Kiwi sailors continue to shine at Finn Gold Cup
The leaderboard is starting to take shape after two days of the Finn Gold Cup (world championships) in Melbourne but it still shows two Kiwis in the top three.
Josh Junior was fifth and first in today's two races - an identical return from day one - and holds a 14-point lead over Croatia's Nenad Bugarin. Andy Maloney is only one point further back in third after posting a 19th and second in the 7-10 knot winds on Port Phillip Bay.
Concentration was crucial on a day like today, especially as it was beset by a delayed start due to light winds, a handful of general recalls for multiple sailors being over the start line and a late finish. It took a while for the breeze to kick in and then shifted around midway through proceedings which forced another delay.
Some of the big names started to assemble themselves in the top 10, including perennial World Cup Series medallist Nicholas Heiner of the Netherlands (fourth), four-time world champion and defending Olympic champion Giles Scott (fifth) and defending world champions Zsombor Berecz of Hungary (eighth).
The scoreboard will shuffle a little after the next race when the discard for each sailor's worst result comes into play.
Junior has a terrific card so far, which gives him a little breathing space, but Maloney will be hoping the 19th he had in today's first race turns out to be his drop for the week. There are still eight races scheduled, including Saturday's medal race.
"It was a long but good day on the water for the guys," coach Andrew Murdoch said. "They both had a bit of work to do in the first race after an average first beat; Josh did well to recover to fifth and Andy was slightly further back and battled back into the teens.
"In the second race the guys rounded behind Ed Wright of Great Britain but closed in on him by the first bottom mark. They were one-two by the next top mark and finished that way, so it was another solid day by the guys and encouraging for the rest of the week. There's plenty more racing to come and a mixed forecast for the next few days so we will see what comes."
Even lighter breezes are forecast tomorrow before fresher winders are due to hit the Melbourne region.
Results and standings after day 2 of the Finn Gold Cup at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne today:
Finn (60 boats)
1st: Josh Junior
(NZL) 1 5 5 1 - 12 points
2nd: Nenad Bugarin (CRO) 8 2 9 7 - 26 pts
3rd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 5 1 19 2 - 27 pts