NZL Sailing Team: Pre-Olympic Event competitors announced

NZL Sailing Team are New Zealand’s National Sailing team competing in Olympic sailing events
Yachting NZ
Yachting New Zealand is pleased to announce the final selections for the New Zealand Team to compete at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011, otherwise known as the Pre-Olympics or Olympic Test Event, on in early August this year.

Yachting New Zealand’s selectors have today announced that Jon-Paul Tobin and Natalia Kosinska will represent New Zealand in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X windsurfing events. They join those sailors named in March this year to make up the New Zealand Team to sail at this important event staged just one year from the real deal Olympic Games.

The latest selections follow the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta staged earlier this month in Weymouth where Tobin narrowly missed out on the gold medal in the Men’s windsurfing event. Natalia Kosinska placed 16th in Weymouth in the Women’s Windsurfing where her scorecard included a good number of top ten race finishes including race win.

Entry quota for this event dictates just one entry per nation in each of the ten Olympic events, just as it will be in 2012. The full kiwi sailing team includes...

Laser: Andrew Murdoch
Laser Radial: Sara Winther
Women’s 470: Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
Men’s 470: Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders
Star: Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk
Finn: Dan Slater
49er: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
Men’s RS:X: Jon-Paul Tobin
Women’s RS:X: Natalia Kosinska

All New Zealand’s Olympic campaigners have been under the watchful eye of selectors and the kiwi team competing in Weymouth this year have each earned their spot through performance at key regattas, however this doesn’t guarantee them a place on the Olympic Team for 2012. With national qualification in each event not possible before December this year, actual team selection for the Olympic Games will not be determined until the opening months of 2012 at the earliest.

Jez Fanstone, Yachting New Zealand Olympic Director explains what he wants to get out of the Olympic Test Event: 'Because this event simulates the Olympic Games in terms of racing format and the smaller fleet numbers it provides a chance for our sailors, coaches and support crew to have a dress rehearsal,' says Fanstone. 'If something crops up that we hadn’t anticipated we’d rather know about it now and then we have the coming year to sort it out.'

The kiwi team will also include a full contingent of coaching, medical and administration support.

The team leaves New Zealand in July to travel to Weymouth, England to prepare for the regatta. Windsurfing opens the racing schedule on 4th August with final medal races set for 13th August.