Oceanbridge Sail Auckland: New faces appear in the Finn class

Andrew Murdoch (NZL) leaps out of a wave in the 2012 Olympics, as he is about to round the gybe mark in Race 9

Two-time Olympic representative in the Mens Laser class, Andrew Murdoch will make his debut in the Finn class in the Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta being sailed in early February.

Murdoch will line up against 23 year old Josh Junior and Junior’s training partner in Wellington two-time OK Dinghy World Champion Karl Purdie. Both are relative newcomers to the Finn class.

1988 Olympic Bronze medalist, John Cutler in the Finn class has come on board with the NZL Sailing team as a coach and will be working the squad.

20110601 Copyright onEdition 2011© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Josh Junior from New Zealand racing in the Laser class on day 2 of the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue. The regatta runs from 6-11 June 2011, bringing together the worldÕs top Olympic and Paralympic class sailors. 2011 marks the sixth edition of Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, with a confirmed record breaking entry of 1050 sailors, in 740 boats, from 62 nati
Both Andrew Murdoch and Josh Junior were among the extremely competitive Laser sailing squad of the NZL Sailing Team during the last Olympic cycle who battled it out for the Olympic spot at Weymouth. They are stepping up to the Mens Heavyweight Singlehander event, which will be sailed in the Finn class in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

New Zealand’s best performance in the event came in the 1984 Olympics, when Russell Coutts won a Gold Medal in the event, sailing at Long Beach, sailing venue for the Los Angeles Olympics.

The change of boat requires Murdoch to increase his body weight, 'The Finn is a very physically demanding boat so the weight needs to go on in muscle. The weights room in the gym is now my second home', he says.

After six years in the Laser, Josh Junior made the move to the Finn last year making his debut in the class at 2012 Sail for Gold Regatta, at Weymouth, England, where he placed 19th overall., in a fleet working up for the 2012 Olympics at the same venue

'I decided to switch to the Finn almost a year ago. I was outgrowing the Laser and really liked the challenge of switching over to the Finn,' Junior explains. 'I struggled a little in the stronger breezes at 2012 Sail for Gold, but still managed to have some fantastic races.'

The Finn fleet will be back on the water again after just a few days for the 2013 Finn National Championship on at Takapuna Boating Club from February 8 – 10.

The Takapuna regatta doubles as selection trials for the 2013 Finn Gold Cup (Finn World Championship).

Karl Purdie, OK Dinghy Nationals Champion, Wellington, New Zealand February, 2010