Yachting: Kiwis on top at world championships

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand. Photo / AP.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand. Photo / AP.

Kiwis sat on top of the leaderboard at both the 49er and 49er FX world sailing championships with two days of sailing remaining in Florida.

We've come to expect it from Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who are chasing their fourth consecutive world title, but fellow Kiwis Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were also in pole position in the 49er FX class.

Burling and Tuke finished third, first and second in three of the day's four races and, while an 11th blotted their otherwise impressive record, they will be able to discard that result. It meant they led by 28 points as the competitors split into gold and silver fleets - the top 25 boats progressed into the gold fleet.

Today's results came on the back of a perfect four wins from four starts. Reigning Olympic champions Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen, from Australia, are second with Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra five points further adrift.

Maloney and Meech picked up a third, first and 10th in their three races - the 10th was their discard - to hold a three-point lead over Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz of Germany, with Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze only one point further adrift.

The Kiwi pair have sailed consistently, not finishing outside the top 10 in any races in the first four days. "We got out there this morning and were quite surprised at how nice a wind there was and the first two races went really well for us, and then the last one we had a bit of a bad start and managed to sail through the fleet for a top 10 finish, so overall I think we're really happy with today," Meech said.

Youngsters Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland were 15th overall, which qualified them for the 49er FX gold fleet.

At the Nacra 17 world championships, Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson were 15th and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders 18th.

- NZ Herald

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