It has been a challenging four days at Kiel Week with strong winds, heavy rain and shifty conditions but a handful of New Zealand crews will go into the final day tonight (NZ time) with good chances of winning medals.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech lead the 49erFX fleet, Josh Junior and Andy Maloney are second and third respectively in the Finn, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are third in the Nacra 17 and Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox fifth in the men's 470.

Maloney and Meech have continued their good form of 2018 and go into the double-points, top-10 medal race with a 4.5-point lead over the German pair of Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke, with a Swedish combination a further two points back in third. It effectively means the Kiwis need to finish no more than two boats behind their closest rivals but they're not thinking like that.

"Everything is to fight for tomorrow and we now have a little buffer," coach Nathan Handley said. "The plan will be to go out and try to win the race and during the race seeing where the opposition are and doing what we can to keep them behind.

"They are in with a shot of winning a gold medal tomorrow and I have faith in them that they can get through."

Maloney and Meech came into Kiel Week off the back of winning gold at their last regatta at the World Cup in Hyeres and they were also second at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma. They have been in the top three all week and climbed to the top overnight on the back of a first and 14th.

Racing was delayed considerably due to strong winds in Kiel, with many fleets not hitting the water until late in the afternoon. The 49erFX fleet didn't start racing until 6pm local time.

"The girls had a good win in their first race but just lost a bit of composure in the second, to be honest," Handley said.

It will be an intriguing battle in the Finn race, with Junior only one point behind Ed Wright of Great Britain. Andy Maloney is a further seven points behind in third but two others are breathing down his neck only one point back.

The Finns sailed close to shore for their two races overnight, which meant it was flat but very shifty - Junior likened it to sailing at Takapuna in a south-westerly.

"Both Andy and I are sailing really well and we just got a bit unlucky in the last race," said Junior, who was first and 15th in the two race overnight. "We were both in the top five but went the other way and got caught out by a big wind shift.

"The points are really close from first to fifth so it's anyone's race. Whoever wins the medal race has a pretty good shot."

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders go into their medal race in third but plenty of different permutations can play out with only seven points separating second and fourth.

The New Zealanders have sailed consistently well this week in the challenging conditions, with an eighth their discard, and they won the final race of the day.

"It was nice to finish our day with a win, which is good for the confidence going into the medal race," Saunders said. "The boat's going quick. We had some good starts today but just need to tidy up our boathandling in the windier conditions.

"It was really fun, close racing today in super shifty, puffy breeze. We are happy we have a chance going into tomorrow. We will aim to send it to finish on the podium."

Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey's chance of a medal effectively slipped away overnight in the 49er, dropping from third to sixth on the back of a 10th and 20th. The top four teams in the 49er had started the day all within a point of each other but the gaps began to open up today after two testing races in the shifty conditions.

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn will go into the 49er medal race in ninth, the same position Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson occupy in the Nacra, and Josh Armit is sixth in the men's Laser Radial world championships.

Results and standings after the fourth day of the Kiel Week regatta overnight (NZ time):

Men's 470 (49 boats)

1st: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 2 5 1 1 1 (6) 2 3 6 - 21 points

2nd: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 1 2 (13) 2 3 4 3 1 8 - 24 points

3rd: Kevin Peponnet / Jeremie Mion (FRA) 3 4 2 2 9 (11) 5 2 7 - 34 pts

5th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 4 2 11 3 6 3 4 15 (20) - 48 pts

Women's 470 (28 boats)

1st: Maria Bozi / Rafailina Klonaridou (GRE) 7 2 6 2 (29 BFD) 2 5 3 1 - 28 pts

2nd: Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Jolanta Ogar (POL) (8) 7 8 3 5 3 3 2 2 - 33 pts

3rd: Silvia Mas / Patricia Cantero (ESP) 12 (29 UFD) 5 1 4 1 1 1 9 - 34 pts

11th: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 3 (16) 16 5 9 16 11 8 16 - 84 pts

49er (87 boats)

1st: Jonas Warrer / Jakob Precht Jensen (DEN) 5 11 5 5 1 (17) 11 1 8 1 - 48 pts

2nd: Federico Alonson / Arturo Alonson Tellechea (ESP) 3 15 3 1 7 5 7 14 (31) 2 - 57

3rd: Diego Botin de Chever / Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) 2.3 RDG 2.3 RDG 1 3 3 (44 DSQ) 17 19 4 6 - 57.6 pts

6th: Josh Porebski / Trent Ripey (NZL) 5 3 3 6 5 (21) 3 15 10 20 - 70 pts

9th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 15 2 1 1 9 18 13 (22) 7 14 - 80 pts

13th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 4 4 28 15 6 1 (32) 17 3 9 - 87 pts

49erFX (54 boats)

1st: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 3 4 1 10 6 1 5 13.5 1 (14) - 44.5 pts

2nd: Tina Lutz / Susann Beucke (GER) 5 3 3 1 8 4 8 (13.5) 5 12 - 49 pts

3rd: Julia Gross / Hanna Klinga (SWE) 2 5 6 7 3 3 (18) 10 13 2 - 51 pts

Finn (79 boats)

1st: Ed Wright (GBR) 3 4 13 (17) 12 1 8 7 - 48 pts

2nd: Josh Junior (NZL) 10 (20) 5 2 3 13 1 15 - 49 pts

3rd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 15 7 3 1 14 7 9 (16) - 56 pts

Nacra 17 (44 boats)

1st: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 3 2 5 1 3 1 3 2 (11) 3 - 23 pts

2nd: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) 1 1 1 2 3 6 (18) 5 7 4 - 30 pts

3rd: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 2 5 1 5 4 5 6 7 (8) 1 - 36 pts

9th: Liv Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 4 5 (24 DNF) 2 1 11 7 10 14 11 - 65 pts

Women's Laser Radial (82 boats)

1st: Maxime Jonker (NED) 1 1 1 1 1 6 (12) - 11 pts

2nd: Line Flem Host (NOR) 1 (11) 1 4 1 3 2 - 12 pts

3rd: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 2 1 (5) 5 2 4 1 - 15 pts

14th: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 5 11 12 3 6 (22) 17 - 54 pts

Laser Radial worlds (97 boats)

1st: Zac Littlewood (AUS) 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 (7) - 11 pts

2nd: Aleksander Arian (POL) 3 1 1 (10) 4 2 4 3 - 18 pts

3rd: Marcin Rudawski (POL) 1 4 5 3 3 3 (29) 1 - 20 pts

6th: Josh Armit (NZL) 1 3 (47 DNC) 1 8 12 18 2 - 45 pts

41st: Caleb Armit (NZL) 5 34 21 18 44 (46) 32 25 - 179 pts

Full results can be found here
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Yachting New Zealand