Kiwi Gold Sailing Team in 3rd at halfway mark at Rio 2016

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New Zealand’s Parasailing Sonar team are back into 3rd overall after three races sailed today in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games with competition now passed the halfway mark.

Dodson, May and Sharp went 4, 6, 4 in the Sonar class racing today and are just three points behind USA, while the Aussies hold the lead.

Yesterday conditions in Rio were light and tricky, but today brought stronger breeze.

Dodson spoke after racing about the conditions and their performance; “We thought we were doing a smart thing we had light air sails on. Speed wise, I think we’re good.”

“There were gusts of 25 knots – quite breezy, so we’re happy enough. We got two 4ths and a 6th so we’re happy.”

“We’re lying 3rd right now, which is a really good goal I think – to medal would be fantastic.”

While the Australian team of Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris have a five point leading margin, points on the leader-board are close through the top half of the 14 boat fleet and the remaining three days of the regatta will be crucial.

Talking about their team he said, “I’ve been very lucky, and through my sailing all these years I’ve done very well. These two guys – Chris Sharp and Andrew May – they’ve been very good, so I’m happy with our team. I think the whole team is good. I think that’s what it’s all about, and we enjoy it, we’re having fun.”

Yesterday Dodson’s team-mate Chris Sharp spoke very passionately about the positive experience of competing in Rio at the Paralympic Games and today Dodson was asked if he felt the same way;

“Of course, because I have MS and I’ve sailed America’s Cup and everything else, and I sort of think okay, I’ve got MS and I’m 55 years of age, and you know, I’m getting a bit old. But now I can do it again with Parasailing and I enjoy it and I enjoy all the people that are involved with this – it’s a good bunch. It’s really good.”

Dodson knows that winning a medal in Rio would provide the platform to bring Parasailing into the spotlight in New Zealand.

“I really do want to get Parasailing up and running a bit better in New Zealand. I think we can do well, and everyone who has a problem with their ability to do things, you know they can get involved with parasailing – give it a go, its fun!”

Three days remain with two races per day for the next two, and one race on the last day.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
Sonar Event top five

1st AUS  Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris – 12 points
2nd USA Alphonsus Doerr, Hugh Freund and Bradley Kendell -18 points
3rd NZL  Richard Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp – 21 points
4th NOR Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen – 22 points
5th GBR John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas – 23 points

Full results here: http://www.sailing.org/paralympics/rio2016/results/index.php

Rio 2016 Sonar Schedule

Monday 12 Sept – 2 races
Tuesday 13 Sept – 2 races
Wednesday 14 Sept – 2 races
Thursday 15 Sept – 2 races
Friday 16 Sept – 2 races
Saturday 17 Sept – 1 race

More here: http://www.sailing.org/paralympics/rio2016

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