Kiwi Gold Sailing ready for action in Rio


Kiwi Gold Sailing Team will be ready for action in Rio when the Sonar racing gets underway tomorrow morning (NZT)
Read the full press release from World Sailing below:

Sonar favourites tag thrown out the window
There are usually favourites in any competition, but at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games the Three Person Keelboat (Sonar) class could be the exception to the rule.

In the Rio 2016 quadrennial there has been no one team taking hold of the fleet and winning on a consistent basis. Even the sailors themselves know that it could just come down to who sails the best on the day from a very strong line up.

Norway’s London 2012 bronze medallist, Aleksander Wang-Hansen, sailing with Marie Solberg and Per Kristiansen, said, “I think there are six or seven teams that could medal here and who will have the best week this week is hard to tell.”

Despite the depth in competition, Wang-Hansen is in confident mood, “Our goal here is a medal and we will be disappointed if we don’t get one. If we get a gold obviously that would be the best.”

Agreeing with Wang-Hansen’s assessment of the number of potential medallists is Israel’s Dror Cohen, “There’s about seven or eight boats that on any day could have a good race and win, so it’s open. We are all there playing but I hope it’s us that ends up with the win.”

Cohen helmed his crew to Athens 2004 gold in the Sonar so will have an idea of what it takes to win and can pick out a rival when he sees one. Cohen returns to Paralympic competition with fellow medal winner Arnon Efrati and is joined by Shimon Ben Yakov and he has his sights set on another medal, “Podium is a minimum of course. Everyone dreams about putting their hand up and singing their national anthem so we are definitely aiming for the top spot on the podium.”

One team that arrived in Rio with confidence are the current world champions, Alphonsus Doerr, Bradley Kendell and Hugh Freund from the USA. Freund has identified what he thinks will tip the balance in the chase for Rio gold saying, “Guanabara Bay rewards teams that can handle changing conditions. If a team doesn’t have well defined roles in the boat, they’re going to have a rough go when changing conditions demand the full attention and input from every team member. It’s a heads up kind of venue, the team that wins the first beat but picks the wrong side of the run can easily drop way back.”

Just losing out to the Americans at the 2016 recent Worlds were Great Britain’s John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas. They also have a world title to their name in the quad when they took the 2015 championship in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia.

Some more world champions in the fleet are the French team. Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary can actually boast two from 2013 and 2014. They have not quite managed to find that form on a regular basis since though.

The medallists just keep on coming. Germany’s Jens Kroker and Siegmund Mainka are London 2012 silver medallists, but had a shake-up in their crew recently when usual team mate Robert Prem suffered a stroke. The German’s have drafted in 2.4mR sailor Lasse Klotzing to helm, which moves Kroker along the boat. Team leader Kroker will use his vast experience to make up for Klotzing’s Sonar experience shortfall.

Australia’s Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden always push for podium places in major competitions and will again feel confident they can do the same, possibly edging to the gold that has so far eluded them.

Canada will be looking for Paul Tingley to lead Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes with his experience of winning a Paralympic gold medal. Tingley won his gold in the One Person Keelboat at the Beijing 2008 Games. The Canadian’s won silver at the 2014 World Championship with Tingley at the helm.

Elsewhere in the field a wealth of experience could pay dividends. New Zealand’s Richard Dodson was the onboard strategist for Team New Zealand’s successful 1995 challenge and 2000 defence of the America’s Cup. He is joined by Andrew May, who sailed in Atlanta 1996 when sailing was a demonstration sport, and Chris Sharp.

Ireland’s John Twomey is in his 11th and final Paralympic Games, sailing with Ian Costelloe and Austin O’Carroll. Twomey will be hoping for a medal winning send-off in sailing after previously winning Paralympic medals in the Discus before moving to the water.

The Sonars will begin racing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Monday 12 September at 13:10 on the Escola Naval race area of Guanabara Bay.

By Richard Aspland – World Sailing

Editors’ notes:

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will feature 80 athletes from 23 nations competing across three events. Racing is scheduled to take place from 12-17 September 2016 and the competition format for all events is fleet racing.

A full list of sailors racing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is available to view here –

The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking. Live tracking will be available when racing commences via –

Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7″ or greater screens.

Click here to download the iOS Application –
Click here to download the Android Application –

The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via –

The World Sailing media team will be following the racing LIVE on World Sailing’s Paralympic Blog throughout Rio 2016. Follow LIVE here –

High resolution imagery free for editorial usage will be provided throughout Rio 2016 by Richard Langdon / Ocean Images. Imagery will be available to download via –
The password to download is WSimages

World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here –

To find out who your Paralympic broadcaster is, click here –

Follow the event on World Sailing’s social networks:
Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter – @worldsailing
Snapchat – Follow our Story on Snapchat, search for worldsailing

World Sailing Paralympic Website –
Competition Schedule –
Latest Paralympic Sailing news –
Online Notice Board –

World Sailing Media Department

Name: Daniel Smith
Position: Communications Manager
Mob: +44 (0)7771 542 131

Name: Richard Aspland
Position: Press Officer
Mob: +44 (0) 7764 587 926

About World Sailing
World Sailing is the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

World Sailing is made up of 141 Member National Authorities (MNAs), who are its principal members, and responsible for the decision making process that governs the sailing world.

There are currently more than 100 World Sailing classes, ranging from the small dinghy classes for young people up to 60 foot ocean racers.

For more information about World Sailing please go to or contact

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