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Junior up to third at Finn Europeans

Yachting New Zealand


16 MAR 2018

Junior up to third at Finn Europeans

Consistency is paying off for Josh Junior at the Finn European Championships in Spain, with the Wellington sailor now up to third on his return to Olympic class competition.

Junior was fourth and 13th in the two races overnight (NZ time) to jump two places in the overall standings after four days. Andy Maloney also had a profitable day, moving from 18th to 11th on the back of a third and 22nd, and Brendan McCarty is 39th.

Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands continues to lead, although his advantage over Great Britain's Edward Wright was reduced to just five points. Junior is a further 28 points behind in third but that can change quickly with 91 boats in the fleet.

"It's pretty cool to be near the front but I'm not really even thinking about finishing on the podium," Junior said. "It's our first trip back to Europe to race in 18 months so Andy and I are just trying to get back into things.

"I'm there or there abouts all the time. I'm not smashing it but I'm amongst it and I'll just look to keep chipping away. I just want to treat every day as it comes and improve on the little things."

Two more races are scheduled tonight (NZ time) before the top-10 medal race on Saturdaynight. Maloney is on the cusp of qualifying for that, which would be a good achievement for the 27-year-old following his recent switch from the Laser to the heavyweight dinghy.

His third overnight was his best result of the regatta but he still feels like there's plenty of room for improvement.

"I felt a little better tactically today which helps but I still struggled to get off the start line and need to find more speed upwind," he said. "I'm not doing myself any favours there but I've got some wheels downwind.

"I definitely feel I could be going better than I am. I've left a lot of points on the table so if I can fix them up before [the Princess Sofia regatta in] Palma I'll be in good shape.

"I would be happy with a top-10 finish. I'm a little way off at the moment. I just need to get off the start line cleanly, execute a good first beat and I should be good from there."

A building breeze is once again forecast for the fifth day of racing. Last night it increased to more than 20 knots, which suited the power sailors in the fleet.

Junior and Maloney are two of the fittest and strongest guys in the fleet - they were powerhouses on last year's America's Cup-winning team - although they are both feeling the effects of eight races in four days.

"There are a lot of really fit guys in the Finn," Junior said. "It's a power class. I'm by no means the fittest and strongest but I'm doing enough at the moment. I just need to keep chipping away."

Results and standings after the fourth day of the Finn European championships in Cadiz, Spain, overnight (NZ time):

1st: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 1 7 2 1 (17) 5 12 4 - 32 points
2nd: Edward Wright (GBR) 9 1 5 7 (20) 3 5 7 - 37 pts
3rd: Josh Junior (NZL) 6 (43) 4 4 25 9 4 13 - 65 pts

11th: Andy Maloney (NZL) 12 15 24 (29) 12 20 3 22 - 108 pts
39th: Brendan McCarty (NZ) 30 24 29 (49) 45 46 32 49 - 255 pts

See here for full results.


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