Sailing: Burling and Tuke take commanding lead

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are 24 points out in front after day three of the 2016 49er and 49erFX European Championships being sailed in Barcelona, Spain. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are in fifth.

Today, when only two races were possible for the 49er fleet due to shifty conditions, Burling and Tuke added a pair of race wins to extend the lead they've held since racing kicked off three days ago.

In competition behind the Kiwis, the British and Australians are now locked on points for second place with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen tied on 35 points with John Pink and Stuart Bithell. After today the gap to fourth place is an additional eight points.

Over in the 49erFX the women encountered windier conditions and spent three hours on the water to complete only two races. Despite the extra breeze, it was still shifty, puffy and challenging.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are lying fifth overall as all 37 boats now head into gold fleet racing to do battle for a medal race spot on Saturday in Barcelona.

In today's racing the Kiwis opened with an average race - a 12th which they now discard - but bounced back with a win in race nine.

Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich, from Italy have the lead, but by a narrow one point margin. And with only eight points separating the top five crews, and plenty of racing yet to come, the second half of the regatta promises hot competition among the Olympic 49erFX top guns.

Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland, New Zealand's second crew in the 49erFX fleet retain 16th overall at the end of day three. Today they were fourth and 10th in their two races.

A real battle went on a little further down the 49er ranks where crews tightly bunched on points around the gold fleet cut off mark on top 25 and kiwis Logan Dunning-Beck and Jack Simpson were in the thick of it.

Lying 18th going into today the young Aon Fast Track Squad sailors slipped to 20th overall in the overall standings after today's two races in which they placed 21st and 14th. It was just enough to secure themselves a place in the gold fleet while crews a couple of points adrift missed the cut.

Racing resumes in Barcelona tomorrow with medal races schedule for Saturday in Spain.

Meanwhile the 2016 Laser Radial Women's World Championship are set to get underway at Vallarta Yacht Club, Riveriera Nayarit in Mexico later today.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 03 Dec 2016 07:49:38 Processing Time: 1287ms