Sailing: Another title for Burling and Tuke

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in action the Men's 49er race during the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in action the Men's 49er race during the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Photo / Getty Images

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have secured the 2016 49er European Championship and their 25th consecutive 49er regatta victory. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech closed out the regatta in fifth place in the 49erFX.

The 49er win, in the bag before starting the medal race yet again, is astonishing and predictable at the same time. With less than four months until the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Burling (25 years) and Tuke (26 years) are unanimously recognised as better, faster and more consistent, leaving the rest of the fleet wondering if anyone can catch up.

The 49er fleet squeezed a total of 19 races into the six day schedule in Barcelona, Spain this week. The kiwis made a banging start to the regatta with a couple of race wins, and then never relinquished their lead, only extending on points as the regatta went on.

Today they started early and completed three gold fleet races before determining the top ten placed crews to sail the medal race.

By then Burling and Tuke were 44 points ahead of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen of Australia, and had an unassailable leading margin before starting the last double-points race.

"Obviously we're pretty stoked to go out there and take another title," says Peter Burling. "We've been doing a bit of work over the summer, you know, tidying up a few things.

It's just pleasing that we've come out of this week with a few things to work on as well. You know we're really happy with how it went, and we're going to keep pushing on towards the goal later in the year."

Blair Tuke adds; "Today was good, we had to fight our way back through a couple of times. We enjoy being out in front, you sort of learn to be able to win races and to finish off races you have to have experience up there. We've managed to do that this week by being in the top few half way up the beat and finishing it off from there and today being right in the pack and sort of scraping through and getting into good positions by the top mark or later in the race. "

Tuke agrees with his helmsman, "You've have to be able to keep learning and for us, as much as it's about the result here, it's about learning and getting better for later in the year."

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech sailed well today, but so did their rivals, and the kiwis ended the regatta in fifth overall.

Unlike in the men's fleet, racing among the 49erFX fleet - the women's skiff that will be sailed for the first time at the Olympic Games this year - is very close.

The kiwis will be disappointed to miss the podium by just five points, but can be pleased with the top five result as they build towards Rio 2016. Across 19 races sailed in Barcelona Maloney and Meech returned top five finishes in eleven of those including a couple of race wins during the week.

In today's racing they were sixth, ninth and second in the final fleet races, but suffered a 10th in the medal race earning a hefty 20 points.

The second kiwi crew of Ellie Copeland and Erica Dawson just missed out on a medal race spot finishing the regatta in 11th overall - and impressive result for the young pair, both from Auckland. Logan Dunning-Beck and Jack Simpson have finished 19th overall in the 49er event.

The 2016 Laser Radial World Championships completed just one race on day two of their regatta in Mexico. Sara With is lying 19th, while Susannah Pyatt is 21st overall. Racing resumes there today.

- NZ Herald

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