Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, Team Jolly, on their way to another Gold medal. Image copyright Sander van der Borch
by Jodie Bakewell-White
The NZL Sailing Team is back on the podium collecting three medals today in Medemblik, the Netherlands at 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta.
It is gold for Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, silver for Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox and bronze for Andy Maloney at round two of the inaugural EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Series.
With seven race wins across eleven races sailed the reigning Olympic Champions Aleh and Powrie dominated the four days of qualifying and finals racing heading into today’s medal race in the lead. Yet, with a new scoring format, they needed more than ever to return a good result in today’s single race – they took another win, and secured the gold medal for New Zealand.
Aleh describes the day; “After a rather shaky start (we had support on shore cringing) we got right back in there to round the top mark in 3rd, then chipped away at the boats ahead. After a good little battle with the American girls, we took the lead half way up the last beat, and stayed ahead to win the race, and therefore the regatta overall.”
“Thanks to Simon Cooke for making it over here to coach us for this event - it’s been great to have a new set of eyes on the water.”
"We had a big rest after London and only raced at home for Sail Auckland. We are happy with the way we are going but there are lots of new faces and we will know where we are at when we race at the Worlds in July," says Aleh.
This is Aleh and Powrie’s second major European regatta since the London Olympic Games and they now head to France for the 2013 470 European Championship, building towards the 2013 470 World Championships on in La Rochelle, France from July 30- August 11.
With a gold medal at both Garda Olympic Week earlier this month and now here in Medemblik the kiwi pair appear to still have some magic – but as Aleh points out the World Championships will be the real test where a full turn out of the world’s best is expected.
New Zealand took another medal race win in Medemblik today with Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox taking out the Men’s 470 race which featured the top six placed boats in a high pressure on-water battle.
The race win saw them leap from 4th position to take the silver medal in their event, not quite enough to overtake the Olympic Champ Matt Belcher who crossed in 2nd today to win gold for Australia.
With good consistency throughout the series, topped off with today’s medal race win, this performance from Snow-Hansen and Willcox indicates that they’re coming together nicely as a new combination. Like Aleh and Powrie they’re focussed on preparing for the 2013 World Championships around two months from now.
Once again the close rivalry in the Laser fleet produced a dramatic finish in today’s medal race where the standings were tipped on their head and overall leader Australia’s Tom Burton took a dive finishing last in the medal race, relegated to 4th overall and out of the medals. Meanwhile the gold went to local sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg who was lying 4th but won the medal race and the regatta.
New Zealand’s Andy Maloney sailed away with 4th place today which was enough to secure him a podium finish. Today’s bronze is Andy Maloney’s third medal for 2013 after winning gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres and also at EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup, Garda.
Team-mate Sam Meech took 3rd place in the medal race today and finished in 5th overall in another strong performance from the Tauranga sailor. Both Andy Maloney and Sam Meech are on the entry list for the next round of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup which heads to the UK for Sail for Gold Regatta on between 8 – 12 June. The 2013 Laser World Championships is on in Oman in November.
Maloney and Meech are also part of the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand that will race for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco this September.
EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup: Delta Lloyd Regatta
NZL Sailing Team final results
1st Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, 470W
2nd Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox, 470M
3rd Andy Maloney, Laser
5th Sam Meech, Laser
Aspiring NZL Sailing Team…
15th James Turner and Carl Evans 470M
7th Natalia Kosinska RS:XW
Regatta website: http://www.deltalloydregatta.org