A strong penultimate day performance means New Zealand is well placed for medals in the 49er and 49erFX events going into the final day of 2016 Weymouth Sailing World Cup Regatta with just the medal race remaining.
After today, Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson lead the 49er fleet and will don the yellow bibs for tomorrows medal race, while Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech are lying 3rd overall in the 49erFX.
The regatta, being sailed at the 2012 London Olympic Games venue, has been plagued by uncharacteristically light winds and over the opening four days of the five-day regatta sailors have spent plenty of time ashore waiting for the wind. Postponements affected todays schedule as well, but racing did take place for all ten fleets in a south-westerly breeze that ranged from 6-10 knots.
Sailing late into the evening in Weymouth the 49er fleet completed three races in Weymouth today the kiwi pair of Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson regaining their day one lead after coming through the tricky day relatively unscathed.
Coming ashore with an 8-12-5 scorecard from today, Dunning Beck and Simpson now top the leader board and hold an eight-point leading margin. Their main rivals each suffered at least one poor race result and are relegated down the board as a consequence.
Lying 7th going into the penultimate day Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech, who will represent New Zealand at Rio 2016 were the standout skiff performers in todays light wind conditions off Weymouth.
The 49erFX were the first fleet on the water on Saturday and Meech was relieved to get some good competition in, "On the first day we took a long time to warm up and get some racing practice in and then we have been waiting so long on shore that both of us have been getting really competitive and been dying to get some races in."
They placed 2nd, 1st and 3rd in their three races to put themselves into the medal mix with just one high-stakes race to run. Now 3rd theyre five points behind 2nd place and seven adrift of the leaders - GBRs Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth. With just two points back to the Norwegian crew in 4th, the scene is set for a terrific medal race in the womens skiff class.
Meech says, "Our last few Medal Races haven't been our best but we have learned the lessons from them and we will go into tomorrow with a better strategy to nail it."
NZL Sailing Teams Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have narrowly missed the medal race cut ending the day 11th overall in the Nacra 17 fleet. Today they sailed two races and scored a couple of top ten finishes to improve their overall standing, but not quite enough to break into the top ten in Weymouth.
Not far behind them Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson have closed the regatta in 13th overall.
Like his team-mates in the multihull, NZL Sailing Teams Laser sailor Sam Meech improved his overall position after racing today, but it lifted him to 14th place which he takes away as his final result from Weymouth.
2016 Sailing World Cup Weymouth
New Zealands Penultimate Day Positions
1st Logan Dunning Beck & Jack Simpson - 49er (5, 3, 4, 7, 5, 9, 15, 8, 12, 5)
3rd Alex Maloney & Molly Meech - 49erFX (5, 6, 8, 5, 2, 1, 3)
11th Gemma Jones & Jason Saunders - Nacra 17 (14, 11, 13, 2, 12, 9, 7)
13th Olivia Mackay & Micah Wilkinson - Nacra 17 (10, 7, 9, 14, 2, 16, 15)
14th Sam Meech - Laser (30, 8, 16, 17, 30, 11, 4)
31st Susannah Pyatt - Radial (25, 34, 23, 26, 12, 37, 37)
Medal races will be screened live. The schedule, in BST, local time, is as follows:
11:00 - Sailing World Cup Weymouth & Portland Medal Race show begins
11:10 - Men's 470
11:50 - Finn
12:30 - Laser
13:10 - Laser Radial
13:50 - 49er - Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson
14:25 - 49erFX - Alex Maloney and Molly Meech
15:00 - Nacra 17
15:30 - Women's 470
16:00 - End of show