Kiwi crew maintain lead at Kiel Week
Yachting New Zealand
23 JUN 2017
Kiwi crew maintain lead at Kiel Week
The weather might have been a bit volatile but at least the New Zealand sailors at the Kiel Week regatta were able to maintain some order.
They had to contend with a lack of breeze, lightning, thunderstorms, torrential rain and squalls all in one day but Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey did well in the unstable conditions to maintain their lead in the 49er competition and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are fourth in the 49erFX.
“It was pouring with rain this morning, it was crazy,” said Meech. “But then we got on the water and the first race was perfect skiff racing conditions. Then the breeze went a bit funky, a bit lighter and it was super tricky. But we’re happy with how we’ve come out of the day.”
The Olympic silver medallists slipped one place in the overall standings but banked three solid scores - 2nd, 11th and 3rd - which was important in such difficult conditions. Their first race sometimes had 20 knots of wind and their last finished with a drift-off in 3-4 knots.
The 49er fleet managed only two races and Porebski and Rippey came back from a tough first beat in the first race to finish in the top 10 before finishing third in the second race.
"In the second race, the breeze was really shifty and went hard right and then died," Porebski said. "We managed to get on the right side of the big shift and then held off the rest of the fleet. It was really light by the finish and a few boats got timed out.
"We waited around for a few hours to get another race under way but it didn't end up happening so it was a really long day on the water. All in all, it was a pretty good day."
Kiel Week is one of the biggest regattas outside of world and European championships and, apart from those involved in Bermuda with the America's Cup, most of the world's top sailors are in Germany.
Porebski and Rippey are level on nine points with Australian pair David Gilmour and Joel Turner with a further six points back to Olympic bronze medallists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel from Germany.
The top 25 boats now compete in the gold fleet with five races before the double points medal race.
"The next two days are pretty important," Rippey said. "We probably need to keep the low scores coming and try to keep consistent at the front so that by the time we get to the medal race we still have a shot at winning the regatta."
Maloney and Meech are still well placed in the 49erFX fleet but will look to make some ground up over the next couple of days. They are only two points off a podium spot but 10 points behind the leaders, Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz from Germany.
"A really good forecast is predicted so, hopefully, we will be able to stretch our legs more consistently," Maloney said. "It will also be good to line up against the best girls here [in the gold fleet].
"We had two good starts today and one average one so we will be working on that tomorrow to get off the line well."
Paralympian Andrew May, who was part of the Kiwi Gold crew who competed in Rio, was 14th in the only race in the 2.4mR Para World Sailing Championship sailed overnight and is 18th overall after three races.
New Zealand results and standings at the Kiel Week regatta in Germany overnight (NZT):
49er (69 boats)
1st: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 4 1 1 (10) 3 - 9 points
2nd: David Gilmour / Joel Turner (AUS) 1 4 3 1 (19) - 9 points
3rd: Erik Heil / Thomas Plossel (GER) (15) 1 3 5 6 - 15 points
49erFX (48 boats)
1st: Victoria Jurczok / Anika Lorenz (GER) (26) 1 1 4 4 1 - 11 points
2nd: Tina Lutz / Sasann Beucke (GER) 1 5 (16) 3 3 2 - 14 points
3rd: Enia Nincevic / Petar Cupac (CRO) (15) 6 4 4 1 4 - 19 points
4th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 4 1 (17) 3 11 2 - 21 points
2.4mR Para World Sailing Championship (41 boats)
18th: Andrew May (NZL) 17 (18) 14 - 31 points