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ISAF Windsurfing: World Championship silver for Kendall

Barbara Kendall has won silver at the RS:X World Championships being sailed as part of the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal. New Zealand now has two medals after Andrew Murdoch also won silver in the Lasers.

“It’s pretty amazing really, I must admit, it hasn’t really hit home yet what I’ve just achieved, because its been a very, very full-on regatta and very, very tiring. And I think maybe in about 24 hours I’ll go WOW!” says Kendall talking to yachting commentator Peter Montgomery in Portugal.

Kendall admits that she hasn’t had time yet to reflect on the achievement.

“I must say that I haven’t really dwelt on it too much and when someone asked me today, ‘how many medals is that now?’ and I had to go back to my website to have a little look, cause its all a little bit of a blur. It’s been 20 years at the top pretty much, so it’s pretty amazing. It has been a long time, and I’m just so lucky that I’m in a sport that I absolutely love."

Zofia Klepacka of Poland won last night’s medal race and took the world title.

“She had an amazing regatta,” says Kendall. “She has won youth worlds, so she’s got talent. It was amazing to watch her, you know, because she had quite a few deep starts, where she was back a lot, and then she hit corners and she came out absolutely royal and it was her turn.”

“And that happens in sailing, you know and that’s what’s amazing about sailing – sometimes you can pull off a good one. And it’s the consistency, at the end of the day, that gets you right through all the twenty years, I‘d say.”

Kendall rounded the first mark in the lead, after Klepacka came off her board in the first leg.

“I tried not to think where she was, but I knew when I rounded the top mark first, and I knew that she was well deep. If the breeze had stayed in it would have been all over for her because, you know, it’s pretty hard to come back. But the conditions here are so fluky and so shifty, that anything can happen and it usually does here.”

“She rounded the top mark for the second time in about 5th or 6th and then she sailed right around the edge of the fleet and ended up winning the race. But she’s done that in quite a few of the races. Great positioning, a little bit of luck, and away she went. So she’s had a fantastic regatta, and she’s been knocking on the door for quite a few years now, so it’s good for her to finally pull off one.”

“It has been one of the toughest regattas I’ve done, as far as difficulty mentally because it’s been so shifty and on the first day I had a really deep race to be able to turn that around mentally and keep the body going physically – it’s been pretty tough actually.”

Kendall now looks forward to the Pre-Olympic regatta one month from now, and then to next years world championships which will be sailed in home territory on Auckland’s North Shore.

“I go to Qingdao in a months time for the pre-Olympic regatta, I get to check out what their conditions are like, and then go back to the drawing board to figure out how I’m going to spend the next year to prepare for Qingdao.”

“But the really exciting thing is that we have the world championships in New Zealand on the 10th – 20th January, so finally, hopefully New Zealand will be able to see what happens at a wind surfing world championships.”

“It’d be good to pull off a win at home, that’d be really good, and I think that in both the men’s fleet and our fleet, I’m sure that’d be a good thing to see.”

Tom Ashley finished in 15th place in the men’s fleet well inside the top twenty-five nations which was the bench mark required to earn an Olympic berth for New Zealand in the men’s RS:X for next year.

With these places confirmed overnight New Zealand has now qualified to send a representative in seven classes to next year’s Olympic Games in Qingdao, China.

Places are now confirmed in the following classes…

Star
Finn
Laser
Laser Radial
Women’s RS:X
Mens’s RS:X
Yngling

ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
New Zealand Final Results

RS:X Women – Women’s wind-surfer (73 boards)
Barbara Kendall – 2nd

RS:X Men – Men’s wind-surfer (113 boards)
Tom Ashley – 15th
Jon-Paul Tobin – 21st

For more information contact

Jodie Bakewell-White
Communications & Events Manager
Tel: (09) 361 4023
Mobile: 0292 008 492

or

Yachting New Zealand on (09) 361 1471

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