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Gashby sailing for ETNZ


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09 Nov, 2010 04:00 AM

He’s helped the United States conquer the America’s Cup and now Bendigo sailor Glenn Ashby will be part of Team New Zealand as it strives for similar success.

After winning the A Class Fleet Catamaran event at the inaugural Cairn Curran Classic at the weekend, Ashby told the Bendigo Advertiser he had accepted a role to help the Kiwis in their quest to clinch the coveted America’s Cup in 2013.

“I’ve just signed up with team New Zealand for the next America’s Cup,” he said.

Ashby, who was the head coach of the successful 2009 Oracle America’s Cup team, will assume a much more hands-on approach with Team New Zealand as a sailor.

“I’m going to have more of a sailing role this time rather than focusing on the actual boat like I did last time.”

The Beijing Olympics silver medallist said the offer to work in New Zealand rather than in America or Europe was the best one for him and his young family.

“The offer from Team New Zealand was just too good to refuse,” he said.

“The offer was obviously closer to home than the US, and the sailing role was very attractive to me.”

The Cairn Curran Classic was an opportunity for Ashby to visit home and support the local sailing club.

“My reason for coming down was to support the local country clubs,” Ashby, a dual winner of the Bendigo Advertiser Sports Star of the Year, said.

The long-running awards are sponsored by WIN Television and mecu credit union.

“I did quite a lot of sailing at Cairn Curran when I was younger, but it wouldn’t have been for about 15 years.

“These sorts of clubs have been struggling financially in previous years, but after the success of this year’s event I’m sure that next year’s event will be 2 to 3 times bigger, which is just great for the club.

“It’s really nice to able to come home and support clubs in the country areas.”

Ashby said that Cairn Curran being at 97 per cent of capacity and perfect weather conditions contributed to the success of the event.

“It was great to see so it so full and it brought back a lot of fond memories for me,” he said. “There were shifty winds, which were tricky sailing conditions and it was a lot of fun.

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