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31 March 2005, 12:16 pm
Big Changes And New Positions At Yachting New Zealand
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Yachting New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand

In the wake of a medal-less Olympics in 2004, Yachting New Zealand has undertaken several independent reviews of its organization with a particular focus on its Olympic, Youth and general talent development process.
The changes are aimed at maintaining New Zealand's position as the top New Zealand Olympic sport in terms of medals won, and to maintain an international ranking of third or better in terms of Olympic sailing medals won since 1984.

Outside of the Boardsailing events, New Zealand sailors had not won an Olympic medal since Barcelona in 1992, although there have been some good results in the ISAF World Championship between Olympics.

After the Athens Olympics and as part of the Olympic debriefing process, Yachting New Zealand commissioned three independent reports into the 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the 2004 Olympic Games and a critique of the draft 2004-2008 Olympic Plan.

The thrust of the three reports has been very similar and as a result a new simplified sailing structure is being put in place. The three step structure covers all sailors from Learn to Sail to the Olympic podium being: Olympic; High Performance & Youth; and Junior & Participation.

The reasons for this structure are:

• Presents a simpler, more understandable sailing structure and will allow sailors to be transitioned and assisted, if required, from one fleet to the other.
• Provides an end-to-end structure from the time sailors start racing to the Olympic podium. Academies, Coaching and Committees will be symmetrical with this structure
• Splits away the Olympic programme and allows this to be treated as a specialist area rather than being run together with High Performance, as has been the case since the mid-1990's.
• High Performance is a new area concerned with talent development, international classes and the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships.
• Junior and participation will include young sailors up to 16 years old and is also charged with expanding participation in the sport through schools, clubs and adult sailing primarily in conjunction with six Regional Development Officers of whom three have been appointed.

Already the three Committees have been put in place and comprise some of New Zealand's best sailing talent including Rex SELLERS (Olympic gold and silver medallist), David BARNES (three times ISAF 470 World Champion) Grant BECK New Zealand's most successful Olympic coach and John CLINTON - a top double-handed coach at Olympic and World Championship level. Some of this group in conjunction with Britons, Rod DAVIS (Olympic gold in 1984 and silver in 1992) and Don COWIE (2004 Olympic manager and silver medalist in 1992) were responsible for the review of the 2004-2008 draft Olympic Plan.

As part of the new organization three new remunerated positions have been created being Olympic Director; High Performance and Youth Director; and National Programmes Director. These positions are open to international application and the best available candidates are being sought.

Further information can be found here.

Richard Gladwell (As Amended By ISAF).
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