As America’s Cup fever reaches boiling point in San Francisco, NZL Sailing team member Jono Spurdle has shown fellow Westlaker Dean Barker how to bring the Cup back home. Jono was part of the NZL Sailing crew that won the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco yesterday.
Jono was at Westlake from 2004-2008 and was a well-respected member of the Westlake Yachting Team during his time at school. The writing was on the wall when Jono was accepted for the R.N.Z.Y.S. Sailing Scheme in 2006, an honour he shared with a number of sailors who were destined for Americas Cup involvements. He raced the Coastal Classic and was selected to represent New Zealand in the Bavaria Youth International Match Racing as well as the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in 2007 and used his experience and superb organisational skills as Captain of the WBHS Yachting team competing strongly in the RNZYS Youth Scheme in his last year at school.
Long-time staff member and WBHS sailing coach, Simon Smith, coached Jono during his years at school. “As captain of the sailing team in his last year, Jono was a tremendous team player. He thought ahead, he organised equipment, he gave one hundred percent and was focussed and driven by the needs of Westlake Sailing. As both captain and sailor he was invaluable; a stalwart, a motivator and a leader who would put the team first at every occasion. His drive for the team to excel and for him personally to develop was paramount. His selection for the Red Bull NZL Sailing Team shows that others recognised that, to the complete sailor there are many skills and that a love for sailing is only but one”.
In 2010 Jono won his first major regatta; the Warren Jones Youth regatta in Perth. It proved to be a special year as not long after, Jono was the first recipient of the prestigious ‘Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award’ recognising outstanding and inspirational leadership skills. This award was even more special as Sir Peter had been his long time hero and inspiration. Other highlights in Jono’s sailing career to date are his win of the Asian Match Racing Championships in 2011 and winning the Knickerbocker Cup in New York as well as coming second in the Match Race France in Marseille in 2012.
If you hear any news about Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]