Gold and Bronze for NZL at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

Alex Maloney, left, and Molly Meech. Photo / Mick Anderson.
Alex Maloney, left, and Molly Meech. Photo / Mick Anderson.

The NZL Sailing Team has claimed two medals at 2016 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, which wrapped up today in Florida.

The medals came in the 49erFX women's skiff class and the men's single-handed Laser event at this regatta, which is the second in the 2015-16 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

Many of sailing's top Olympic campaigners from around the globe have been competing this week in Miami.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were awarded the 49erFX gold which was a certainty for them before starting today's medal race having out-sailed their international rivals over five days of fleet racing. Meanwhile Sam Meech, brother of gold medal winning Molly, came from behind to snatch bronze in the tough fought Laser class.

The 49erFX top ten were the last in the schedule of medal races today and enjoyed a slight increase in the breeze which was predominantly light in Miami today.

Wearing the yellow bibs the NZL Sailing Team crew of Maloney and Meech were the only crew across the ten Olympic fleets assured of gold and they sailed a safe and solid race to place 4th, leaving the Danish and Swedish crews to duke it out on the race track for the silver and bronze.

Consistent sailing throughout the week saw the kiwi women end the regatta 25 points clear of Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen who won silver.

The 49erFX fleet, including the kiwis, now prepare for their 2016 World Championships which are set to take place in Clearwater, Florida from 9-14 February at the same time and venue as the 49er and Nacra 17 World Championships.

Sam Meech has won bronze in the Laser fleet, which featured close to 100 sailors from around the world, after an excellent light wind medal race in Miami today.

A podium result looked like a tough ask for Meech, who was lying 12 points behind Rutger van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands going into today's medal race, however Meech crossed in 3rd, and the Dutch sailor crossed in 9th drawing them equal on 69 points. Meech is awarded the bronze medal on countback and will be delighted.

The NZL Sailing Team fern was prevalent in the Laser medal race today with New Zealand the only nation to have more than one sailor represented in the top ten - there were four kiwis!

Thomas Saunders finished today's race in 10th and closes the regatta in 7th overall. Andy Maloney was 6th today and 9th overall, while Michael Bullot was 8th today and 10th overall.

Olympic selection in the Laser class was a close fought battle in the lead-up to London 2012 and it's clear that New Zealand's Laser Squad have maintained their strength through this cycle on the road to Rio.

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