Star NZ Sailors Gain Olympic Spot
The solid performance from Kiwi Duo at the Star Worlds has secured a spot for New Zealand at the Olympic's.
Rohan Lord and Andrew Taylor finished in 18th place at the Star Class World Championships sailed off Italy and have qualified the Star Class for New Zealand. Lord and Taylor were 41st in the last race but their solid results in earlier races enabled them to secure the 4th and final qualifying spot. Other nations to qualify were Denmark, Canada, and Germany.
The Swedish team of Frederik Loof and Anders Estron sailed an impressive regatta to win the World Championship. Switzerland’s Flavio Marazzi & Enrico De Maria finished in 2nd place and Great Britain’s Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell in 3rd place. Loof and Estron are showing excellent form in their build up to the Olympic's, after also winning the European Championships this year.
In a very strong fleet of highly regarded sailors, such as America’s Cup veterans, Paul Cayard and Torben Grael, along with former World Champions and Continental Champions, Lord and Taylor showed they could match it with the best of them. Racing in a fleet of over 100 yachts, Lord and Taylor spent most of the regatta in the top ten, only to slip back into 18th position on the last day of racing.
The Kiwi duo only teamed up last year but it would seem that their combination is exactly what’s needed. Lord is a top dinghy sailor and Taylor is one of the most experienced keelboat sailors around, having been part of New Zealand’s two winning America’s Cup teams.
Simon Wickham, Yachting New Zealand’s CEO, considers that ‘It’s fantastic that they’ve qualified and now have the opportunity for selection. It’s a very good result for such a new combination’.
The Star Class has been a medal winning class for New Zealand at past Olympic Games, where in 1992, Rod Davis and Don Cowie won a silver medal.