It pays for Olympic class sailors to be handy mathematicians and Sam Meech found himself doing a few sums throughout the last day of Sail Sydney on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Laser sailor became embroiled in a dogfight with Australia's Matthew Wearn on the last day of the four-day regatta which nearly allowed fellow Tauranga Yacht and Boat Club sailor Tom Saunders to sneak through and take the gold.

In the final wash-up, it finished a Kiwi one-two in the Laser fleet with Meech one point ahead of Saunders, who was level with Wearn but claimed silver on countback.

It represented half of New Zealand's medal haul at Sail Sydney and the Kiwis also added another gold and silver, which was a terrific return given only 10 boats contested three of the Olympic classes.


Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (Tauranga) cantered to victory in the 49erFX. They were a class above the rest of the small fleet, winning 10 of their 12 races and finishing 22 points ahead of Australia's Tess Lloyd and Harry Mighell, with fellow Kiwis Erica Dawson and Kate Dawson fourth.

Maloney and Meech had secured gold before the last day but it was a lot closer in the Laser and 49er fleets.

Sam Meech put himself in pole position in the Laser by winning the penultimate race but became tangled in a fight with Wearn and thought he had let the gold medal slip through his grasp.

"Unfortunately I put myself under a lot of pressure in the final race by not getting it quite right," Meech said.

"I actually had a really good start and thought I was doing the right thing but I went to the shore a little early. It allowed Wearny to cross me and that made life difficult because he was trying to take me out. Fortunately it all worked out.

"It's really good to have won. It's pretty late in the season so I'm not sure everyone is tuned up but the Aussie guys are some of the best Laser sailors in the world. It's always nice to beat them."

Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey (Tauranga) couldn't quite do it in the 49er, having to settle for silver behind Australia's Joel Turner and David Gilmour.

The two crews started the day level on points but Turner and Gilmour had opened up a four-point gap heading into the final race, forcing Porebski and Rippey to roll the dice in an effort to make up the deficit.

"We needed to get four boats between us and them so we headed over to the headland in search of more breeze but got mixed up in some massive wake and we also overlayed the mark," Porebski said.

"We ended up capsizing coming into the bottom mark so it was all over from there. It looked like it was going to pay off until we gybed. We had to do something so it was worth the gamble.

"It was a pretty good week for Trent and I. We were consistent all the way through in some pretty shifty conditions. It was a bummer of a last day but good that we were battling it out at the front of the fleet."