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Olympics - RS:X. Tom Ashley nominated to NZOC

A stand-out year with multiple regatta wins has earned board sailor Tom Ashley a nomination to NZOC for inclusion in the New Zealand Olympic Team for 2008.

Yachting New Zealand will submit the nomination for Ashley’s inclusion to the New Zealand Olympic Committee this week, bringing the total nominated sailors to five with more likely over coming months. Early nomination is seen as important giving sailors’ maximum time to focus on preparation for competition at the Olympic Games.

Following ratification from NZOC it will be Ashley who represents the country in Qingdao next year.

A gold medal for Ashley at the Pre-Olympics regatta sailed recently at the Olympic venue bodes well for the real event now just less than one year away.

While the Pre-Olympic Regatta was the pinnacle event for Ashley for 2007 he has a number of other top performances to his name this year, including wins at Princess Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain, at Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres, France and also at the RS:X South American Championships in Brazil.

It was Ashley’s performance at the ISAF World Sailing Championships that earned the Olympic berth for New Zealand in the Men’s RS:X class.

New Zealand has a spot in eight of the eleven Olympic sailing events and Yachting New Zealand has now made nominations in five of those eight classes. Sailors with the early nod from the national body, and awaiting ratification from NZOC, include the following…

Tom Ashley – Men’s RS:X Board Sailing
Barbara Kendall – Women’s RS:X Board Sailing
Dan Slater – Finn, Men’s heavy-weight Dinghy
Jo Aleh – Laser Radial, Women’s one-person Dinghy
Andrew Murdoch – Laser, Men’s one-person Dinghy

Other classes where New Zealand has qualified a place include the Star, Women’s 470 and the Yngling, while remaining classes including the Men’s 470, the Tornado and the 49er all have a few more places up for grabs at their respective World Championships to be sailed early in 2008.

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