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Kiwi crew claim silver at Kiel Week

Kiwi crew claim silver at Kiel Week

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech had to settle for second at the Kiel Week regatta after finishing fourth in the double points medal race overnight (NZ time).

The Olympic 49erFX silver medallists needed to finish four places ahead of Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey in the medal race to claim gold but the British crew sailed well to win and finished 13 points ahead of the Kiwis, who ended with a comfortable 14-point buffer over third.

Maloney and Meech led the competition after three days but struggled yesterday, even suffering a capsize in the gusty conditions, which Dobson and Tidey capitalised on. Dobson and Tidey sailed consistetly well all week and have emerged as one of the best combinations in the 49erFX fleet after teaming up as recently as January.

But Maloney and Meech will be satisfied with their return to competitive sailing after taking a break following the Rio Olympics. They finished fifth at the World Cup finals in Santander earlier this month but would have finished in the medals had they not picked up a 50 percent loading on their first-day results for having a boat underweight and backed it up with silver at Kiel Week.

"We feel good against the fleet," Maloney said. "We still have a lot to learn but we back ourselves. It was great to get back into racing over the past month and we were able to practice a few areas of weakness.

Strong and gusty winds once again greeted the various fleets at Kiel Week, which is one of the biggest regattas outside of world and European championships.

"The medal race was exciting and sailed in a variety of conditions," Maloney said. "We sailed pretty well tactically and got back into it a few times in the race but, overall, made a few too many mistakes. We are looking forward to the next battle with the Brits and some of the other girls in the fleet."

That next battle is likely to be at August's 49er and 49erFX world championships in Portugal, where the pair will aim to replicate their success of 2013 when they won the world title. Maloney and Meech will return to New Zealand and soon resume training in Auckland.

Paralympian Andrew May, who was part of the Kiwi Gold crew who competed in Rio, finished 12th overall in the 2.4mR Para World Sailing Championship after recording a 19th and 15th in the last two races overnight.

New Zealand results and standings at the Kiel Week regatta in Germany overnight (NZT):

49erFX (48 boats)

1st: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) (16) 4 5 1 3 11 4 1 5 5 1 2 2 - 44 points

2nd: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 4 1 (17) 3 11 2 1 2 1 6 10 8 8 - 57 points

3rd: Enia Nincevic / Petar Cupac (CRO) 15 6 4 4 1 4 (25) 5 18 2 4 4 4 - 71 points

2.4mR Para World Sailing Championship (41 boats)

12th: Andrew May (NZL) 17 18 13 12 17 16 7 7 (19) 15 - 122 points

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