Gold in the bag for Maloney and Meech at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

Skipper Alexandra Maloney and crew Molly Meech. Photograph by Richard Robinson
Skipper Alexandra Maloney and crew Molly Meech. Photograph by Richard Robinson

New Zealand's 49erFX sailing crew of Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have gold in the bag at 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, after using the penultimate day of the regatta to open up an unassailable 30 point lead.

Tomorrow the pair must sail their top ten medal race, but even last place will be good enough. The result will mean a successful Miami title defence for Maloney and Meech, having won this same event in January 2015.

They sailed three races today opening with an 18th place. The average result clearly spurred the pair who went on to place 2nd and then 1st in the subsequent two races, propelling them into the enviable un-beatable position.

"We're pretty happy to come away with a win this week," explained Meech. "We haven't looked at the results this week so we are kind of surprised. Last year we came away with a win in Miami so it's nice to do it again."

Meech continued, "We had a pretty up and down season in 2015 so it's nice to start this one off on top again so hopefully we can continue."

"We've had a pretty good summer back home in New Zealand and then coming over here we've felt fresh. We've been working on a few things and it's another step forward for us."

Meanwhile in the Laser class New Zealand is very well represented with all four kiwi single-handed men making the cut for the top ten medal race.

What a difference a day can make though, as they jostle positions amongst themselves.

Sam Meech has lifted to be the best placed of the kiwis in 4th overall; on 63 points he has a big, but not impossible, challenge to close the 12 point gap for a podium placing.

Thomas Saunders cracked out a race win today and has jumped to 5th, another 13 points adrift of fellow Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat club-mate Meech. Mike Bullot sailed well today and breaks into the top ten as a result. He goes into tomorrow's medal race lying 8th.

Rounding out the kiwi contingent in the Laser class is Andy Maloney lying 9th after today.

Elsewhere moments of brilliance came from two of our 49er crews both Markus Somerville and Josh Porebski, and Isaac McHardie and Trent Rippey taking a race win apiece today.

In the Nacra 17 NZL Sailing Team's Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders failed to gain ground on the fleet today and have missed out on the medal race cut. They wrap up this regatta in 14th place.

Medal Races across the 10 Olympic classes will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday, January 30 where medals will be awarded to the top three boats.

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