NZ yachties add world title to Olympic gold

REASONS TO SMILE: Kiwi 470 yachties Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh have got off to a strong start in Greece.
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REASONS TO SMILE: Kiwi 470 yachties Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh have got off to a strong start in Greece.

New Zealand sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have added the world title to their Olympic 470 success.

The pair won the world title at La Rochelle in France early today (NZ time), exactly a year after claiming gold at the London Olympics.

Not even a light wind postponement could upset their composure as they crowned a fabulous week with victory in the medal race.

"Finally our first world title in the 470," Aleh said.

"We were pretty relaxed going into today. It wasn't all over, but we were pretty relaxed and that helped. We sailed a great race."

While the pair has amassed plenty of World Championship and ISAF World Cup medals the closest they've come to the world championship title is silver in 2010 and bronze in 2011.

Aleh and Powrie (Takapuna Boating Club/Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) announced their campaign towards Rio 2016 in December last year and since getting back in the boat early in 2013 have taken out Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup in Garda and Delta Lloyd Regatta now adding the 2013 World title topping off an excellent year.

Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar from Austria won the silver medal with a 3rd in the medal race, while China's Xiaoli Wang and Xufeng Huang pipped local girls Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron for the bronze.

Men's representatives Paul Sonw Hansen and Dan Wilcox finished seventh in their division after a third in the final race today.

Lying 2nd overall earlier in the series the pair suffered from one poor day on the water.

 "The regatta has had its ups and downs, but we finished with a 3rd in the medal race moving us up one place overall. Cheers to everyone who has followed our progress and wished us luck," Snow-Hansen said.

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