The Paralympics are about to get underway for New Zealand sailors Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel sailing in the SKUD 18, and Paul Francis (pictured left) competing in the 2.4 metre class.
With these two crews in Weymouth for the Paralympic Games New Zealand will be represented in two of the three events on the sailing schedule.
Our three person sailing team form part of a 26 strong team of New Zealand athletes who will compete on the world stage between 29th August and 9th September. Kiwis will be competing in athletics, cycling, equestrian, rowing, shooting and swimming as well as sailing.
Rob Hielkema updates from Weymouth where the team are counting down:
“Paul and his coach Charles Baillie-Strong have been here in Weymouth for a week sailing from the Ferry Bridge Marina. They’ve been busy with boat measuring and getting new systems, developed in New Zealand, applied to the boat in the UK. Tim and Jan, and assistant coach Steve Cranch have just arrived.”
“Paralympics New Zealand presented each sailor and coach in our team a ponamu pendant. These have been specifically designed for the team and represent our culture and pride within the team remembering those before us, those competing now and the athletes of the future who we hope to inspire and will follow in our footsteps.”
“We head out onto the water tomorrow to blow out the cobwebs. It looks like windy Weymouth will put it on this week! We are all really looking forward to the Games.”
Our sailors hit the water on 1st September and wrap up on 6th September.
Here’s how you can follow the action…
The official website http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/sports/
Paralympics New Zealand http://paralympics.org.nz/london2012.htm
Paralympics New Zealand Facebook http://www.facebook.com/paralympicsnewzealand
The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympic Games and will take place between 29 August and 9 September 2012. The Games will be held in London, England after the city was successful with its bid for the Paralympics and Summer Olympic Games.