Team Jolly: Into Europe for the first time - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie Womens 470 - ISAF World Sailing Cup Hyeres

2012 Olympic Gold medalists and 2013 World Champions, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, update after their wins in two ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas at Palma (ESP) and Hyeres (FRA) in the Womens 470 class .

This was the first trip of three to Europe for us this year, more or less just to check in with the women’s 470 fleet and see how we are getting on. Surprisingly well it would seem as we came away from the two World Cup regattas winning both.

First up was Mallorca, Spain. We had the usual timed run to get to the island itself – 36 hours on the plane, picking up our gear from storage, getting towbars put on our rental cars and then the overnight ferry into Palma. We hadn’t seen any of our gear since July last year either, so the memory was a bit foggy on what we had and how it had survived the euro winter. Needless to say writing lists of what equipment we have where in the world is high on the priorities!

We eased into the regatta itself with our performances getting better and better as the week went on. Jumping from having five boats on the start line to 50 takes a bit of getting used to again, but the weather conditions were pretty varied so it was a good first test of our training over the NZ summer.

We had a bit of time on our hands between the two regattas, so we thought what would be better than to do a fair bit of boat work that the 470 constantly seems to demand. With Gonzo up to scratch again it was time to move on to Hyeres, France for the next World Cup.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) lead after Day 4 in the W470 at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Hyeres, France

We had a great couple of weeks in France with warm and sunny weather – always welcome when we don’t have to bring out the 5mm wetsuit. We were possibly adding to our own personal insulation anyway, using all our will power trying to not eat too many of the yummy treats at the local patisserie. We felt more race ready going into this regatta and hung around the top three for most of the event, having a great last day of finals to put us firmly into the lead for the medal race. We had a minor hiccup in this race being over the start early, but restarted and chipped our way through the fleet to secure the overall win.

Now we are back in NZ for a couple of months, Jo thought she would celebrate this by competing in the Rotorua Marathon this weekend, Polly by doing a uni assignment that has been ignored. But we are actually loving been back home again and do have something to celebrate – we have made the number one spot in the rankings for the first time ever and with a perfect score, pretty stoked with this news.

A huge thanks to our coach Nathan Handley and all our sponsors and supporters – we couldn’t do it without you guys.

- See more at: http://www.teamjollyracing.com/for-the-first-time/#sthash.bVcefvNf.dpuf

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) - 470W class Gold medalists, ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca, 2014