Olympic bronze medal-winning sailor Sam Meech is away to a powerhouse start at the Laser world championships in Croatia, holding down third place.

Kiwi Meech notched a win and a fourth placing in Split to sit three points behind Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, who won both his races.

The field of 147 boats has been split into four fleets for the opening phase of the regatta. Meech, who snared bronze at Rio last year, is the best of four Kiwis.

Thomas Saunders is 18th after a 15th and a third while George Gautrey is 66th and Andrew McKenzie 74th.