Jo Aleh

Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Date of birth: 
Thursday, May 15, 1986



Rio 2016 was Jo Aleh’s third Olympic Games for New Zealand.

In 2008 she sailed in the single-handed Laser Radial class placing 7th overall, later moving to double-handed sailing and pairing with Polly Powrie (in 2009) in the women’s 470 discipline.

Together Jo and Polly, known as Team Jolly, won Olympic gold at London 2012 and followed that up with silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Together they won five world championship medals in the women’s 470 class, including a silver at the 2016 470 world championships in February in Argentina.

Jo Aleh grew up in west Auckland, convincing her non-sailing parents that she wanted to take up the sport after watching Team New Zealand win the America’s Cup. She represents the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Aleh and Powrie were coached by Nathan Handley. 

Aleh is taking a year out from the 470 following her success with Powrie at the Rio Olympics and hopes to race in the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in October. She will be on the lookout for a new crew to put a campaign together for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Powrie's retirement from Olympic sailing at the end of 2016.

Career Highlights:

  • 2016 Rio Olympic Games - Silver
  • 2016 Women's 470 World Championships - 2nd 
  • 2015 Olympic Test Event Rio - 3rd 
  • 2015 Women's 470 European Championship - 1st 
  • 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - 2nd 
  • 2015 Princess Sofia Regatta - 1st 
  • 2014 Women's 470 World Championship - 2nd 
  • 2014 Olympic Test Event, Rio - 1st
  • 2014 Women's 470 Open European Championship - 3rd 
  • 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - 1st 
  • 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma - 1st 
  • 2013 ISAF Rolex World Female Sailor of the Year

  • 2013 Women's 470 World Champions

  • 2013 Women's European Championship - 2nd 

  • 2012 London Olympic Games - Gold

  • 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold- 1st

  • 2012 470 World Championships- 4th

  • 2012 International 470 Spring Cup – 1st

  • 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships – 3rd
  • 2011 Weymouth and Portland pre-Olympics- 4th
  • 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold- 1st
  • 2011 Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia- 1st
  • 2010 Women’s 470 World Championship – 2nd
  • 2010 Sail Melbourne – 1st
  • 2009 Skandia Sail for Gold – 2nd
  • 2009 Sail Melbourne– 1st
  • 2008 ISAF Ranked #1 Laser Radial [February] 
  • 2008 Olympic Games Laser Radial- 7th
  • 2004 ISAF Youth Worlds (radial) – 2nd

Team mate: TBC

pairing with Olivia ‘Polly’ Powrie. Polly is also an accomplished sailor in her own right; she had a stint in the Yngling during the previous cycle.


Jo and Olivia first combined in 2007 to compete in the Women’s 420 World Championships, and they won the title.  After taking the step up to the 470 class, these two women have been New Zealand’s top women’s 470 duo without dispute.


Their campaign toward 2012 has included numerous podium finishes, most recently winning the Skandia Sail for Gold at the Olympic Venue and the International 470 Spring Cup before that.

They were fourth at the 2012 470 World Championships, bronze in 2011 and silver medallists the year previous.


Nathan Handley is the lead coach for the NZL Sailing Team Women’s 470
















Jo Aleh     

Position: Skipper
Yacht Club: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Resides: Auckland
Age: 26 years

Individual highlights:
2008 ISAF Ranked #1 Laser Radial [February] 
2008 Olympic Games Laser Radial- 7th
2004 ISAF Youth Worlds (radial) – 2nd