New Zealand sailors have won three medals at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma – the first of the major European World Cup Regattas.
New Zealand sailors won the Gold medals in the Mens singlehanded Laser class (Andy Maloney) , a second NZ sailor, Sam Meech won the Bronze medal in the same event. In the new Olympic Womens twin trapeze skiff, the 49erFX, Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech won the Silver medal.
The medals have come despite New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic medalists not competing at this regatta, giving a strong indication that the NZL Sailing Team is in good shape very early on in this new Olympic cycle. New Zealand finished fourth on the medal table, behind Great Britain, Denmark and Netherlands. New Zealand competed in six of the ten Olympic events.
Lying third equal going into today Andy Maloney knocked it out of the park on the last day of competition coming away with two race wins in the two medal races sailed. The bullets, worth zero, added nothing to his overall pointscore and he concluded the six day regatta eight points clear of former leader Tom Burton of Australia who was looking hard to beat.
Burton placed third in the first of the medal races but was hit with an OCS in the next race relegating him to second place overall and the silver medal.
Meanwhile NZL Sailing Team’s Sam Meech sailed strongly to place fifth and third and claim the bronze medal. This is an excellent result for Meech who is a two-time medallist for New Zealand at ISAF Youth World Championships with gold in 2009 and bronze in 2008.
Andy Maloney said: 'It was a really good day. With the new system and having two medal races there were a lot of points up for grabs. It was good to get different conditions out there with some offshore breeze and really shifty. It went pretty well to get two wins – I couldn’t have asked for much more.'
'It feels pretty good to come from third equal to win the event today, really good day,' he continues.
'We’ll have a bit of a week off, a break from sailing and then we’ll head over to Hyeres for the next World Cup event.'
Both Andy Maloney and Sam Meech will sail in September’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup as part of the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand, both announced in February among the crew selections to sail on an AC45 with Peter Burling at the helm.
The 49erFX women’s skiff event was always going to capture the spotlight at this regatta. A new class for the Rio Olympic Games this is the first time the current campaigners from around the world have truly come together and lined up on the same race track.The new class was developed by New Zealand's Mackay Boats - who are the dominant builder in the Mens 49er and Mens and Womens 470 classes
Billed as one of the crews to watch, the young kiwi pairing of Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have kept their composure among the hype and concentrated on the business of sailing – earning themselves the silver medal along the way.
Sailing four stadium style races today with only eight boats on the course the kiwis were fourth, second, second and wrapped things up with a win. Across the six days of racing Maloney and Meech won five races and only finished outside the top eight on one occasion.
Denmark’s Nielson and Olsen have sailed an almost faultless regatta and with three wins for them today they have taken the gold medal convincingly.
New Zealand featured two representatives in the Finn medal races today – Andrew Murdoch has placed seventh at what is his international debut in the Finn class after announcing his switch from the Laser earlier this year. Today Murdoch was eighth and fourth on the water.
Josh Junior also a former Finn sailor has finished eighth overall just behind Murdoch in the overall standings. Today Junior was sixth and ninth in the two medal races sailed.
Jez Fanstone, High Performance Manager is pleased with the overall team’s performance in Palma; 'Andy (Maloney) sailed really well, and Sam did well to hang in there and take the bronze too.'
'Great from Alex and Molly at this regatta which is their first in a full strength fleet, and a huge opportunity for learning. Tom Saunders is really stepping things up and Josh and Andrew have had a great first showing the Finn.'
'New combination Paul and Dan only just missed their medal race in the 470 by one point, and the Nacra crew of Gemma and Jason are doing good things too. Everyone is in good spirits.'
The next major event for the NZL Sailing Team is ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres on from 20-27 April.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma New Zealand’s standings after Day 5
Laser 1st Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) 3rd Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) 15th Thomas Saunders
49erFX 2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech
Finn 7th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) 8th Josh Junior
470 Men 11th Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) 31st Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson
49er 38th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL Sailing Team) – winners silver fleet
Nacra 17 20th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders 25th Nicole van der Velden and Tomer Simhony by Jodie Bakewell-White and Sail-World