6 Jan 2017

Powrie retires from Olympic sailing

10:24 am on 6 January 2017

New Zealand sailor Polly Powrie has retired from Olympic yatching.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie on the podium, Rio, 2015.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie on the podium, Rio, 2015. Photo: Yachting NZ

Powrie won gold at the 2012 London Olympics in the women's 470 with Jo Aleh and backed it up with a silver at last year's Rio Olympics.

They are also former 470 world champions and in 2013 were named ISAF Female World Sailors of the Year.

The 29-year-old Powrie recently decided she didn't want to commit to another Olympic campaign.

"I have been mulling it over for the last few months," she said. "Jo and I have been sailing together for eight years and achieved possibly everything we could have. I had to ask the question, `was I excited about going again and did I still feel like there was a challenge to achieve?' I also had to take family into consideration and decided it was time to move on and experience different things and challenge myself in different ways."

Meanwhile Aleh is taking a year out from the 470 boat and is looking to compete in the next Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in September 2017.

Last month she was on board new supermaxi CQS for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

"I had a great eight years with Polly," Aleh said. "I know her so well, so it's a bit sad it's over but I support whatever she wants to do.

"We spoke about it after the Games. She wasn't sure if she was going to continue and I wasn't sure either.

"I'm hoping to get into the Volvo and see if I can make that step into a different part of sailing. I'm fully open to the idea of putting another campaign together for the Tokyo Olympics and I had planned to do it with Polly but I want to do some other things in the meantime to keep me interested."

Powrie says she will continue to be involved in sailing in some way, whether it's helping up-and-coming sailors, coaching or being a weekend racer, and will look back fondly on her time on the circuit.