NZL Sailing Team: Olympic Class sailors ready for World Championships

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie will compete in the Womens 470 at Perth

New Zealand’s top tier Olympic class sailors are in the final stages of preparation for the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and all sights are set on the podium. This regatta, opening on December 3rd, is set to be the most prestigious regatta before the 2012 Olympic Games, and is the principal qualification regatta for the Olympics.

'The NZL Sailing Team has been consistently performing over the past three years, and now as we head into the Olympic year our focus is on getting sailors on the podium' says Jez Fanstone, Yachting New Zealand’s Olympic Programme Manager.

Racing near Fremantle, teams will be battling for more than just the World Champion title as 75% of the country qualifications for the 2012 Olympic Games will also take place at this event. Essentially what this means is that nations are now battling to earn their spot at the Olympics in each class and after that spot has been secured, each nation may begin to select who will be taking that place in 2012.

'The entire NZL Sailing Team will be racing at this event, however there will be an additional 25 sailors from New Zealand' continues Jez. 'Our country will be very well represented by more than 45 athletes, we are fortunate to have such a deep pool of talent'.

Amongst the mix of the New Zealand participants at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships are previous Olympians, World Champions and NZ National Champions. A full list of competitors is below.

Womens 470 (2 teams)
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, Vicki Francis and Erica Dawson
Mens 470 (5 teams)
Jason Saunders and Paul Snow-Hansen, James Turner and Mathew Jones, Mike Snow-Hansen and Derek Snow, Gareth Moore and Ben Goodwin, Luke Stevenson and Sam Bullock
Mens RS:X (4 sailors)
Tom Ashley, JP Tobin, Antonio Cozzolino, Carl Evans
Womens RS:X (3 sailors)
Natalia Kosinka, Steff Williams, Justina Sellers
Finn (5 sailors)
Dan Slater, Matt Coutts, Rob Coutts, Brad Douglas, Nick Burfoot
Laser Standard (6 sailors)
Andrew Murdoch, Sam Meech, Mike Bullot, Josh Junior, Andrew Maloney, Tom Saunders
Laser Radial (3 sailors)
Sara Winther, Rachel Basevi, Miranda Powrie
49er (3 teams)
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, Chris Burgess and Rowan Swanson
Womens Match Racing (1 team)
Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt, Stephanie Hazard

About the regatta

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships will feature the world’s best sailors in all ten Olympic classes from over 80 nations. Over 1200 Sailors will take part, making this one of the largest sporting events ever held in Western Australia.

Most racing will take part at Fremantle between Bathers Bay, Challenger Harbour, and Success Harbour, except for the Women’s Match Racing which will be held in the Fremantle Inner Harbour. The stunning locations and the strong afternoon sea breeze colloquially known as the 'Fremantle Doctor' is likely to shape some exciting racing for these world class competitors.
Schedule of events

The event officially opens on December 3rd with the start of the Women’s Match Racing and this class will race for the duration of the event, due to the round-robin format of match racing. All other classes will have seven days of racing that conclude with a double point medal race for the top ten.

The first week of racing (December 5 – 11) will feature the Women’s RS:X windsurfer, Women’s single person dinghy class Laser Radial, Men’s double handed class 470 and the Men’s one person dinghy heavy, the Finn class.

The second week of racing (December 12-18) will have all other classes compete, the Men’s RS:X Windsurfer, Men’s single person dinghy class Laser, Women’s double handed class 470, Men’s Skiff 49er. The Men’s Star class keelboat will race December 11-17.