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NZL Sailing Team: New Zealand first and third in 49ers in Denmark

'Peter Burling and Blair Tuke - 2013 SAP 49er & 49erFX European Championship'    © Mick Anderson/

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have sealed the deal today taking out the 2013 SAP 49er European Championships in Arhus Denmark.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech also secured a podium finish taking bronze in the 49erFX European Championship, with a further two top nine results for New Zealand including fifth for Natalia Kosinska at the RS:X European Championships and ninth for Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski in the 49er fleet.

The final day of racing in Denmark featured three short, fast medal races on a tightly defined race track watched by a crowd of spectators both ashore and on the water, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing today for the Olympic silver medallists with skipper Burling actually falling from the boat in the opening medal race and crossing the line last.

Turning things around they responded with a win in the next race, followed by a fifth in the final of three and secured the overall victory by four points.

'We had a pretty bad race in that first one I actually fell out the back of the boat we were just trying to bounce back from that and had a really good one the second one and managed to just do what we had to in the last one,' says Burling.

While the pair are no strangers to the podium Tuke explains that this victory is a milestone, the kiwis enjoying the top step and the gold medal this time despite a strong performance from British sailors Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign who claimed silver.

'It’s great,' responds Tuke when asked how it feels to win. 'Obviously we won silver at the Olympic last year but it’s the first time we’ve actually won a major international regatta like this with all the top guys here so it’s really pleasing for us and especially being the first regatta back for us since the Olympics. We came here to just get back in the boat but we’ve been sailing really well this week so we’re pretty happy.'

Burling explains what they’ll take away from this regatta; 'It’s positive for ourselves to know that you can make a stuff up like that and bounce back ten minutes later. They’re turning the races around so quickly out there, so to fix the boat jump back in and make the right decisions.'

In the 49erFX class, which debuts as an Olympic class at Rio 2016, young kiwis Alex Maloney and Molly Meech went into the final day lying third and have secured the bronze medal with no change to the order of the top three today.

Maloney and Meech were second, first and then seventh on the water today racing against eight other crews in the three medal races. Dominant throughout Danish sailors Nielsen and Olsen brought it home in front of their home crowd.

'Consistency throughout the regatta helped us get on the podium,' says Meech. 'Today was quite tricky out there, we sailed quite well in the first two races and then the last race we had a little incident at the start at got a bit held up, and we might not have made the right choices after that.'

With a full strength fleet including all the current 49erFX campaigners this result is another exciting indicator of the potential that this young kiwi pair has, but they know well that it’s a long road to Rio. Their next focus will be for the 2013 49erFX World Championships.

'I think we learnt a lot – where our weaknesses are and our strengths. It’s really good because we have a couple of months until our Worlds and so we can go home and really work on a few things and come back a lot better for it,' adds Maloney.

Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski finished ninth overall in the Men’s fleet after a second a ninth and a sixth in today’s three medal races. With moments of brilliance through the regatta this young pair have secured themselves another excellent result in the massive 91 boat quality fleet.

The 2013 49er and 49erFX World Championships are in Marseilles, France, from Sept 21-29, 2013.

2013 SAP 49er European Championships New Zealand’s final results

3rd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech
(Women’s fleet full results)

1st Peter Burling and Blair Tuke
9th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski

11th in Silver Fleet Ben Goodwin and Sam Bullock
(Men’s fleet full results)

Kosinska finishes in fifth at RS:X European Champs

Kiwi windsurfer Natalia Kosinska has missed out on a podium finish at the 2013 RS:X Womens’ European Championships just concluded at Brest, France ending the six day regatta in fifth place.

Leading at times and sailing with great consistency Kosinska will be bitterly disappointed not to convert her great results to a medal. However the fleet in France is top quality as Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Director Jez Fanstone explains;

'This fleet is of the same quality as the World Championships. Natalia is winning races and sailing really consistently,' he continues, 'her hard work is paying off.'

2013 RS:X European Championships New Zealand’s final results

5th Natalia Kosinska (Women)
28th Xanthe Bowater (Women Youth)
42nd Alexander Hart (Men Youth)

by Jodie Bakewell-White


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