Sailing: Tauranga sailors to the fore

The six Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club members in the New Zealand team again performed with distinction on the second and final day of qualifying rounds of the ISAF Sailing World Cup off Hyeres, France, in light and tricky conditions.

New Zealand's only crew in the 49erFX women's skiff, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, have improved their overall position from fifth climbing to third after three races yesterday. The girls, who took the silver medal at the last round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, were second, fifth and sixth on day two.

The jump means Maloney and Meech open the finals stage carrying just three points with Germans Jurczok and Lorenz leading, and British pair Dobson and Rook lying second.

Sam Meech made huge gains on day two in the 113 strong Laser event lifting his overall standing from 12th up to third place aided by a fourth and a third. Meech, is clearly hunting for a repeat of his podium finish in Palma earlier this month.

Thomas Saunders, also in the single-handed Laser, has held tight to seventh place while Andy Maloney has risen to 13th, opening day two with a bullet.

"We completed the qualifying series today with two races in some more challenging, shifty conditions," said Maloney. "Unlike day one though, I did get to do the odd bit of hiking today which was nice after getting sore butt bones from sitting on the side of my boat for eight hours yesterday.

"I sailed a solid first race to secure my first race win of this event. In the second race I had a below average start and clawed my way back to 17th. Not a great day overall, but I qualified for the final series in 13th and tomorrow the real racing begins. A bit more breeze forecast for the next few days should see for some more exciting racing."

New Zealand features strongly on the Finn leader-board as well with Aucklander Josh Junior wrapping up qualifying in fourth place and Tauranga's Andrew Murdoch in fifth. For Murdoch this was a big turnaround from day one where his opening races had him in 20th as he raced home with eighth, fifth and eighth placings to rocket up the board and carries forward just five points to the next stage. Junior carries four points.

Sailors from other parts of New Zealand also did well.

Men's 470 pair Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox have slipped from the top of the table into second place after British sailors Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield aced the day with two bullets and nudged ahead.

However the Kiwis, who were 12th and third on day two, have advanced to the next stage of the series and carry forward their current position to count as the first race on their scorecard from here. From this point the scoring is effectively re-started and the Kiwis, lying second overall, count only two points.

Elsewhere Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, in the 49er skiff, finishing in 16th place after a fourth and fifth placing.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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