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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