New Zealand America’s Cup Team Recruits More Kiwi Sailors
Published on November 10th, 2016
With the aim to continue to bring a new generation of young, fit and ultra talented New Zealand sailors to the America’s Cup, challenger Emirates Team New Zealand has now recruited New Zealand Sailing Team members Andy Maloney and Josh Junior for the 35th America’s Cup campaign.
Both 26 year old, Maloney from the Murrays Bay Sailing Club and Junior from the Worser Bay Sailing Club are accomplished and internationally recognized dinghy sailors in the Laser and Finn classes respectively.
They join Emirates Team New Zealand achieving the first part of a 20 year old dream since 1995 when, at the age of 5, they watched their country winning the America’s Cup for the first time.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Maloney, “sailing for Emirates Team New Zealand has always been a huge goal of mine. It’s been awesome watching the America’s Cup evolve over the past few cycles, and now to be sailing on the high performance foiling machines for this 35th America’s Cup is just epic.”
The second part of the dream of course winning the America’s Cup for Emirates Team New Zealand.
Andy Maloney has spent most of his life in the Laser class winning multiple medals at World Cup events and narrowly missing out on the final selection for the Rio Olympics 2016. Maloney is yet another member of the winning New Zealand Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Team from San Francisco in 2013, now joining Peter Burling, Blair Tuke and Guy Endean as part of the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup sailing team.
Josh Junior campaigned in the Laser class for London 2012, before going on to switch to the heavy-weight men’s Finn class in which he has excelled, producing some career topping performances in 2015 and 2016 and competing in the last Olympics finishing 7th.
In the transition from the 34th to 35th America’s Cup campaign Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton knew it was vital to continue to bring some of the huge pool of young New Zealand sailing talent through the ranks if the team wanted to stay at the forefront of world sailing.
“Experience remains a crucial ingredient of this America’s Cup but these catamarans are also incredibly demanding physically,” said Dalton. “These guys are young and powerful, but will have to work hard to learn everything about sailing in the America’s Cup. They have the raw talent and motivation as well as some pretty valuable experienced guys like Glenn Ashby & Ray Davies to guide them.”
As Dalton explained joining Emirates Team New Zealand will be a big challenge for the two young sailors because the transition from Olympic sailing to being part of a large, structured sailing team will not be easy. They will have to soak up the knowledge and the experience within the team and push hard for a place on the America’s Cup boat.
Moreover, as Josh explained: “We are not just involved in the sailing side; 10% of our time is on the water, the remaining 90% we are in the shed, in the gym or helping out the boat builders. Learning everyday from the best guys in their respective fields be it engineers, designers or sailors is just awesome. A huge challenge and an honour at the same time.”
Maloney continued: “We are flying around the Auckland Harbour at more than 30 knots, going 20 knots seems slow these days, which is pretty unreal coming from a Laser a few months ago. I’m loving every minute of it and I am really looking forward to helping Emirates Team New Zealand bring the Cup back to New Zealand.”
Glenn Ashby Skipper and Sailing Team Director was quick to acknowledge what Maloney and Junior bring to the team: “Obviously both very much at the top of their game and extremely talented young guys, we were really looking for fit young talented guys and they are two of the best coming through New Zealand yachting. They certainly bring a lot to the power department, so we are very fortunate have them onboard.”
Andy and Josh after a trial period, have now been officially signed by Emirates Team New Zealand and are already training on the water with the AC45 test boat.