Yachting to make most of funding

By David Leggat

Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie. Photo / Mark Mitchell

YNZ admits it will have to be canny with $11.2m handout but remains ambitious for Olympic success in Rio

Belts will be tightened but Yachting New Zealand is determined to make its Government money work for it leading up to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The gold and silver medals achieved by 470 class women Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, and 49er men Peter Burling and Blair Tuke respectively out of nine classes at this year's Games gave YNZ a solid argument to present to High Performance Sport New Zealand.

The sport did not get all it was seeking - no one did - but with $11.2 million earmarked for the next four years, it sits alongside rowing and cycling at the top table of New Zealand sports. Prudence will be a key for YNZ.

"Everyone at Yachting New Zealand understands everyone has to pull their belts in a bit," chief executive David Abercrombie said last night.

The YNZ board will meet in the New Year to take a good look at where trimmings can be made, without compromising the end game of bagging at least two medals in Rio.

"Some of the things could be the amount of time coaches are on the water, and we'll review the number of campaigns people do," Abercrombie said. "But in saying that we got a similar level of funding to last time [$10.1 million up to and including this year] so we're able to build a similar programme. It's whether we can grow it further."

Of the other two in the tier 1 category, BikeNZ - a silver and a bronze in London - have admitted their costs will exceed the $15.6 million earmarked for the next four years. However, they are planning to put up a strong argument for an increase for 2015 and 2016.

"We will look closely at the numbers and make some hard decisions around our overall structure, which programmes we are able to commit to and the priorities in terms of the level of support," chief executive Kieran Turner said.

In the last four years BikeNZ riders have won 16 elite world medals on the track alone, seven riders or teams are in the top five across three different disciplines.

"Clearly under the current funding levels we will need to prioritise our investment because we won't have the resource to deliver across all these riders and teams," said Turner.

Rowing New Zealand has been conspicuously silent since the funding levels were revealed on Tuesday, the only Olympic sport among the top 10 in terms of support to have kept schtum, other than a brief statement yesterday on its website.

It is understood RNZ is less than enamoured about what it's been allocated - $18.4 million over the next four years, the biggest handout by almost $3 million.

RNZ's statement said that while acknowledging the difficulties of dispensing the funding pie in an equable manner, "Rowing NZ will require some time to reassess the 2013-16 high-performance plans based on what we can achieve with this level of investment".

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 02 Sep 2014 19:00:31 Processing Time: 403ms