Archive for » August 10th, 2014«

Gold and Bronze added to Sailing team medal haul

New Zealand has added gold and bronze on the final day of Olympic Sailing Test Event (Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014) to scoop a four medal haul in Rio, Brazil.

Today Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie finished 4th in the medal race and broke the three way tie in the Women’s 470 to secure the gold ahead of the British who had to settle for silver.

Meanwhile Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox came from 6th on the leader board to bag a podium finish on the final day with a medal race win.

With gold already awarded to Burling and Tuke in the 49er, and silver for Maloney and Meech in the 49erFX today’s results bring the medal tally to four for the NZL Sailing Team.

The regatta, which acts as a trial run for the Olympic sailing regatta organisers, features the top sailors from around the globe in each of the ten Olympic classes.

Aleh and Powrie are delighted with the outcome of today’s race, describing it as one of the most high pressure races they’ve sailed.

Aleh talked to ISAF after racing; “It was a pretty tough race. Sail by the seat of your pants, see what happens and keep hoping it will work out. We knew we had to beat both of them [Mills/Clark and Haeger/Provancha] and be top five if the Austrians won.”

“We always wanted to do well but just had to beat those boats. Pretty early on, as we started we were in the middle of them and kept an eye on them. The Americans dropped back pretty quickly so it was just between us and the Brits.”

“Everyone found it stressful. There was a lot happening. When the boys raced before the wind was a little bit more set but the wind had just changed. It was one of the most unstable Medal Races we’ve done.”

After a seven race series in the Men’s 470 event the kiwi pair of Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox had taken a win in race four and some decent results against tough competition to lie 6th overall.

However they saved the best to last with a cracking medal race win in Rio today to propel them onto the podium for a bronze medal. Australian’s Matt Belcher and Will Ryan took out the gold with Brits Luke Patience and Elliott Willis claiming the silver.

The Laser and Laser Radials also concluded the regatta today with New Zealand represented in the Laser medal race by Sam Meech, older brother of 49erFX crew Molly. Meech finished 5th in today’s final race to wrap up the regatta in 9th overall.

A handful of the NZL Sailing Team return to New Zealand for a short break now, while many will spend the coming weeks out of the country.

The next major event on the Olympic sailing calendar is widely accepted as this year’s pinnacle event – the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain from 8-21 September 2014. The Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds is the first Olympic Qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. 50% of Rio 2016 spots will be decided in Santander.

Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, 2-9 August 2014

Gold medal: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)

Gold medal: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470)

Silver medal: Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)

Bronze medal: Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470)

6th Andrew Murdoch (Finn)

9th Josh Junior (Finn)

6th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17)

8th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (49er)

9th Natalia Kosinska (Women’s RS:X)

9th Sam Meech (Laser)

14th Andy Maloney (Laser)

11th Sara Winther (Laser Radial)

Support and coaching: Jez Fanstone, Mark Howard, Nathan Handley, Simon Briscoe and Hamish Willcox, Craig Panther, David Slyfield, Louise Johnson, Christel Dunshea- Mooij


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Did champion boat racer from the Shore fake his death?

Biddle operated Professional Boat Sales, located in the township, alongside his partner in business and sport, Tracy Blumenstein, who also faces theft-related charges.

The search for Biddle, a 44-year-old Egg Harbor Township resident and two-time national powerboat champion, began the night of July 20, after his boat hit a buoy and crashed into a jetty in Longport. Biddle was said to be returning from a dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Somers Point. A survivor, Justin Belz, 23, of Marmora, who swam to shore, was interviewed by authorities.

The night after the crash, following an 18-hour search that covered more than 60 miles, the Coast Guard called off the effort.

A number of criminal complaints this year against Biddle and Blumenstein, provided by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, allege they conned customers.

In May 2013, according to one record, they sold a boat and trailer for $17,000, plus taxes and fees, through the company and never provided the owner of the property with compensation. Another filing states that in 2012, Biddle sold a motor as new even though it had been used for more than 150 hours.

The pair are also accused of failing to provide a pontoon boat to a man who paid a $20,000 deposit for it in March 2013.

Blumenstein was arrested in February at the Atlantic City Boat Show, following a months-long investigation, in the alleged “fraudulent sale of a boat,” and charged with issuing bad checks totaling $33,000, police announced at the time.

Calls to the business went unanswered Friday.

The characterizations of the duo are a steep departure from the ones in the boating community, where they were revered as Team Livorsi and Team Pro Boat.

In 2012, the pair won the P1 Superstock USA championship series, a powerboat competition. The following year, they won again and also proved victorious in a United Kingdom championship.

On Facebook, a page dedicated to Biddle’s safe return had garnered more than 800 “likes.” A moderator urged the public not to jump to conclusions.

Detectives, however, are “obligated to investigate and prosecute Mr. Biddle for the aforementioned criminal acts,” the police statement read, “until Mr. Biddle’s whereabouts are officially determined.”


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Senior sailing club adds new vessel to its fleet

Yacht club members aren’t the only ones who get excited about a new boat.

The Oasis Sailing Club, a recreational and social group for seniors, welcomed a vessel to its fleet Friday afternoon.

A 2005 Catalina 34 MKII arrived at the Balboa Yacht Basin from Long Beach, where it will soon be available for use by the club’s 150 members.

“It’s a real find for a club like ours,” Commodore John Whitney said in a provided statement.

In a town dominated by pricey yacht clubs, the sailing group aims to offer an affordable option for seniors who want to sail.

“These aren’t your typical seniors, they’re pretty active people,” spokesperson Chris Bassett said.

Club membership costs $18 per month. To join, members must also belong to Friends of Oasis, which costs $10 annually for a single membership, an amount that helps fund senior center activities. They also pay $18 per sail, which is “very reasonable” for a day on a boat, Bassett explained.

Members meet monthly, have social events and are out sailing most days of the year. The boats must be reserved by a trained skipper and a mate, but the crew does not need to be certified.

“They can just get on the boat and enjoy themselves, Bassett said.

Volunteers will help to maintain the group’s two boats. The newly arrived yacht is expected to be christened Oasis VI soon.


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