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A large team of New Zealand’s Olympic class sailors are descending upon Weymouth, England in preparation for 2010 Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.
A training camp at the venue for the New Zealand team precedes the regatta, with competition racing getting underway on August 9th and running through until the 14th.
“We’ve had three great days of training on the water this week so far for the 470, Finn, Radial and Women’s Match Racers,” says Jez Fanstone, YNZ’s Olympic Programme Director in Weymouth.
“All our contacts here, from the Weymouth Sailing Club and other locals, have been incredibly helpful and we are getting a lot done in setting things up.”
“There’s a great team spirit with everyone working well together.”
For the 32-strong New Zealand contingent this regatta provides an opportunity to test the waters in which the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta will be staged two years from now. A full support and coaching crew will be in Weymouth with the sailors, using this event to research the venue and its nuances.
New Zealand will be represented in all ten Olympic class events being staged at Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth this year, which is the final event in the series of seven regattas that make up the 2009 – 2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Among New Zealand’s hottest medal prospects is reigning Olympic Champion in men’s board sailing, Tom Ashley who won silver earlier this year at Princess Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain.
Others showing good form this year include Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie who recently collected World Championships silver, pipped for the 2010 Women’s 470 title staged in the Netherlands by a world class pair sailing on home waters.
Relative rookies in the 49er class Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have returned some excellent results this year, the highlight being a silver medal at ISAF World Cup Regatta – Delta Lloyd Regatta in the Netherlands in May.
Eight kiwis will line up in the Laser class including 2008 Olympian Andrew Murdoch and Mike Bullot who collected World Championship silver in 2009.
New Zealand’s seasoned campaigners feature in the Finn fleet – Dan Slater – and also in the Star class – Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk.
Daily reports on the New Zealand team performance will be issued during the regatta and you can now follow the NZL Sailing Team via their Facebook page.
Full results, images and more information will be available on the regatta website.
Schedule of Events
Here’s the full kiwi line-up...
Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders
Francisco Lardies and Finn Drummond
Geoff Woolley and Daniel Willcox
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk
Women’s Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt
NZL Sailing Team Facebook page