New Zealand leads both the Laser and Finn events as 2016 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Regatta hits the mid-way mark in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Both Andy Maloney in the Laser, and Josh Junior in the Finn went into day three of the six-day event holding the lead, and have retained their positions after today's racing, putting them in great shape as they head into the business end of the Olympic classes regatta.
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR is an annual regatta which attracts large fleets in the Olympic class events, including the world's best sailors, and 2016 is no exception.
Today the Laser fleet split into gold and silver fleets for finals racing and Andy Maloney was one of only three sailors in his fleet who returned two top ten race results on the water today- with an eighth and a fifth.
He spoke after racing today; "The regatta is going well so far. Really for me this is a chance to get another big fleet regatta under my belt before going to Hyeres and working on a few things, tactical big fleet things."
Maloney, who is vying for selection to the New Zealand Olympic Team in the single Laser berth, talked about the strength of Laser sailing in the NZL Sailing Team during this Olympic cycle; "We have had such a good squad of four of five of us pushing each other all the way through the four years in training. Now we are at the pointy end of it all. But the selectors will make their choice in May, looking at all the big events."
"It is really close with Sam (Meech) and we are both sailing really well. Hyeres is the last big event before May so that will be important."
The Murrays Bay Sailing Club representative leads the 152-strong fleet, and is now seven points clear of Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Kristian Ruth (NOR) who are lying second and third respectively but equal on points.
In the Finn class Josh Junior took a race win today, and followed that with a fifth in the second race of the day, to retain his overall lead.
Junior explained his day. "It ended up being a big left hand track so everyone came off the start line in a boat speed race. I just hung and kept with the top guys and second at the top and managed to get in the lead and won ahead of Giles, which was really pleasing. The next race wasn't quite so easy. I think I ran out of energy and struggled a little bit more."
"Definitely a power sailing day with the strong, fit guys getting out in front."
Points are tight at the top of the Finn leader board with GBR's Giles Scott just four points behind the kiwi in 2nd place. Pieter Jan Postma, who recently secured the Finn European Championship, is currently lying 3rd, five points adrift of Scott.
New Zealand Laser Radial sailor, Sara Winther made an excellent start in the women's single-handed event over the opening two days of the regatta to lie fourth going into today. However the 2012 Olympic representative has dropped to 16th overall in the standings after retiring from race 5 meant she now carries a 35th place from yesterday's racing. She was 13th in today's second race.