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Great backing for top Kiwi sailors


Great Wall is providing support for two of New Zealand’s leading sailors in their bid to take part in the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

David Barnes and Rick Dodson not only share multiple world championship titles and participation in the America’s Cup, they have also both battled Multiple Sclerosis for 13 years. Their aim is now to provide New Zealand’s Paralympic Sailors with the same reputation and position on the world stage as other New Zealand sailors, such as Neville Crichton, who, as Executive Chairman of Great Wall in New Zealand and Australia is providing support for the Kiwi Gold Sailing team and who is one of the country’s leading sailors.

David and Rick want to use their bid to enter the 2016 Paralympic Games as a springboard to raise the awareness of Sailability, the programme for disabled sailors, to make the Sonar yacht class more available across New Zealand and, from this, use other classes such as the 2.4 and Skud for disabled sailing.

To achieve this David and Rick will be taking their Great Wall sponsored Sonar yacht around the world in the build-up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in September 2016, starting with the Sonar World Championships in Ireland at the end of August, before competing in the USA less than a month later before returning to New Zealand for training in Wanaka prior to a major regatta in Australia in December. A similar calendar of events in 2014 and 2015 will keep the team busy right up to Brazil 2016.

“We are committed to pursuing our goal and we are competing with the hope that others will be inspired to take up sailing,” says David Barnes. “Our message is to never give up on your dreams and to keep believing in a brighter future.”

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