Kiwis get Olympic sailing gold in women's 470
By BERNIE WILSON,
Updated August 10, 2012
WEYMOUTH, England (AP) New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the gold medal in the women's 470 on Friday, the Kiwis' second sailing medal of the London Olympics.
Aleh and Powrie came into the medals race tied on points with the British crew of Hannah Mills and Saski Clark. The Kiwis won the race while the British finished ninth and took the silver.
It's the first gold medal for the Kiwis in a boat with a rudder since 1984, when Russell Coutts topped the Finn fleet and Rex Sellers and Christopher Timms won the Tornado class. Coutts went on to become the most dominant skipper in America's Cup history.
The Kiwis have been strong in windsurfing in recent Olympics, but until these games, they hadn't won any medals in boats with rudders since 1992.
Aleh was inspired to get into sailing by Team New Zealand's win over Dennis Conner in the 1995 America's Cup, the first of three straight victories for Coutts. The first two were with the Kiwis and the third was with Alinghi of Switzerland. Coutts was CEO of BMW Oracle Racing when it beat Alinghi in 2010 to bring the America's Cup back to the United States.
On Wednesday, the Kiwi 49er skiff crew of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took silver.
In the women's 470 medals race, the British forced the Kiwis to the right side of the course because they liked the left side, but then the wind shifted. That put the Kiwis solidly in the lead.
The bronze medal went to Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkout of the Netherlands.