Alex Maloney and Molly Meech - sailing in the 49erFX - Day 4, Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2013
The NZL Sailing Team was back on the water today at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres for the second and final day of qualifying rounds.
As the six day regatta transitions into finals racing, the New Zealand team is tracking well with five of the team placed inside the top five in their fleet, and a further two crews also towards the top of the pack.
Conditions were, once again, light and tricky off Hyeres.
Men’s 470 pair Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox have slipped from the top of the leader-board into second place after British sailors Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield aced the day with two bullets and nudged ahead.
However the kiwis, who were 12th and third on day two, have kept it tight as they advance to the next stage of the series and carry forward their current position in the standings to count as the first race on their scorecard from here. From this point the scoring is effectively re-started and the kiwis, lying second overall, count only two points.
New Zealand’s only crew in the 49erFX women’s skiff Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have improved their overall position from fifth climbing to third after three races today in Hyeres. The girls, who took the silver medal at the last round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma were second, fifth and sixth on day two.
The jump means Maloney and Meech open the finals stage carrying just three points with Germans Jurczok and Lorenz leading, and Dobson and Rook (GBR) lying second.
Sam Meech made huge gains on day two in the 113 strong Laser event lifting his overall standing from 12th up to third place aided by a fourth and a third on the water today. Meech, who represents the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club, is clearly hunting for a repeat of his podium finish in Palma earlier this month.
Meanwhile also in the single-handed Laser, Thomas Saunders has held tight to seventh place while Andy Maloney has risen to 13th opening day two with a bullet.
Andy Maloney reports, 'We completed the qualifying series today with two races in some more challenging, shifty conditions. Unlike yesterday though, I did get to do the odd bit of hiking today which was nice after getting sore butt bones from sitting on the side of my boat for eight hours yesterday!'
'I sailed a solid first race to secure my first race win of this event. In the second race I had a below average start and clawed my way back to 17th. Not a great day overall, but I qualified for the 'Final Series' in 13th and tomorrow the real racing begins. A bit more breeze forecasted for the next few days should see for some more exciting racing.'
New Zealand features strongly on the Finn leader-board as well with Josh Junior wrapping up qualifying in fourth place and Andrew Murdoch (pictured above) in fifth. For Murdoch this was a massive turnaround from day one where his opening races had him in 20th position; racing home with an 8, 5, 8 in today’s competition means he rockets up the board and carries forward just five points to the next stage. Junior carries four points.
Elsewhere Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, training partners to Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, had a better day of racing in the 49er skiff. Today they were fourth and fifth elevating them through the ranks from 30th up to 16th.
And 17 year old Laser sailor Andrew McKenzie, who is using this experience in the Olympic fleet to help prepare for the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships (on in Cyprus this July), is lying inside the top half of the fleet, rounding out the qualifiers with an impressive 11th on the water.
Day three will see all fleets back in action for the start of the finals rounds which includes three days of racing. From there the top placed sailors will duke it out in the medal races in Hyeres on Saturday.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, 2013
New Zealand’s standings after day two
4th Josh Junior (9, 2, 9, BFD, 11)
5th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) (11, 17, 8, 5, 8)
16th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team) (8, 15, 22, 4, 5)
3rd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX (10, 9, 1, 2, 5, 6)
3rd Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) (2, 12, 29, 4, 3)
7th Thomas Saunders (4, 6, 13, 14, 6)
13th Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) (43, 4, 13, 1, 17)
49th Andrew McKenzie (2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team) (3, 39, BFD, 31, 11)
102nd Michael Cate (51, 40, BFD, 52, 30)
105th Jack Collinson (48, 38, 41, 50, 55)
2nd Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) (5, 1, 1, 12, 3)
18th Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (20, 11, 1, 19, 4)
19th Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden (24, 13, 16, 20, 18)
26th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (19, 29, 29, 28 19)