Affectionately known as Team Jolly, London 2012 Women's 470 Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie announced their Rio 2016 intentions early in 2013 and success followed thereafter. Three regatta victories in a row set them on their way to a silver medal at the Open European Championship before they took an emphatic gold medal at the 470 World Championship in La Rochelle, France.
Achievements between 31 September 2012 and 31 August 2013
1 - 470 World Championship, La Rochelle, France - July 2013
2 - 470 European Championship, Formia, ITA - July 2013
1 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - May 2013
1 - Garda and Trentino Olympic Week, Riva del Garda, ITA - May 2013
1 - Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta, Auckland, NZL - Feb 2013
What inspired you to take up sailing?
JA - Watching Team New Zealand win the 1995 America's cup on TV.
PP - My family have long been involved in sailing, they were my first cheerleaders. I have always enjoyed the challenge of sailing, there is always something to learn.
What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?
JA - An Optimist, at a learn to sail course at Ponsonby Cruising Club when I was 10 and a half.
PP - Optimist, 9 years old
Name your first sailing club
Both - Kohimarama Yacht Club
What was the first event you competed in and in what year?
Both - The Auckland Anniversary Regatta at Kohimarama, in an Optimist in 1998.
What are you personal sailing career highlights?
JA - Winning the P-Class Tanner cup in 2001, and winning Gold in London in 2012.
PP - Gold medal, London 2012. Gold medal, 2013 470 World Championships.
What are your future sailing goals?
JA - To win gold in 2016 in Rio, and one day compete in the Volvo around the world race.
PP - Olympics/World Championships/Round the World Races/America's Cup. I also enjoy being able to give back to my sport through coaching and support roles.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?
JA - John Morgan: for seeing something in me and believing I could go far, helping me out from my first year in the Optimist.
PP - Our support team: Yachting New Zealand, Nathan Handley, David Slyfield and Jane Magnusson. Family, Friends and the New Zealand sailing community for the support and encouragement they have given me over my career.
Who is your sailing hero?
JA - Sir Peter Blake
PP - The volunteers who give their time and energy to sailing.
What other sports do you enjoy?
JA - Running, Mountain and Road biking and Stand Up Paddle boarding
PP - Road/Mountain biking, Snow skiing, Surfing, team sports.
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?
JA - Upon reading the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards past recipient list I feel truly honoured to even be considered to be in the same league as so many of the amazing sailors that I have looked up to over the years. I still feel that this is just the start of my sailing career and I hope that one day I will have been able to know that I too have inspired other young people to take up this amazing sport.
PP - The history of this award has seen many amazing sailors nominated and it is a great honour to be a part of this. If we were voted the winner it would be a tribute to the many people who have helped Jo and myself in our sailing.