Kiwi Sailors relish the Rio breeze
New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have returned a storming day in big, bold conditions outside Rio Bay to take the lead after day two in the Women’s 470 event.
Elsewhere Gemma Jones and Saunders sailed four good races today and have moved up to 4th overall after six races in the Nacra multihull, and Josh Junior found form.
Firing on all cylinders after yesterday’s one-race disqualification decision the double-handed pair of Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie delivered another strong on-water performance on day two of competition for them, and it has paid dividends.
Sailing on the outer Niteroi course the women the fleet encountered big swells and wild conditions, but Aleh and Powrie enjoyed it and posted a 4th and a win. Now able to discard their worst score, they move to the top of the leader board.
“It was a crazy day out there – the biggest contrast you could find from yesterday,” reported Jo Aleh.
“Today the waves were as big as we can handle. It was pretty on edge for us even in the 470 – it was awesome sailing. We were getting airborne a few times and the boat does not land well.”
“Today wasn’t too much about boat speed it was just about hanging in there and not making too many mistakes – and keeping Polly on the wire.”
The kiwis have bumped overnight leaders Japan from the top spot, but only by two points, as the Japanese also sailed well today. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark of the British Sailing Team are in 3rd place, three points adrift of 2nd.
The women’s 470 will sail two more races tomorrow ahead of a rest day.
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders righted their day one wrongs with four single-digit race results (7, 5, 4, 2) on day two in the Nacra mixed multihull. They take a massive jump up the standings to 4th overall, just one point off 3rd, ahead of their rest day tomorrow.
Jones, who helms the boat, said, “It was good, we were very relieved to come away with some solid results. It was four races in crazy winds, so it was a key day to just keep it together and we’re happy with how we finished it.”
The 20-boat Nacra fleet sailed today on the Ponte course inside the bay and up the harbour where conditions were different than outside in the big swells.
Saunders said, “The shifts were really big so it made for some pretty frustrating racing at times but there were plenty of opportunities out there, so it was good that we were able to stay confident and we made some good decisions.”
Jones and Saunders will be back on the water on Saturday for three more races.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox didn’t have the day they would have hoped for with a 20th and a 15th from their two races sailed in the survival conditions. After today they lie 11th overall and will be back on the water again tomorrow for two more races.
After two disappointing days NZL Sailing Team Finn sailor Josh Junior sailed well today coming away with two top race results from day three of competition in the men’s heavy-weight dinghy class.
5th in the first race of the day, then 3rd in the next he has improved his rank to 15th overall.
“I finally found the front today – far out!” said Junior.
“It was a really breezy day with bag waves out there. I managed to change a few things and finally got my boat going a bit faster and sailed a lot better, so I’m stoked.”
Asked what he hopes to achieve from here Junior said; “I’m just trying to get as much up the fleet as possible, race as many good races as possible and see what happens from there.”
NZL Sailing Team current standings
1stJo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470) (21DSQ, 1, 4, 1)
11thPaul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470) (2, 10, 20, 15)
7thSam Meech (Laser) (19, 3, 5, 6, 14, 17)
4thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17) (9, 15, 7, 5, 4, 2)
15thJosh Junior (Finn) (18, 24UFD, 14, 14, 5, 3)
Full results are available on the Rio 2016 website: https://www.rio2016.com/en/schedule-and-results
On tomorrow’s schedule;
Tomorrow sees the last of the sailing events get underway with the 49er and 49erFX classes featuring New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the men’s, and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech in the women’s.
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie races again, and so do Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox. The Laser fleet, including kiwi Sam Meech, return for more racing after a rest day.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech – 49erFX – Races 1, 2 & 3
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 49er – Races 1, 2, & 3
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – W470 – Races 5 & 6
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox – M470 – Races 5 & 6
Sam Meech – Laser – Races 7 & 8
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17 – Reserve day
Josh Junior – Finn – Reserve day
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