New Zealand’s 470 crews start well in Rio
11th August 2016
Both New Zealand 470 sailing crews have opened their Rio 2016 campaign with good results on a day that provided challenging and wide-ranging conditions.
Elsewhere, like many of the top sailors competing here in Rio today, the kiwis found the day demanding.
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie took a race win and have 2nd overall in the Women’s 470 after two races on day one for the double-handed dinghy classes.
Leading for much of race one the kiwi pair were bumped to 6th in the late stages of the race, but rebounded to take a win in race two.
Aleh said they enjoyed the challenges that Rio threw at them today; “We like that sort of tricky racing, it should have been a better day really first race we had a bit of a stuff up but it was nice to finish off with a good race and know that we can put it all together.”
“We’re happy with the day, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Powrie added, “We didn’t follow through with our race plan as such, and we’re happy to right the wrongs in the second one.”
Only the Japanese crew had a better day than Aleh and Powrie and are two points out in front, while Slovenia is lying 3rd at the end of day one. They race again tomorrow with another two races scheduled to start at 1pm in Rio.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox also made a solid start in the Men’s 470 event opening the regatta with a 2nd place.
In race two they placed 10th and among a group of four nations all holding 12 points effectively lying 3rd equal while Croatia leads and Australia is 2nd.
“Today was pretty tough conditions out there so to come away with two solid races is a good benchmark to start from so we’re really happy with the day and look forward to the week to come,” said Dan Willcox after coming ashore.
Paul Snow-Hansen described the day, “You had to have your eyes out the boat, there were crazy rain showers coming through the course. A few snakes and ladders, so we took a bit of a hit now and then, but also gained so we’ll take that for the first day.”
The next best placed of the NZL Sailing Team is Laser sailor Sam Meech who has 7th place after three days of racing.
Lying 3rd going into today the first-time Olympian said he was disappointed with his performance. He placed 14th and 17th in his two races and now has a rest day scheduled.
Meech said, “Yesterday was really good I felt like I got good starts and executed my plan, but today was disappointing. It was the kind of conditions where I felt like I could go really well and I just didn’t get it right.”
Still well inside the top ten a closer look at the leader board shows that Meech is closely bunched close on points with the sailors just ahead of him, and with another four qualifying races to go there is plenty of opportunity to regain ground.
The first day of Olympic racing in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull was scheduled on the spectator friendly Pao course. Notoriously patchy, due to being situated in the lee of Sugarloaf in the south westerly conditions, today was extremely tough for sailors and the race committee.
The New Zealand crew of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders came through race one with a 9th place, then placed 15th in race two, which sees them lying 13th overall.
Three races were scheduled but only two were possible today. The Nacra fleet will be back racing tomorrow.
Josh Junior was unable to gain much ground up the Finn leader board on day of competition in the heavy-weight single-handed men’s class.
Two 14ths from two races today have Junior placed 20th overall, and he will be looking to turn things around when he returns to the bay tomorrow for two more races.
NZL Sailing Team current standings
2ndJo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470) (6, 1)
3rdPaul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470) (2, 10)
7thSam Meech (Laser) (19, 3, 5, 6, 14, 17)
13thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17) (9, 15)
20thJosh Junior (Finn) (18, 24UFD, 14, 14)
Full results are available on the Rio 2016 website: https://www.rio2016.com/en/schedule-and-results
On tomorrow’s schedule;
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – W470 – Races 3 & 4
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox – M470 – Races 3 & 4
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17 – Races 3, 4 & 5
Josh Junior – Finn – Races 5 & 6
Yet to start;
NZL Sailing Team Rio 2016 Media Guide here http://www.yachtingnz.org.nz/racing/olympic/2016-olympic-sailing-team
In total, 380 sailors from 66 nations will race in 274 boats across ten Olympic Events across seven racing areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For more information:
Rio tel: 21973483812