19 year old former Kristin School student Oscar Gunn has been sailing since he was six years old and racing competitively from the age of nine. He came third as an under 10 year old in his first Optimist class regatta, clearly showing some very early promise. Since that time the Murrays Bay Sailing Club member has progressed through the sailing ranks from the Optimist, to P Class, Starling, 29er and is now campaigning at the top level in the 49er. The Shore born-and-bred sailor is one of Yachting New Zealand’s brightest stars. Oscar’s goal is qualifying and medaling at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"Our key performance goal this year is to place inside the top 10 at the combined World Sailing World Championships in Aarhus (Denmark),” explained Oscar in his AIMES Awards application, regarding the goal for he and 49er sailing partner Logan Dunning-Beck. "This will be our pinnacle event for the season and have an impact on our pathway to Olympic selection in 2019/2020. The 2019 World Championships will be held in New Zealand in December 2019 and we expect these to be one of the New Zealand Olympic selection regattas. We expect to be training and racing both Internationally and domestically through 2019 with the goal of winning the 2019 World Championships on our home waters.”
The good news is that Oscar achieved his stated goal in Aarhus. Finishing in seventh place at the World Sailing World Championships. On their website Yachting New Zealand proudly reported… "In the 49er, Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn finished in the top 10 (7th) and were leading during the regatta. An outstanding result”. Oscar and Logan also achieved further success placing second at 2018 World Sailing World Cup at Enoshima Japan very recently.
"Logan and I are working really hard to qualify for the 2020 Olympics,” said Oscar, back in August. "We have approached our campaign with the goal of obtaining a medal at the Olympics and have devoted our lives to this with training and racing. To date we have been meeting the goals we have set with a third place in the Pre Olympic event in Japan last year, a win in the New Zealand 49er Nationals and a 2nd place in the World Sailing World Cup event in Hyeres France earlier this year. We are currently in Aarhus Denmark about to compete in the 49er Class at the World Sailing Combined World Championship. Following this we are attending the 2018 Pre Olympic Regatta in Tokyo before we return to New Zealand to train through summer."
As well as sailing competitively Oscar is also studying Engineering and is in his second year at AUT.
Oscar also enjoys giving back to the sport he loves and assists as a coach at Murrays Bay Sailing Club, coaching a number of junior Starling and 29er sailors plus he teaches Windsurfing at Lake Pupuke.
"I am very proud to be selected as an AIMES Emerging Talent winner,” said Oscar in early October. "To see what previous winners have gone on to achieve is inspirational and its very special to join a select group of talented youth. To be recognised for my achievements to date with financial support is greatly appreciated and will help me continue working towards my Olympic dream.
Summary of Oscar Gunn’s key achievements: 12th 29er Open Worlds 2015; 1st New Zealand 29er Nationals 2016; 1st 29er New Zealand Youth Trials 2016; 10th 29er Youth Worlds 2016; 3rd Enoshima Olympic week 2017; 7th Gamagori World Cup 2017; 5th Sail Sydney 2017; 5th NZL Sailing Regatta 2018; 1st New Zealand 49er Nationals 2018; 2nd World Sailing World cup, Hyeres 201 7th Kiel Week 2018; 7th World Sailing World Championships, Aarhus 2018; 2nd World Sailing World Cup, Enoshima Japan 2018.
Oscar Gunn receives the AIMES Emerging Talent Award from the North Harbour Club – sponsored by Bellingham Wallace – including a cash grant of $7,500.
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