Sailing: Kiwis survive light air day at European Champs

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An unexpected light air day at the 2016 49er and 49erFX European Championship didn't bother the NZL Sailing Team and after day two Peter Burling and Blair Tuke continue to lead in the 49er, while Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are locked in a three way points tie for third place in the 49erFX.

The unstable winds saw most of the front runners in the 49er drop the ball in at least one of their four races today, but once again the Kiwis shone through as the pair who were up to the challenge, and their worst score was a sixth in the final race of the day.

Before that Burling and Tuke had taken a couple of race wins and a third and they remain at the top of the leader board with a ten point gap back to second place.

Blair Tuke says, "As always, with qualification for us it's all about getting through in good shape so we are there or thereabouts for the finals racing."

"Today was a bit different than yesterday, it was a bit lighter wind and more unstable. Lucky for us we were mostly on the right side of the shifts and had the boat going pretty well."

"We're looking forward to the rest of the week!"

Nico Delle Karthe and Nikolaus Resche (AUT) are in second place, while John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) have pushed up into third place.

In the 49erFX fleet Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are among a tight pack near the top of the leader board with fierce racing between the big names in Olympic women's skiff racing.

While Burling and Tuke have a much-talked-about edge over their rivals, there is no one dominant crew in the women's 49erFX. Currently the top 10 at this Championship features sailors from 10 different nation and most are likely to be on the start-line Rio 2016 this August.

The New Zealanders, Maloney and Meech, are now tied for third on 21 points with the British and Argentinian pairs. In today's three races they placed fifth, 11th and second. Now seven races in to the Championship Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich lead on 16 points.

Both New Zealand's Aon Fast Track Squad crews sailed well today, improving through the day and finishing on a high note despite the challenging conditions on the water.

Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland have climbed to 16th overall in the 49erFX fleet after finishing 15th, 11th and second in their three races.

Meanwhile Logan Dunning-Beck and Jack Simpson, who placed 15th, 14th, 10th and fifth today are holding 18th overall in the 49er.

Racing resumes in Barcelona, Spain tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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