Jo Sails for New Zealand

July 19, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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26-yr-old Jo Aleh is now completing final preparations for competition in the 2012 Olympics at which she will sail representing New Zealand.

Jo Aleh

London 2012 will be Jo’s second Olympic Games. The Auckland-based sailor competed in the Laser Radial in Beijing 2008 and finished just off the podium in 7th. This Olympic Games she teams up with Olivia Powrie in the 470. Their crew came 3rd at the 2011 Perth World Championships which gained them qualification for the London Games. Jo and Olivia had crewed together before in the 420 class in 2007 and won the World Championships. This year they won the International 470 Spring Cup and the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta.

Jo Aleh teamed up with her racing partner Olivia Polly Powrie in 2008 creating Team Jolly with the aim of a medal in the 2012 Olympics. After an impressive opening year in the 470 with many top results including a 3rd place at the European Championships, they climbed up the world rankings to win the Silver medal at the 2010 470 World Championships. They won the 2007 420 championship.

Jo writes: “We are going on media/comm’s black out for the next little while.  During the next few weeks we are covered by all sorts of restrictions on what we can publish etc.. So pretty much to make it easier on us, we will update you all when it is all over!
But for now, we have a job to do, and a bit of sailing to do… (hopefully in a lovely sunny British summer – we can dream anyway….)”

The girls will start competition on August 3 at Portland/Weymouth.

J-Wire asked Jo’s mother Daniella to let a whole army of new supporters know a little more about her daughter…

JW: To begin with, Mazeltov on Jo’s selection to represent New Zealand at the 2012 Olympics

Are any of the family going over to watch her sail?  If so, who?

DA:   I  will be in the UK  to watch her sail   (via tv!!) sailing  not always a good spectator sport. Her dad Shuki watched her  when she was in Beijing.

JW: Does she have brothers and/or sisters?

DA: She has a half brother and sister in that now live in  Israel. Shefa (11) and Yaam (8) We are visiting Israel directly after the games for Shefa’s bat  mitzvah

JW: Do any of them sail?

DA:   Neither of them sail.  Unfortunately they both have cystic fibrosis which makes cold wet sports  much harder to participate in .

JW:   When did Jo start sailing?

DA:   Jo started sailing  when she was ten, after watching the 95 America’s cup on TV.  We were not a sailing family.

JW: Does she have other employment or does she sail professionally?

DA:  She is  now  sailing professionally  although the girl’s  dinghy circuit is not  a prize money circuit . She needs to achieve a  top 8 placing at a specified regatta to gain a Performance Enhancement Grant  from   High Performance Sport, NZ. to maintain funding. She also receives travel and coaching assistance from Yachting New Zealand. She coaches young sailors when she can.

JW: What are her other interests?

DA: She is gradually chipping away at university degree studies in a range of subjects from mechanical engineering, finance and information technology.  The longer she stays an athlete the more her other interests seem to revolve  around  fitness.  She is a keen stand up paddle boarder,  road biking and mountain biking with a penchant for long races.  Enjoys computers and Joss Whedon’s  creations. Plays ukelele.  Very keen on food!

JW: And finally…how proud of her are you and other family members?

DA: I  am extremely proud of Jo and in awe of her commitment and dedication to being a a successful sportswoman. She is  a very focused young woman who is very thorough in her approach to the sport.  We all support her and  thoroughly enjoy her company when we have it.  She is  warm and supportive family member.

Watch the girls at work thanks to TVNZ




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