Yachting: Burling, Tuke make up ground at world champs

Olympians Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have made up ground at the 49er world champs. Photo / Getty
Olympians Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have made up ground at the 49er world champs. Photo / Getty

New Zealand crews are well placed in third and fourth after the second day of the 49er world championships sailed off Marseille, France, overnight (NZT).

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke made the biggest move, jumping from ninth to fourth after racing today. They showed good speed downwind in light and shifty conditions to finish fourth, third and first in the three races sailed today.

It was an encouraging sign from the Olympic silver medallists, especially as the 2016 Rio Olympics are expected to be sailed in light conditions.

They drew level on points with training partners Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, who started the day in first overall. Hansen and Porebski were third, seventh and ninth in their races.

With 95 boats contesting the 49er world championship, they had been split into three fleets for qualifying rounds. The top 40 boats will now be split into two even groups for the semifinals tonight (NZT) before the top 20 feature in the finals phase which will see short, 20-minute contests raced in roped-off areas.

Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign lead the regatta with 12 points with Denmark's Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang on 11 and the two New Zealand crews a further point behind.

"It was a great day for the Kiwis here in Marseille,'' coach Hamish Willcox said.

The light winds meant only one race was completed in women's racing, with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech moving from 14th to 10th overall after a ninth-placed finish in their race. The pair are the world's No 1-ranked crew in the new Olympic class.

- APNZ

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