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Aleh in 2015
|Full name||Joanna Ayela Aleh|
15 May 1986|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight||127 lb (58 kg)|
|Club||RNZYS, Takapuna Boating Club, Auckland, New Zealand|
Aleh is Jewish, and was born in Auckland, daughter of Israeli father Shuki Shukrun and British-born mother Daniella Aleh, a former Israeli soldier. She lives in Auckland where she began a degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Auckland. But then sailing got in the way, and she moved on to AUT to continue her engineering degree, but then found it too hard to fit sailing and university, so she is currently studying a Bachelor of Information Science at Massey University extramurally.
Just before her ninth birthday, Aleh was impressed by the New Zealand victory in the 1995 America's Cup, and asked her father if she could learn to sail. She did a learn to sail course at the Ponsonby Cruising Club and with the help of her extended family a small sailing dinghy was purchased. She began her competitive career at the age of 11 in an Optimist. Her first competition event was the Auckland Anniversary Regatta, for Kohimarama YC, in 1998.
She won the Auckland Optimist Girls' Championship in 2000, in Kohimarama YC. Her first international competition was the 2002 Cork Regatta, in Kingston, Canada, in the Byte Class, where she won both the Youth and Open divisions, then moved onto the youth classes (under 18) and competed at two ISAF Youth World Championships, finishing with a Silver medal in her final year.
Aleh then began the road to Beijing, competing in the Laser Radial class (women's single handed class) with a string of successful results including a World Cup event win, and a Silver medal at the Pre-Olympic Test Event in Qingdao, China.
Aleh and her sailing partner Olivia Polly Powrie won a silver medal in the 2010 470 World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, and a bronze medal in the 470 World Championships in the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, Australia. She and Powrie finished fourth at the Barcelona World Championships in May 2012, won the women's 470 class in the World Cup in Weymouth, England, in June 2012, and are the current New Zealand 470 national champions.
Aleh's highest world rankings have been No. 1 in the Women's Laser Radial (5 March 2008), and No. 1 in the Women's 470 (2013). She now primarily sails a 470 with the Auckland yacht club known as the Takapuna Boating Club. Her coach since 2009 has been Nathan Handley.
She is a life member of the Kohimarama Yacht Club, Takapuna Boating Club and Yachting New Zealand, and is a current member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
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