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New Zealand's Olympic Hopes Are Strengthened

New Zealand's Olympic Hopes Are Strengthened

Date Released: May 16th
From: Julia Faire


New Zealand has Two Top Ten Results at the Finn European Championships
Dean Barker has finished 4th at the Finn European Championship sailed off La Rochelle in France and has won the New Zealand Finn selection trial. Clifton Webb finished in 9th position, with Peter Fox in 12th position.

Winning the regatta in convincing style was Mateusz Kusznierewicz from Poland ahead of World Champion, Ben Ainslie from Great Britain. Kusznierewicz had six top three placing’s in the nine race series and must be a favourite heading into the Olympics.

One race was sailed on the last day. Webb ended the regatta with a 10th, Barker had a 16th and Fox had a 20th. In a fleet of 90 competitive sailors, New Zealand was the only nation to finish with more than one sailor in the top 14 and in fact all 3 sailors were in this top bunch. As Barker said “It was a very hard regatta as the other Kiwi guys sailed really well and made it hard for me”.

Dean Barker is most widely known in New Zealand as an America’s Cup skipper. However Barker has also had a hugely successful dinghy boat career that stems back to the P Class. He is a former P Class Champion, a Youth World Champion and was one of the top ranked Laser sailors in the World in the early nineties. In 1996 he narrowly missed out on selection for the Olympics in the Finn Class to Craig Monk.

Moreover Barker, who recently said he only got back into the Finn to improve his sailing, has once again shown he is a force to be reckoned with in any class of yacht he sails.

When asked about his build up preparations for Athens, Barker said that he is very happy with the improvements made since the World Championship earlier this year where he was 12th. “But there’s still a long way to go on the learning curve”.

Barker’s 4th position at the European Championships puts him in excellent stead for the Olympic Games, only 89 days away.

Sharon Ferris, Joanna White and Kylie Jameson have finished 10th at the Yngling Womens World Championship, and Zealand has Finished 7th Nation.
Sharon Ferris, Joanna White and Kylie Jameson have finished in 10th spot at the Women’s Yngling World Championships sailed off Santander in Spain. Compatriots, Alesha Thorpe, Karen Lambert and Michelle Vinsen finished 20th.

Ferris and team went into the last day of racing knowing that while they had won the selection trial for New Zealand and the class had qualified, they still had business to do in achieving a top ten place. After notching up a 19th place in the last race they have finished in the top ten at the Worlds.

Denmark’s Trine Palludan, Christina Otzen and Ida Hartvig won the World Championship and the selection trial for Denmark just ahead of their fellow country rivals Dorte O.Jensen and team. The Bronze medal went to Carol Cronin and team from USA. The final four nations to qualify were: Holland, New Zealand, Norway and Canada.

New Zealand’s Alesha Thorpe and team finished 10th in the last race, and have also shown promise at the World Championship. Of the ten races, Thorpe and team had 4 top ten placing’s but this was not enough to win the selection trial for New Zealand.

However Ferris, White and Jameson, will now focus on preparing for the Olympic Games. Ferris is no stranger to the magnitude of pressure placed on Olympians as she competed for New Zealand in the 1996 Games, sailing in the Europe Dinghy Class. She was 5th at those Games. After 1996, Ferris went on to sail keelboats and compete in the international women’s keelboat match racing scene. She achieved some solid international performances, and was placed in the top five in several international keelboat regattas. In 2002, Ferris completed some of the legs in the Volvo Around the World race. Later that year, Ferris started racing the Yngling and over the course of time has achieved some impressive results, winning the Bronze medal at the Open World Championships in 2003 and, in 2004 winning the Rolex Miami OCR regatta.

Given there were only 6 nations ahead of Ferris and r team at these World Championships, one can say with certainty it is going to be a hotly contested Olympic event, but one where New Zealand is poised to do well in. As Ferris says “We’ll be going there with a medal on our minds”.


For more information contact Yachting New Zealand on 09 488 9325


New Zealand's Laser Representatives are All Showing Solid Form at the Laser World Championships
Day 2 of racing at the Laser World Championships had New Zealand’s Hamish Pepper slip from first position to now lie in 9th position. Matthew Blakey is in 19th position, Michael Bullot is 24th and Andrew Murdoch is 29th position.

It is only the second day of the qualifying phase at the Worlds where 145 sailors are competing. Like the Finn Class, all of New Zealand representatives are showing solid form. Andrew Murdoch had the best day on the water notching up a 9th and 8th result in his qualifying fleet. Pepper had a 29th and 7th, Blakey had a 17th and 13th and Bullot had a 22nd and 35th.

Leading the Championship after 4 races is 7 times former World Champion Robert Schiedt from Brazil.

NZL positions as they stand:

Hamish Pepper 9th
Matthew Blakey 19th
Michael Bullot 24th
Andrew Murdoch 29th

The Laser World Championships will conclude on 19th May.

For more information: www.laserinternational.org

Shelley Hesson and Linda Dickson had the Best Day of the Kiwi sailors at the 470 World Championships

At the end of day six of the 470 World Championship sailed in Croatia, Shelley Hesson and Linda Dickson are currently the top performing Kiwis at the regatta, in 15th position. Stephen Keen and Philip Keen are the top Kiwi men in 29th position.

Hesson and Dickson had a successful day on the water, notching up a 4th, 15th and 4th placing in the three races and, depending on tomorrow’s performance, the duo could move into the top ten. Sweden’s Therese Torgersson and Vendela Zachrisson go into the final day at the top of the leader board.

In the men’s racing, the Keen brothers slipped down the leader board and scored a 23rd, 25th and 30th in the days racing. Nathan Wilmont and Malcolm Page from Australia lead the men’s World Championship.

Positions as they stand:
Womens fleet
Shelley Hesson / Linda Dickson 15th
Melinda Henshaw / Jan Shearer 42nd
Mens Fleet
Stephen Keen / Phillip Keen 29th
Andrew Brown / Jamie Hunt 37th
Simon Cooke / Alistair Gair 41st

For more information go to: www.uskok.biz.hr/470wc2004

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