Tauranga's Molly Meech and her 49er FX sailing teammate Alex Maloney are testing Olympic waters with a Tokyo 2020 sailing test event this week.

The pair, who won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016, are in Enoshima, Japan - where sailing will be contested at Tokyo 2020, and have begun training ahead of the Olympic test event on Saturday. They

will be one of six New Zealand crews competing in the Tokyo 2020 sailing test events.

"Every country has one representative coming into the event so kind of an Olympic sized fleet for us and racing on Olympic waters roughly the same time is pretty important so, hopefully, we get a pretty good event under way," Meech said.

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"It's going to be really cool, I think it's kind of the first kind of chance that we've had at a proper mimic of the games since Rio," she said.

The 49er FX pair had their first on-water session on Sunday in preparation for racing, which starts on Saturday and they're looking forward to one of the toughest contests since Rio.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech of New Zealand on the podium after winning silver at the Rio Olympics in the Women's 49erFX class. Photo / File
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech of New Zealand on the podium after winning silver at the Rio Olympics in the Women's 49erFX class. Photo / File

"We're going pretty good, last month we were up here for a couple of weeks so we're really getting into the swing of things and looking forward to the test event."

"It's great sailing conditions off Enoshima Bay, you can get an onshore with great waves to sail in and you can also get the offshore which is pretty shifty and similar to sailing back home so we're enjoying the conditions and trying to get used to the heat," Maloney said.

With temperatures above 30C, getting used to the change in climate has been all part of their preparations.

"The humidity's also pretty high so that's what gets you. It's hard to find relief but we're lucky to be out on the water because you get a breeze and that's quite cooling," said Maloney.

"Luckily we've got a great support team behind us and we've been doing a bit of heat prep back home, which I think it's been really helping but just kind of using slushies and ice vests and any cooling strategies we can pretty much get our hands on but yeah, I think it's all really helping and hopefully it makes a difference in the end," Meech said.