Tokyo goals set during NZL Sailing Team camp


Bubble soccer and bullrush were on the agenda when the NZL Sailing Team met for a team camp in Auckland last week but there was also a focus on what the team need to do to be ready for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The NZL Sailing Team held a week-long camp at the Wakatere Boating Club on Auckland's North Shore when they discussed key features of the highly successful Rio Olympics campaign and how they build on that towards Tokyo.

A number of guest speakers were also brought in from the likes of High Performance Sport New Zealand and Drug Free Sport New Zealand to help challenge and educate the group, which also included members of the Olympic Development and Aon Fast Track squads as well as the Laser Radial squad.

It was the first time a camp of this nature had been held and the first time the NZL Sailing Team had formally come together since Rio, when sailing won a record-equalling four Olympic medals. It was also timely with the recent arrival of Ian Stewart as Yachting New Zealand's new high performance director.

"It was a very beneficial week and set the tone for the next three years," Stewart said. "That Rio team was a pretty special group and we tried to take the best from that and let the new group refine it. We talked about who we want to be and how we want to approach Tokyo so everyone has the best chance of achieving their goals in Tokyo.

"What was noticeable was how many of our wider team who are working with their closest rivals and team-mates to get the best out of each other. They are all training together and sharing ideas so they all become the best in the world. It's a pretty amazing sharing environment considering many are going head-to-head for an Olympic spot."

All of the NZL Sailing Team will be training in Auckland over the summer leading up to February's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and they will be joined by a handful of the world's best Nacra combinations as the sailors get to grips with the new foiling catamaran that will be used at the Tokyo Olympics.

Fortunately, no injuries were sustained by sailors during the bubble soccer and bullrish, although a couple of members of Yachting New Zealand's staff are still on the treatment table. 

Dan Willcox and Gemma Jones are put through their paces. 

14 Nov 2017
20 Nov 2017