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49er, FX and Nacra Racing underway for European titles

NZL Sailing Team Update: 49er, FX and Nacra Racing underway for European titles

Racing is underway at the European Championships for the Olympic 49er and 49erFX skiffs (in Helsinki) and also for the Olympic Nacra 17 multihull (in La Grande Motte).

49er and 49erFX
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sailed three races on the opening day in Helsinki. Conditions were 7-12 knots on the courses for the men’s racing, building later for the women in the FX rigged skiffs who raced second.

Burling and Tuke, Olympic silver medallists and reigning world champs, opened the regatta with a race win, and then placed 12th and 4th in the subsequent races. They are 6th overall in the standings at this early stage and are content with the start they’ve made.

“Solid day one for us here at the European Champs,” says Blair Tuke. “Couple of missed opportunities but all in all a nice start to a long week.

Points are predictably close through the leaders at this early stage in the six day regatta and the New Zealanders can be grateful they’re not one of a number of crews suffering boat damage after coming in contact with a rock, or the bottom, off Helsinki.

NZL Sailing Team-mates Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski have also made a solid start in the 49er where 83 boats are split into three fleets for the opening stages. The kiwi young guns are in 13th at the end of the opening day racing home with a 4th, 12th and 8th place finishes.

In the 49erFX fleet of 51, Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (pictured © Esko Kilpi) lie 17th after four races today. Their results from today looked like this: 8th, 11th, 6th and 9th, and they’re keen to improve on that.

“Tough first day for us, as we forced ourselves to play catch up in all four races,” comment Maloney and Meech. “We are happy there are plenty more races over the next five days to improve on today’s performance.”

2014 49er and 49erFX European Championships, Helsinki, Finland
What: Olympic skiff classes (Men’s and Women’s)
When: Tuesday July 8th - Sunday July 13th
New Zealand’s Current standings after day one
49er: (83 boats)

6th Peter Burling and Blair Tuke 17 points (1, 12, 4)
13thMarcus Hansen and Josh Porebski 24 points (4, 11, 8)
39th Logan Dunning-Beck and Jack Simpson 40 points (15, 16, 9)
58th Ben Goodwin and Sam Bullock 53 points (15, 13, 25)
49erFX: (51 boats)
17thAlexandra Maloney and Molly Meech 23 points (8, 11, 6, 9)
27th Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland 33 points (11, 9, 13, 23)
NZL Sailing Team Coachs: Jez Fanstone and Hamish Willcox

Nacra 17
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are New Zealand’s only crew at the 2014 Nacra 17 European Champs which kicked off in France today (after day one on Monday was cancelled due to light winds) and they’ve made a great start.

Jones and Saunders won the first race for the grey fleet and were then pleased to back that up with a pair of solid, counting results in the form of an 11th and an 8th.

“We had three keepers which is good from a first day like that,” said Jones “It was very shifty, very up and down and when we first went out it was very windy. The first and second races were a bit lighter. We feel like we had good speed and were racing quite well but just have to get on the right side of the wind-shifts.”

2014 Nacra 17 European Championships, La Grande Motte, France
What: Olympic mixed multihull
When: Monday July 7th - Saturday July 12th
New Zealand’s Current Standings
8thGemma Jones and Jason Saunders 20 points (1, 11, 8)
NZL Sailing Team Coach: Will Howden

Racing resumes tomorrow for the 49er, 49erFX and the Nacra 17 with the Men’s and Women’s 470 sailors commencing racing in Athens.

2014 Men’s and Women’s 470 European Championships, Athens, Greece
What: Olympic double-handed dinghy classes (Men’s and women’s)
When: Racing starts Wednesday July 10th and runs until Tuesday July 15th
New Zealand’s entries
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie
NZL Sailing Team Coach: Nathan Handley
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox
NZL Sailing Team Coach: Pete Evans

About the NZL Sailing Team
The NZL Sailing Team includes New Zealand’s top Olympic campaigners who have made the top 20% in their most recent (respective) class World Championships or pinnacle event and have shown consistency of performance over the year including other significant Championships.

Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Programme is focussed on winning medals at the Olympics in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

NZL Sailing Team sailors all started out at grass roots yacht clubs around the country and with commitment, dedication and drive have risen to be world class athletes; they work hard in the gym, train long hours on the water and are supported by great coaches.

ENDS

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