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NZL Sailing Team Update: Skiff Gold and Silver

NZL Sailing Team Update: Skiff Gold and Silver; Aleh Powrie set for exciting finale tomorrow

New Zealand has won gold in the 49er and silver in the 49erFX at the Olympic Sailing Test Event (Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014).

With the Women’s 470 set to wrap up tomorrow and New Zealand currently lying 2nd the NZL Sailing Team are in good shape for a three medal haul.

Today Peter Burling and Blair Tuke secured the gold medal breaking an overnight points tie with the French pair with three solid medal races [2-5-4] to take the title by eight points. Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen came through for the silver and Alain Sign and Dylan Fletcher (GBR) pushed out the French for a podium finish.

For Burling and Tuke this continues a clean sweep of victories across all the major Olympic 49er class regattas they’ve contested since winning Olympic silver in 2012, and the men are pleased.

Speaking to ISAF after racing, Burling says, "Obviously we're really stoked to take the win here. We're on a pretty good streak at the moment and we're pleased to keep that going. We've been spending a bit of time learning the conditions and not doing our ideal build up but we're happy to come away from those tricky conditions with a nice win.

"We felt that the luck went around and that everybody got lucky and unlucky on occasions so we're happy with the day."

He continues; "We've been doing a lot of racing this year in pretty big fleets in Palma, Hyeres and the Europeans. This has been the first time we've really got down to an Olympic sized [fleet] and that was one of the positives of the week and it was really good to win in that right size and depth of fleet."

Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have persevered through the week to round out the regatta by posting 6-3 in today’s two theatre style medal races in Rio to comfortably take the 49erFX silver medal.

Brazilian locals Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze sailed strongly all week securing the gold medal today in front of a home crowd.

In the build-up to this regatta the young kiwi 49erFX pair talked of approaching this event as a learning opportunity saying; “The regatta this week is going to be the first time we have raced here in what is going to be the Olympic setting in 2016.”

“The main purpose of this trip is to learn as much as we can about the conditions and venue for the coming years. This year we have a very small fleet of FX sailors to contend with, but there is still a good group out of the top ten in the world for us to compete against.”

The scene is set for a fascinating medal race finale in the Women’s 470 tomorrow. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are one of three crews all on 15 points and sharing the lead going into the final double-points race of the regatta in which the finishing order will determine the podium places.

Aleh and Powrie, who are reigning Olympic and world champs in the class are locked on points with USA’s Anne Haeger and Bri Provancha, and GBR’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark.

The Finn and Nacra 17 classes both wrapped up the regatta in Brazil today with medal racing for the top ten placed sailors in each fleet; New Zealand featured in both events.

In the Finn Andrew Murdoch comes away from this one with a 6th place finish while team-mate Josh Junior ends the series in 8th overall. GBR’s Giles Scott had the title wrapped up before starting today’s Finn medal race.

In the Nacra mixed multihull Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have closed out the regatta in 6thplace after finishing today’s medal race in 8th.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox will feature in the Men’s 470 medal race tomorrow adding a 2nd today to retain 6th overall and six points adrift of a top five finish.

The Laser and Laser Radial fleets were back on the water today for the penultimate day of competition for them – all important in determining who would make the top ten medal race cut.

Sam Meech will sail again tomorrow for New Zealand in the Laser medal race, lying 10th overall at the end of today. Andy Maloney closes the series in 14th place.

In the Laser Radial Sara Winther just misses the chance to sail tomorrow’s medal race and has finished the regatta in 11th.

Aqueece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, 2-9 August 2014
New Zealand’s final results/current standings Full results here

Gold medal: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)
2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)
8th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (49er)

6th Andrew Murdoch (Finn)
9th Josh Junior (Finn)

6th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17)

1st = Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470) - 15 points (7, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 10)
6th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470) - 36 points (8, 9, 7, 1, 9, 13, 2)

10th Sam Meech (Laser) – 61 points (3, 12, 8, 10, 7, 26, 10)
14th Andy Maloney (Laser) – 82 points (9, 13, 12, 8, 15, 18, 6)
11th Sara Winther (Laser Radial) – 61 points (12, 14, 14, 8, 13, 14, 4, 17)

9th Natalia Kosinska (Women’s RS:X)

Support and coaching: Jez Fanstone, Mark Howard, Nathan Handley, Simon Briscoe and Hamish Willcox, Craig Panther, David Slyfield, Louise Johnson, Christel Dunshea- Mooij


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