Muppet steps up for golden 470 sailors

17:02, Aug 11 2012
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
GOLD MEDALISTS: New Zealand's 470 sailors Olivia Powrie (left) and Jo Aleh.

Kiwi sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie named their 470 Olympic dinghy Muppet because of some of the silly calls and "dumb stuff" they have done at previous regattas.

Well, the classic Kiwi term seems rather inappropriate now that Muppet has delivered them an Olympic gold medal on the waters of Weymouth.

"We wanted to keep things light," Powrie explains. "Sailing regattas, you can stuff things up a little bit and we wanted to embrace that a little bit."

Aleh, the skipper, picks up the story.

"We have made some silly calls in the past at certain regattas, doing dumb stuff. When we got this boat for the Olympics we tried to come up with a name and thought Muppet was quite fitting, because we sail like muppets occasionally.

"We thought if we called the boat that hopefully it would limit what we do. You can't be too serious. Everyone takes it a bit seriously. We still have to have a smile on your face out there.

"You put four years of really hard work into it and you have bad days. For us, we were fourth at the worlds this year. There were three of us going in on equal points, that was tough to come out on the wrong end."

But Muppet stepped up this week, at exactly the right time.


Fairfax Media