Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
The NZL Sailing Team are in Europe with three world championship regattas underway, and three more about to begin. The Laser World Championships in Germany, where five New Zealanders are competing, and the Star World Championships in France have just two days of racing left each.
21 year old Laser sailor Andy Maloney is showing his best in the highly competitive mens single handed lightweight Olympic class, currently ranked fifth in the fleet of 168 boats. Sam Meech and Andrew Murdoch sit 22nd and 31st respectively, and up to four more races may be sailed.
Also doing well is the NZ Star team of Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner who have completed four races in Hyeres, France. Although an 18th place finish overnight slid them down from seventh to ninth overall, points are close and after one more race the worst score of each sailor will be discarded, and this will somewhat mix up the standings.
The Star World Championships will see a rest day tomorrow and then two more race days to finish off the regatta. Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner will be putting in their best effort to earn one of the final four Olympic qualification berths for New Zealand to be given the opportunity to select a team for the Olympic Games.
Both teams of New Zealanders at the 49er World Championships are inside the top 20 after the first two days of sailing. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, NZ’s Olympic representatives in this class and silver medallists from the 2011 49er World Championships, are currently 13th place and only seven points adrift of the podium. Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski are also doing well, in 18th after the first six races sailed.
May 9th current standings
Laser Worlds - Gold Fleet
5th - Andy Maloney
22nd - Sam Meech
31st - Andrew Murdoch
Laser Worlds- Silver Fleet
30th - Thomas Saunders
36th - Michael Cate
9th - Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner
13th - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
18th - Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski
Most other remaining Olympic representatives will be starting their World Championship run later in the week, with the Finns starting at Falmouth and 470’s in Barcelona on May 13th, and the Laser Radial last to start on May 15th.
The RS:X World Championships were sailed in March, and JP Tobin won a Bronze medal, setting the bar high for the team to follow.