)
21st Joshua McKenzie-Brown

SKUD18 (17 entries)
8th Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel

NZL Sailing Team
Skandia Sail for Gold regatta