Yachting: Burling and Tuke with big lead at world champs

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Photo / Getty
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Photo / Getty

Kiwis Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will take a healthy 28 point lead into the last day of the 49er world championships in Florida.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have relinquished their overall lead slipping to fifth overall but have tomorrow to push for a podium finish.

Burling and Tuke remain well out in front of the pack after sailing three gold fleet races in choppy, rough and challenging conditions off Clearwater today.

"We're really looking forward to getting out there and into some gold fleet racing in the 49er," said Burling. "I think that some of most fun racing you can get in the 49er is gold fleet at a world champs so we're really looking forward to it."

It wasn't all plain sailing for the Kiwis who recorded a 20th in their second race after an average start left them buried in the fleet, but a fourth in the opener and a second to close the day sees them maintain their points margin on the pack.

The Austrian pair of Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth and Nikolaus Leopold Resch have moved into second with Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen dropping away to sixth and rumoured to be affected by injury.

Maloney and Meech h placed 17th, ninth and 11th in yesterday gold fleet racing. However points are tight and they will be focused on achieving good race results to put them in medal contention going into the medal race.

"When we first got out there the conditions were actually really nice, and the waves were really nice to go sailing downwind,"said Meech. We did three races and over the course of the three races the waves picked up and things got a little bit trickier.

After interruptions early in the regatta organisers have added three gold fleet races to the schedule on the final day before the top 10 medal race, and the Kiwi women will be looking to put those to good use.

"One more day of gold fleet racing tomorrow and then a medal race, so there is a lot of points up for grabs and anything can happen."

Taking the overall lead are Spain's Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos who lead from Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze by nine points.

The other Kiwi crew of Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland are also racing in gold fleet, and go into the final day of the regatta 18th overall.

In the Nacra 17 Championship Kiwis Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders improved their overall position to 14th after racing on the penultimate day the regatta, but not enough to make the top 10 medal race cut off.

Aon fast track squad sailors Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson are 17th overall in the 43-boat fleet.

- NZ Herald

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