It was another profitable day on the water off Aarhus, Denmark for some of New Zealand's best sailors, including a trio who grew up learning the intricacies of sailing at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club.

Gemma Jones and Tauranga's Jason Saunders are doing a good job of taming the new foiling Nacra 17 cats, sitting in second after three days of the sailing world
championships test event ahead of next month's Nacra world championships.

The pair, who finished fourth at last year's Olympics, are only four points behind Denmark's Lin Cenholt and Christian Lubeck after collecting a seventh, second and fourth on Friday.

Fellow Kiwi and Jason's younger brother, Tom Saunders (Tauranga), remained third in the Laser, picking up a win and a 10th place in the two races overnight. Olympic bronze medallist Sam Meech (Tauranga) continued his climb up the leaderboard to sit in seventh after falling back to 43rd after receiving a black flag disqualification on the first day.


It was a typically gritty display from Saunders who loves nothing more than getting into a competitive match race.

All of the crews are trying to get to grips with the new foiling Nacras that will be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - they were non-foiling in Rio - and complicating things for Jones and Saunders is the fact they teamed up again only last weekend for their first regatta together since last year's Rio Olympics.

"Jason and I are still learning about the boat and getting back after not sailing together for a year," Jones said.

"This is a learning regatta. We are trying stuff and not really taking it too seriously, although we still want to do well."

One who has achieved that in the Laser fleet is Tom Saunders, who is looking to put pressure on Meech for the Laser berth in the Tokyo Olympic cycle.

He's had only one result outside the top 10 in the 62-boat fleet and is within reach of Australians Matthew Wearns and Tom Burton.

Saunders maintained his good run of results winning the second race of the day.

"I'm really happy with the way I'm sailing and it's starting to show in the results," Saunders said.

"I just need to focus on one race at a time and hopefully I'll be in medal contention come the medal race on Sunday.

"Today was 8-15 knots and very shifty; a game of snakes and ladders. It was important to have options off the start line and then backing yourself with what you saw.

"I just tried to keep a level head with the highs and lows and managed to consolidate a couple of good results. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow."

Meech had his best day on the water so far in Aarhus after a disastrous start to the regatta, picking up a fourth and a ninth overnight.

"I managed to get a couple of reasonable results so it was nice to move up the leaderboard a little bit," Meech said.

"I'm still going to need quite a bit to salvage a good result here but I'm really enjoying the racing."