One tactical error proved costly in what was an otherwise good day of racing for Alex Maloney and Molly Meech at the World Cup final in Santander, Spain, overnight (NZT).

The Olympic 49erFX silver medallists posted two thirds but were 13th in the first race of the day.

"Today was a pretty good day but it could have been a really solid day," Maloney said. "We had some pretty consistent racing but a big tactical error from me in the first race really hindered our performance and we lost a lot of the fleet coming down to the finish line.

"There was a massive hole [in the wind] and I gybed but it was the wrong decision."

The pair are now seventh in the 15-boat fleet and are still feeling the effects of being loaded with a 50 percent penalty on their first-day results after their boat was deemed to be underweight when measured before the regatta started. That saw Maloney and Meech 13th after the first day's racing.

It was a challenging day for fellow Kiwis Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey, who carded two 13ths and a ninth in the 16-boat 49er fleet to slip one place in the overall standings to eighth. The pair had visions of a top-three finish in Santander and will need to sail well in the second half of the regatta to get back in touch.

There are two more days of racing for the skiff fleets before the double-points medal race.

The World Cup final is Maloney and Meech's first major regatta since winning silver at the Rio Olympics. The conditions have proved challenging at the invitational event, and today saw and 11-16 knot breeze, gusting 25 knots.

"Points-wise, it wasn't the best day but we were sailing pretty well and had some good things to take away from the day," Maloney said.

"We kept fighting in each race and climbed our way back up the fleet. Our speed was pretty good and we did a lot right on the course. Our objectives tomorrow are to practice getting off the line and keeping it simple on the upwind legs. And to also have a really solid and fun day out on the water."

Results and standings after day 3 of the World Cup final in Santander, Spain, overnight (NZT):

49erFX (15 boats)

1st: Martine Soffiatti Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) 8 1 5 2 1 (16) UFD 2 2 2 - 23 points

2nd: Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) 1 (11) 9 3 2 1 1 1 6 - 24 points

3rd: Lili Sebesi and Albane Dubois (FRA) 5 2 (7) 4 5 3 4 4 1 - 28 points

7th: Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) (14.5) DPI 12.5 DPI 11.5 DPI 1 7 5 13 3 3 - 56 points

49er (16 boats)

1st: James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) (14) 2 3 2 7 4 2 3 2 - 25 points

2nd: Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (GBR) (12) 9 4.6 RDG 3 1 1 1 4 6 - 29.6 points

3rd: Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) 1 4 5 5 6 2 3 (7) 5 - 31 points

8th: Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey (NZL) 3 5 (17) UFD 11 4 7 13 13 9 - 65 points

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Yachting New Zealand