NZL Sailing team qualifies in four events for 2012 Olympics

Mens 470 racing on ISAF Sailing World Cup Day 8. Gold fleet start of Race 10
Alex Ocean Images

Two NZL Sailing Team boats will be progressing to the ISAF World Championship medal races tomorrow; the Men’s 470 duo Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders, and Sara Winther in the Laser Radial.

The NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top tier Olympic campaigners with their sights firmly set on Weymouth 2012
Kristine Lederis
On a very windy day off the shores of Fremantle, Western Australia, New Zealand also qualified for the London 2012 Olympics in all four fleet racing disciplines that were on the water this week.

'It’s very close racing, so we just have to race the best we can and see what happens' Paul Snow-Hansen said about their upcoming race tomorrow. The men’s 470 fleet is well known for its depth of talent, and for this young kiwi crew to make it this far is quite significant.

This is the first time that New Zealand has had a men’s 470 crew in the top ten at a World Championships since Simon Cooke and Peter Nicholas in 2003, where they won the worlds.

Today’s sea breezes were amongst the strongest of the week. 'It was pretty hard work, not our finest day on the water', Paul said. The NZL Sailing Team 470 men finished their races a bit further back in the fleet than they have all week, ending with a 16th and 18th.

Paul modestly went into more detail about their racing today. 'We made a really good recovery in the first race; we were nearly last to the first mark. It was frustrating; it felt like we had lots of opportunities but didn’t capitalize.'

Paul and Jason will have one more chance tomorrow to climb even higher up the leader board during the medal race.

Sara Winther, also a member of the NZL Sailing Team, had two solid races today. This morning she started racing in 11th place overall, but after completing both races in the front pack, she finished the gold fleet in ninth overall, just enough to make it through to tomorrow’s Laser Radial Medal Race.

Sara Winther at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
Kristine Lederis

In the Womens Match Racing, the New Zealand Koru Match crew skippered by Stephanie Hazard is in 10th place overall in the third bracket with two wins and two losses. They have made the cut to compete on Sunday, and are currently inside the top eight countries to qualify from this event.

Only sailors that finish within the top ten of a regatta such as this qualify for the medal race. Often, medal races are run on a shorter course and with more laps, intensifying the race. Double points are awarded, therefore gains and losses in the overall standings can be extreme. For those sailors that did not make the medal races, their 2011 World Championship runs have already ended.

Tomorrow the top ten sailors of each fleet will be squaring off in the centre course of Bathers Bay, with plenty of live viewing opportunities in the grandstands for those in Fremantle, and for those at home the races will be streaming live on www.perth2011.com

The remainder of the NZL Sailing Team will be in action on Monday when the Men’s RS:X, Laser, 49er and Women’s 470 begin racing.

Paul and Jason blasting upwind after a bottom gate mark rounding.
Kristine Lederis

Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships
New Zealand’s Current Standings


*These two teams will be progressing to the Medal Races tomorrow

470 Men
8th Gold Fleet - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders (13, 10, 12, 16, 18)
Laser Radial
9th Gold Fleet - Sara Winther (4, 26, 15, 15, 15)

Provisional Final Standings
470 Men
17th Silver Fleet - Luke Stevenson and Sam Bullock (4, 11, 17, 8, 41DNF)
16th Silver Fleet- James Turner and Matthew Jones (9, 20, 11, 17, 7)
29th Silver Fleet- Gareth Moore and Ben Goodwin (22, 31, 21, 29, 24)
32nd Silver Fleet- Mike Snow-Hansen and Derek Snow (31, 41DNF, 34, 27, 26)

Laser Radial
33rd Gold Fleet - Miranda Powrie (45, 8, 32, 39, 48)
6th Silver Fleet - Rachel Basevi (1, 8, 52DNS, 6)

Finn
21st Gold Fleet -Dan Slater (23, 7, 20, 19, 18)
28th Gold Fleet-Matt Coutts (26, 30, 18, 37OCS, 21)
10th Silver Fleet- Nik Burfoot (12, 4, 16, 17, 6)
21st Silver Fleet- Brad Douglas (23, 17, 17, 15, 37DNC)
28th Silver Fleet- Rob Coutts (32, 28 25, 19,20 )

RS:X Womens
26th Gold Fleet - Steff Williams (34, 27, 23, 21, 16)
1st Silver Fleet -Natalia Kosinska (1, 2, 9, 2, 1)
7th Silver Fleet- Justina Sellers (4, 17, 3, 7, 5)

Womens Match Racing
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt
2 Wins, 2 losses- Stage 2 Round Robin