Sailing: Andrew McKenzie climbs up leaderboard at World Cup regatta

Andrew McKenzie. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.
Andrew McKenzie. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.

Andrew McKenzie's climb up the leaderboard at the World Cup regatta in Hyeres, France, continued overnight (NZT) and the young Kiwi is targeting another couple of strong results to qualify for Sunday's medal race in the Laser fleet.

The 21-year-old backed up his first win at a World Cup event with a second placing in last night's first race. He also recorded an 11th in the final race of the day to climb to 15th but, crucially, is only nine points off 10th with two qualifying races tonight.

"A good day today in a super tricky dying mistral breeze," said McKenzie, who was sixth at last year's World Cup final in Melbourned. "[I'm] now in reach of the medal race. D-day tomorrow."

McKenzie is a member of the Aon Fast Track squad, which aims to accelerate promising youngsters into Olympians, and is looking to put pressure on Sam Meech as the country's top Laser sailor.

Meech had a day to forget, posting a 28th and 34th in the 60-boat fleet and it would take two strong results to make the medal race.

"I thought I had a pretty hard day yesterday but today was even more difficult for me," the Olympic bronze medallist said. "I just couldn't quite put myself in the right positions and ended up getting two really average results.

"That puts me pretty far back in the overall standings, unfortunately, and I will have to sail a really good day tomorrow just to finish strongly."

Youngsters Issac McHardie and William McKenzie finished their regatta strongly in the 49er, collecting a second and third in two of the three races overnight to climb to 16th in the 28-boat fleet. They missed out on qualifying for tonight's medal race, but showed good potential for such a young combination.

Fellow Kiwis Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey will line up for the 49er medal race after qualifying in 10th, which was good reward for starting the regatta poorly.

The Nacra 17 combination of Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson also missed out on qualifying for their medal race, and were 13th after last night's races.

Strong winds buffeted the French coast in the morning as a mistral weather pattern blew through, meaning sailing was postponed in the morning until conditions were deemed safe. The breeze decreased as the day progressed, enabling all but one fleet, the 2.4 Norlin OD, to hit the water.

"We waited around a lot on shore for the mistral to pass through and when we finally got on the water it wasn't as windy as expected but was super, super shifty. We had a massive range in the wind which made it really tricky to pick what was going to happen."

New Zealand results after day for of the World Cup regatta in Hyeres, France, overnight (NZT)

49er (out of 28)
10th - Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey (26) 18 10 9 9 25 2 6 14 20 9 11 - 133 points

16th - Isaac McHardie and William Mckenzie 22 22 (25) 12 12 5 11 25 16 24 3 2 - 154 points

Laser (out of 60)

15th - Andrew McKenzie 9 18 (46) 42 31 1 2 11 - 114 points

16th - Sam Meech 26 6 1 14 30 19 28 (34) - 124 points

Nacra 17 (out of 29)

13th - Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson 10 8 (19) 14 12 14 8 6 14 17 16 8 - 127 points

Finn (out of 34)

29th - Brendan McCarty 24 (32) 30 22 25 26 30 21 - 178 points

- NZ Herald

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