Bruce and Aaron built a team relationship when they were both competing at the top level of Olympic Windsurfing; this teamwork propelled them to the top and, now in the same boat, they will focus on creating the package that will have them in contention by 2008. In 1984 Bruce won a bronze medal on the Windglider which he followed up four years later with a gold medal sailing a Lechner. In 1992 Bruce narrowly missed out on a medal when he finished fourth, a result matched by Aaron in 1996 when the Mistral was the equipment. Aaron went one better in Sydney in 2000 again sailing a Mistral when he took home the bronze medal.
Together Aaron and Bruce have the ideal weight and skills to be more than just competitive in this class. The competition they are up against is formidable. The current Olympic medallists in this class are all continuing and have won medals before 2004. They have many years of experience in the class and huge budgets.
The Tornado is an extremely high performance machine. It weighs only 145 Kilograms and has a down wind sail area of 47m2. It is easily the fastest Olympic Sailing Class. Recent improvements to the equipment include a carbon fibre mast, which will further improve the performance of the boat. This change has forced everyone in the class to begin their equipment development programs again which has levelled the playing field.
With Bruce and Aaron's vast experience in Olympic Class Sailing, attention to detail and hundreds of hours on the water they have the potential to finish on the podium again in Beijing 2008.
Their program is based in New Zealand and Australia through to March 2006 when they head to Europe to further their racing and training program.'Imagine the potential of two of the most creative sailing minds,' says Yachting New Zealand Olympic Director, Rod DAVIS. 'Both medallists at different Olympic games, sailing together to win another Olympic medal. As Olympic Director I consider myself fortunate to have Aaron and Bruce teaming up in the Tornado Class catamaran. It's a long road though country qualifications and New Zealand Olympic selection but both know what winning Olympic medals is all about and they have huge potential.'
Since his last Olympic appearance as an Olympic Representative Athlete, Aaron worked with Oracle BMWs Americas Cup team from 2000 through 2002 as part of their weather program. In 2003 he began his Tornado Olympic campaign with Mark KENNEDY. Unfortunately Mark became ill and they were not able to compete at the 2004 Olympics.
In 2005 he teamed up with an Argentine sailor double Olympic Silver medallist Carlos ESPINOLA to finish sixth in the Tornado World Champs.
Since his last Olympic appearance Bruce has been coaching Olympic Class sailing. Barbara KENDALL and Aaron have benefited from his achievements and experience and have gone on to win four Olympic medals and seven World Championship titles between them.
In 2004 Bruce was head hunted by Nikos KAKLAMAKIS the Greek windsurfer who not only lit the Olympic Flame for the 2004 opening ceremony - but also went on to win the silver medal and in 2005 he coached Sharon FERRIS, Raynor SMEAL and Ashley HOLTUM to finish second overall at the 2005 Yngling World Championship.