Yachting: Aleh, Powrie set for podium

New Zealand sailors Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie are within a single point of gold heading into tomorrow morning's medal race at the 470 world championships in Spain.

On the final day of series racing overnight, Aleh and Powrie held on to their third place position and reeled in leaders Britain and the Netherlands to sit just one point back before the double point medal race.

"It is quite impressive," Aleh said. "I haven't really looked at the results, it is going to be a pretty good race tomorrow. Somebody's going to be pretty annoyed at the end of it."

The Olympics-bound pairing are guaranteed to finish inside the top five overall, and a spot on the podium could be given to any crew in that top five.

Men's 470 pairing Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders improved their overall rank in their two races overnight and are now up to 22nd overall. They will not feature in the medal race but face one final race tomorrow for the remaining boats in the gold fleet.

Meanwhile, a lack of wind on the final day of the Gold Cup left the New Zealand sailor Dan Slater ranked 16th at the end of the 2012 finn world championship in England overnight (NZT).

Although Slater did not quite make the finn medal race, he did better his result from last year's world championship by five places. Matt Coutts also bettered his own by six points, finishing with a personal best score of 22nd overall.

The Gold Cup was won for a record sixth time by Brit Ben Ainslie, and he will celebrate this victory by being the first torch bearer for the start of the Olympic torch relay tonight.

New Zealand have qualified a boat in the finn class at the London Games but a selection decision is yet to be confirmed.

In Germany, Sara Winther had an unlucky two opening races in the gold fleet at the laser radial world championships, receiving a black flag penalty in both races for being over the start line early.

Winther dropped back to 32nd overall but there are still four more races before the end on Sunday night (NZT).

- APNZ

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