Yachting: Extreme wind cancels racing

Six New Zealand crews will be sailing for medals when the final day of the Sail for Gold world cup regatta gets underway in Weymouth, England tonight (NZT).

All racing was cancelled during last night's fourth day after a storm caused extreme winds at the Olympic venue, meaning an early end to the regatta for many sailors as only the top 10 in each class progress to the medal race.

But several Kiwis are in the hunt for a podium position, lead by the Olympic-bound 470 crews, with the action due to get underway at 9pm NZT.

Women's 470 crew Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie lead the way and will go into the medal round with a nine point lead over the second placed boat. With such a buffer, created after winning their last three races, they are guaranteed to finish inside the top four no matter the outcome of the double-points medal race.

Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders in the men's 470 fleet are among a much tighter lead pack, sitting eight points off the leading Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and the Kiwis could finish anywhere from first to fifth.

Other Kiwis to progress to the medal rounds include JP Tobin in the men's RS:X, who heads into the final in seventh, and Andy Maloney (seventh) and Andrew Murdoch (eighth) in the men's laser.

Rounding out the New Zealanders racing for medals are the women's match racing crew, who have a busy day to complete their racing schedule. Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt begin tonight's racing in the quarter-finals and, if successful, will later race in the semifinals and final.


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