Kiwi sailors recover from mixed start in Rio

Skipper Jo Aleh and crew Polly Powrie roll tacks on the last day of the Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta in the 470 class. Photo / Richard Robinson.
Skipper Jo Aleh and crew Polly Powrie roll tacks on the last day of the Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta in the 470 class. Photo / Richard Robinson.

Kiwi sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie have recovered from mixed start to the Olympic test regatta in Rio to take the lead in the women's 470 fleet after the second day of racing.

New Zealand also holds second place in both the men's and women's skiff events with world champion crews Peter Burling and Blair Tuke moving up in the 49er ranks and Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech in the 49erFX delivering more strong results.

After struggling with the shifty conditions and ocean swells on day one, Aleh and Powrie responded with a faultless performance today. Racing on the Niteroi course outside Guanabara Bay, the experienced pair took two guns from two races pushing them to the top of the leader board after sitting in third going into the day's racing. With five races on the board they are three points clear of the USA crew, with the British pairing in third.

The Kiwis were prominent on the 49er course where two races were sailed by the 19 boat fleet featuring the world's top crews.

Burling and Tuke finished in the top three in both their races, which saw them shuffle up the leaderboard into second, two points behind the French. Fellow New Zealanders Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski recorded a seventh and a win to climb into seventh overall.

Overnight leaders Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen from Australia only managed two mid fleet finishes as they slipped into third place.

Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech retain second place in the 49erFX with two seconds and a fifth on the water today. They are five points behind local favourites and overall leaders Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze sailing in front of a home crowd.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were solid and consistent once again in the Nacra mixed multihull racing recording a seventh and two fifths today. The young pair are lying fourth overall.

Over in the Finn class Andrew Murdoch recorded his first race win of the regatta and has moved into fifth overall. He placed third and 10th in the other two races sailed today. Josh Junior also had a mixed day in the Finn class, with a 6-7-16 in today's three races to remain in ninth overall.

The men's 470 pairing of Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox also took a race win in Rio today and have improved their overall standing by four places up to sixth overall.

The New Zealand contingent in the Laser fleet have struggled to threaten the leaders, with Sam Meech the best-placed in eighth, while Andy Maloney is back in 13th. Sara Winther is in 13th in the Laser Radial class.

With only the top 10 sailors advancing to the medal race the regatta has come to a close for New Zealand's Natalia Kosinska in the Women's RS:X windsurfing. Kosinska finished the day in 11th place to just miss the cut for tomorrow's finale.

Racing resumes tomorrow for everyone else on what will be the penultimate day of the regatta for the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and Finn classes. The 470s, Lasers and Radials have three days left on the programme.

Aqueece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2014
New Zealand's current standings
1st Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (women's 470) - 6 points (7, 2, 2, 1, 1)
6th Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (men's 470) - 55 points (8, 9, 7, 1, 9)
2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX) - 15 points (1, 1, 7, 4, 2, 5, 2)
2nd Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er) - 18 points (9, 2, 2, 14, 3, 2)
7th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (49er) - 30 points (11, 3, 11, 12, 4, 1)
5th Andrew Murdoch (Finn) - 39 points (10, 12, 8, 4, 3, 3, 1, 10)
9th Josh Junior (Finn) - 54 points (5, 16, 18, 3, 1, 6, 7, 16)
4th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17) - 29 points (3, 5, 6, 5, 7, 5, 5)
8th Sam Meech (Laser) - 28 points (3, 12, 8, 10, 7)
13th Andy Maloney (Laser) - 42 points (9, 13, 12, 8, 15)
13th Sara Winther (Laser Radial) - 47 points (12, 14, 14, 8, 13)
11th Natalia Kosinska (women's RS:X) - 62 points (13, 2, 15, 2, 12, 7, 11, 15)

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