New Zealand claimed another two fourth place finishes at the Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta overnight while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remain in with a shot at a podium finish.
A stumble at the final hurdle – the medal race – has seen Andrew Murdoch miss out on the medals at the Olympic Test event drawing to a close now in Weymouth, England.
Points were extremely tight and a seventh place finish in the pressure test final race sailed overnight coupled with a win from the local boy, Paul Goodison, has given Murdoch a fourth overall in the Laser event.
While a disappointing final day for Murdoch, competing in the Mens Singlehanded event, his consistency and strength through the eleven race series has been demonstrated once again and he will now be evaluating what went wrong in that medal race in order to get it right next time around.
Australian Tom Slingsby managed to seal the deal for the Laser gold crossing the finish line in second place last night and topping Rutger van Schaardenburg of the Netherlands who claimed the silver. Goodison won the medal race to secure the bronze medal.
Meanwhile Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie took a win in the Women’s 470 medal race and secured the third of three fourth place finishes for New Zealand at this regatta so far, along with Murdoch and Jon-Paul Tobin.
Lying seventh going in to the final race the kiwis had nothing to lose, sailed away with the race win and climbed three places in the final standings with their overnight performance.
Local GBR sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke were looking good to take gold in front of the home crowd, but were toppled by Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata from Japan who stole the show taking the gold by finishing second to the kiwis in the medal race, while the Brits were fourth last night and had to settle for silver.
The regatta will conclude tonight for the final three events including the 49er skiff in which New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have retained third overall after racing overnight and now have just the medal race ahead of them.
With lead changes and upsets the order of the day, the 49er was no exception and the Spanish pair have pulled in front of the Aussie duo to sit four points apart on 51 in first and 55 in second. Burling and Tuke have more ground to cover to catch them in tonight’s medal race – they have 70 points, 15 adrift of second place.
The kiwis will have to watch their backs for a challenge from the home-town representatives, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes who will start the medal race in fourth on 75 points.
New Zealand is also represented in the two other medal races scheduled tonight for the Finn and Star.
Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk finished sixth and third in the two races sailed overnight in the Star class and are in sixth place overall going into the final day of the regatta. Dan Slater is in eighth place in the Finn fleet with just the medal race remaining. Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta
New Zealand’s Current Standings
3rd - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke: 49er (11, 16, 3, 3, 1, 3, 9, 5, 3, 3, 2, 4, 1, 6, 21)
4th - Andrew Murdoch: Laser (4, 5, 2, 3, 11, 4, 8, 12, 9, 2, medal race: 7)
4th - Jon-Paul Tobin: RS:X Men (6, 6, 9, 16, 5, 11, 2, 4, 21, 1, medal race:1)
4th - Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie: 470 Women (21, 11, 2, 26 BFD, 3, 3, 17, 4, 1, 7, medal race: 1)
6th - Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk: Star (5, 2, 15, 7, 10, 22DNS, 5, 7, 6, 3)
8th - Dan Slater: Finn (13, 18, 5, 2, 28OCS, 4, 7, 9, 6, 12)
10th - Natalia Kosinska: RS:X Women (12, 10, 4, 7, 7, 11, 12, 14, 19, 8, medal race: 9)
15th - Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders: 470 Men (17, 16, 4, 13, 15, 33OCS, 4, 16, 11,33DSQ)
22nd - Sara Winther: Radial (11, 26, 26, 21, 15, 25, 18, 8, 10, 50DNF)
The Weymouth and Portland 2011 International Regatta is an official London 2012 Test Event and part of the London Prepares series.
Racing runs from 2nd – 13th August with medal races scheduled over the final three days starting with the Men’s and Women’s RS:X on 11th August. All ten of the Olympic events are being contested with each nation able to send just one entry to each event.