NZL’s World Champions go racing in Rio
Yachting New Zealand
6 AUG 2014
NZL Sailing Team Update: NZL’s World Champions go racing in Rio
The NZL Sailing Team’s big guns went racing today in Rio at the Olympic Sailing Test Event (Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014) with some solid results.
49erFX skiff sailors Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech opened the regatta with two consecutive bullets, following that up with a 7th and a 4th to hold 2nd overall in the women’s skiff class.
The reigning world champions, who compete in one of two classes new to the Olympic programme, describe the day’s conditions; "It was quite puffy and really up and down and we had to sail on a lifted tack and try to piece together a nice beat. For the first couple we managed to do that but on the other two we got a bit lost."
Molly Meech continues, "Coming to Rio for the first time we've been trying to learn as much as we can from the venue. So far it's been pretty tricky as most days have been quite different.”
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have also made a strong start collecting a 7th and two 2nd places in today’s three races in the Women’s 470. The world and Olympic champions describe the 17 boat fleet as ‘small but high quality’ noting that this is quite different from the 50+ strong fleets more typical in international racing. Numbers are restricted, much like they are at the Olympic Games sailing regatta.
Jo Aleh says, “We were out on the back paddock today, off Copacabana beach - a long way off and a good 45 minute tow, then sail back because it was too rough to tow.”
“I don’t think we have ever actually sailed in waves like the ones we were out in today, actual ocean swell. Completely awesome, and rather out of control.”
“We had three races in decent breeze, starting out rather slowly and learning race by race, to be leading the second and third races at times, but never managed to quite finish it off. Quite frustrating, as we seemed to have been a little overwhelmed by all the moving water and just forgot some of the basics.”
In the 49er Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are lying 4th after their first day of the regatta. They sailed four races today and recorded a 9th, two 2nds and a 14th. Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (pictured above) are lying 9th.
Racing resumed in the Finn class with both Josh Junior and Andrew Murdoch lifting their overall position on the leader board to 7th and 8th respectively and sharing equal points. Junior sailed away with a win in the last race of the day.
The Nacra multihull fleet sailed three races to kick off the series; New Zealand’s Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have made a great start with a 3rd place in their opener, then a 5th and a 6th to hold 4th place overall just one point off 3rd.
In the Men’s 470 Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox are in 10th while Women’s windsurfer Natalia Kosinska is in 8th.
New Zealand’s Laser sailors in Rio, Sam Meech and Andy Maloney, were on the water for three races today. Meech is the best placed of the two lying 8th, Maloney is in 13th. a small (but high quality fleet) of about 16 boats, so a nice change from the 50 boats at Europeans in Athens!
Aqueece Rio – International Sailing
Regatta 2014, 2-9 August 2014
New Zealand’s current standings Full results here
2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX) - 6 points (1, 1, 7, 4)
4th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er) - 13 points
(9, 2, 2, 14)
9th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (49er) - 25 points (11, 3, 11, 12)
3rd Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie
(Women’s 470) - 4 points (7, 2, 2)
10th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470) - 15 points (8, 9, 7)
8th Natalia Kosinska (Women’s RS:X) - 15 points (13, 2, 15, 2, 12)
7th Josh Junior (Finn) - 25 points (5,
16, 18, 3, 1)
8th Andrew Murdoch (Finn) - 25 points (10, 12, 8, 4, 3)
4th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17) – 8 points (3, 5, 6)
8th Sam Meech (Laser) – 11 points
(3, 12, 8)
13th Andy Maloney (Laser) – 21 points (9, 13, 12)
16th Sara Winther (Laser Radial) – 26 points (12, 14, 14)
Support and coaching: Jez Fanstone, Mark Howard, Nathan Handley, Simon Briscoe and Hamish Willcox, Craig Panther, David Slyfield, Louise Johnson, Christel Dunshea- Mooij
About the NZL Sailing Team
The NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners who have made the top 20% in their most recent (respective) class World Championships or pinnacle event and have shown consistency of performance over the year including other significant Championships.
Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Programme is focussed on winning medals at the Olympics in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
NZL Sailing Team sailors all started out at grass roots yacht clubs around the country and with commitment, dedication and drive have risen to be world class athletes; they work hard in the gym, train long hours on the water and are supported by great coaches.