Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have sailed into third place on the opening day of the Nacra 17 world championships in France.

The New Zealand pair were a model of consistency, placing third, fifth and fourth in the races at La Grande-Motte to sit three points off the overall lead.

British crew John Gimson and Anna Burnet hold the lead in a 47-strong fleet which will sail up to 18 races ahead of a medal race.

Kiwis Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson are 22nd after placing seventh, 11th and 16th.

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It is a bright start for Jones and Saunders, who have recently committed to another Olympic tilt together after finishing fourth in Rio.

They have adjusted quickly to the new foiling element of the Nacra 17 boats, placing second overall at a world championships test event in Denmark last month.