NZL Sailing Team: Kiwis in top ten in seven events at Pre-Olympics

NZL Sailing Team are New Zealand’s National Sailing team competing in Olympic sailing events
Yachting NZ

New Zealand's Andrew Murdoch has the lead once again, in the Mens Singlehanded (Laser) event, at the Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta.

The event is in its fourth day of racing in Weymouth, UK where New Zealand’s Olympic campaigners, and 360 of the world's top sailors are putting the 2012 Olympic venue to a pre-Olympic rehearsal .

Back on the water after a scheduled rest day the Laser fleet have just clocked up another two races overnight in Weymouth, Murdoch placing 8th and 12th. While that doesn’t sound spectacular it was a better performance than that of Tom Slingsby of Australia who was in the lead at the start of the day.

Slingsby recorded a 17th and a 19th – his worst day of the series so far – relinquishing the top spot once more to Murdoch who now has a narrow three point leading margin on 37; Slingsby has 40.

Behind the antipodeans the points have tightened up with Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus closing the gap significantly last night with a 2nd and a 3rd on the water, pushing him into 3rd overall and just one point adrift of Slingsby.

Beyond that van Schaardenburg (NED) and Goodison (GBR) are also within reaching distance of the podium sharing 45 points, just three back from Kontides.
The fleet has sailed eight races in total with another two planned for tonight in Weymouth after which only the Medal Race remains.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Jon-Paul Tobin who has affirmed his position in the Men’s RS:X Medal Race set to take place on Thursday in Weymouth, after another rest day. Opening the day with a 21st place Tobin bounced back to take a win in the final qualifying race of the series.

'Thoroughly tested out the Nothe Course today,' says Tobin, 'a very tactical and shifty course area in general, particularly tricky in the wind direction we raced today.'

'I opened with a 21st in race one - went swimming at the start as two wind lines converged, then back on track with a 1st in race two to be 6th overall. It’s tight at the top... the medal race will be a blast!'

He will start the Medal Race lying 6th overall on 60 points, with the ability to close the ten point gap for a bronze podium finish if all the stars aligned for him.

Natalia Kosinska has earned a place in the Women’s RS:X Medal Race, but only just, qualifying as the 10th placed sailor in the fleet of 28. To improve and achieve an 8th place finish is well within her reach given the narrow two point gap and this will ensure a hard fought battle in Thursday’s Medal Race between her, the Canadian and the Australian all close on points.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie sailed home with a 17th and a 4th from day four of racing in the Women’s 470 event in which the local pair of Mills and Clark continues to dominate. The New Zealanders are lying 8th overall with another day of racing ahead of the Medal Race in this class.

Over in the Men’s 470 fleet the day brought a 4th and a 16th for or Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders who are in 14th place overall.

Overnight Sara Winther was 18th and 8th in her two races in the Laser Radial and she improves to 24th overall.

There was no racing for the 49er skiff, Finn or Star overnight all enjoying a rest day.

Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta
New Zealand’s Current Standings


1st - Andrew Murdoch: Laser (4, 5, 2, 3, 11, 4, 8, 12)
3rd - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke: 49er (11, 16, 3, 3, 1, 3, 9, 5, 3)
6th - Jon-Paul Tobin: RS:X Men (6, 6, 9, 16, 5, 11, 2, 4, 21, 1)
8th - Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie: 470 Women (21, 11, 2, 26 BFD, 3, 3, 17, 4)
8th - Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk: Star (5, 2, 15, 7, 10, 22DNS)
9th - Dan Slater: Finn (13, 18, 5, 2, 28OCS, 4)
10th - Natalia Kosinska: RS:X Women (12, 10, 4, 7, 7, 11, 12, 14, 19, 8)
14th - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders: 470 Men (17, 16, 4, 13, 15, 33OCS, 4, 16)
24th - Sara Winther: Radial (11, 26, 26, 21, 15, 25, 18, 8)

About this regatta:

The Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta is an official London 2012 Test Event and part of the London Prepares series.

Racing runs from 2nd – 13th August with medal races scheduled over the final three days starting with the Men’s and Women’s RS:X on 11th August. All ten of the Olympic events are being contested with each nation able to send just one entry to each event.