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NZL Sailing Team- Kiwis open well at Finn Europeans and Nacra17 Worlds

by Jodie Bakewell-White on 24 Jul 2013
New Zealand team Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders: ’It was tricky sailing’ - 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship © Laurens Morel

New Zealand has made a great start at the 2013 Finn European Championship with Andrew Murdoch in third and Josh Junior in sixth in Warnemunde, Germany while Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders also opened strongly at the 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship at The Hague, Netherlands.

While light winds cancelled racing on Monday for the 103-strong Finn fleet competing for the 2013 European Championship title the regatta got underway today with conditions allowing for one morning race in a dying easterly and then two afternoon races as the sea breeze arrived.

Andrew Murdoch opened the regatta with a 13th while Josh Junior placed 28th in the large fleet, yet things improved for both the kiwis in the afternoon. Murdoch added a fourth and a sixth in races two and three to give him 23 points and third overall.

'I’ve managed a solid start to the Finn European Champs, placed in third overall after the three races today,' says Murdoch. 'We have three races scheduled for tomorrow, one extra again, to catch up on the lost races of day one. Looking forward to it!'

Junior returned a fifth and then a win in race three and with 34 points is in sixth overall at the end of the first day. Visilij Zbogar from Slovenia leads with 11 points while Croatian Ivan Kljakovic-Gaspic is in second place seven points ahead of Murdoch.


At The Hague, Netherlands the 2013 Nacra 17 World Championships got underway today although trying conditions meant that just one of two (split) fleets completed their races. The Nacra 17 is the new Olympic multihull class and is sailed by one female and one male.

Kiwi contenders Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have made an encouraging start with a seventh and a third on the water they are placed second in the standings.

'It was tricky sailing, the conditions were difficult', says Saunders. 'It was not easy to start with that current and we couldn't always keep the lay line. We are not used to this. I sailed this water also in 2010 when I attended the 470 Worlds, so I know it a little. The second race was even more difficult, because the wind started to die out at the end.'

'But we were happy to sail two races and not to have been waiting all day again. It's been two long days waiting at the beach. For the next two days we hope to sail as many races as possible.'

Despite spending hours on the water those in the yellow fleet including kiwi crews Nicole van der Velden & Tomer Simhony and Gareth Moore & Vickery Francis are yet to record any race results.

Racing resumes at both regattas tomorrow with medals to be decided and presented on Saturday.

New Zealand’s current standings…

2013 Finn European Championship, Warnemunde, Germany
3rd Andrew Murdoch (13, 4, 6)
6th Josh Junior (28, 5, 1)
Full results here.

2013 Nacra 17 World Championship, The Hague, Netherlands
2nd Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (7, 3)
Nicole van der Velden and Tomer Simhony
Gareth Moore and Vickery Francis

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