Racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma shifted up a gear for the NZL Sailing Team on day four with the first round of finals races now underway pitting the absolute best from around the world against each other in very close racing.
While the New Zealanders didn’t quite match their incredible form from the last day of qualifiers their results were solid and they now head into another day of finals racing tomorrow where everyone is gunning for a top ten standing and a spot in the medal races. Six kiwi crews across four classes are on track for a start in their medal race.
The new scoring system being trialled almost certainly delivers some big shuffling on the leader-board at the transition from qualification to finals and this is evident in the Laser class today.
Croatian sailor Stipanovic leaps into the lead after lying seventh at the start of the day, he added two wins and an 18th (discarded) and takes the lead with 7 points.
NZL Sailing Team’s Andy Maloney carried forward his second place and in today’s racing finished 10th, fifth and third improving through the day. With 10 points he is lying fourth overall behind Stinapnovic (CRO), Burton (AUS) and previous leader Buhl (GER).
'We did three final series races today in a nice 12-20 knot breeze, once again with decent waves to surf on the downwinds,' reports Andy Maloney.
'I managed to get a few consistent top ten results to stay in the hunt going into the last two days of racing. It was nice to get into the finals series and race against all the top guys in one fleet, looking forward to tomorrow.'
Sam Meech is in sixth place at the end of day four with two days of the regatta remaining. In today’s three races he placed 17th, eighth and fourth and with 15 points he is just five adrift of Maloney.
In the 49erFX Women’s skiff Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech are now lying sixth after the opening day of finals where they returned two fifths and an eighth in racing. They have 12 points with the four crews ahead of them all locked up on 11 guaranteeing a close battle on the water tomorrow.
Denmark’s Nielson and Olsen are standing out as a force to be reckoned with in this new class. They carried forward zero points, won all three races today and top the leader-board on zero points with just two days to go.
Both of New Zealand’s Finn sailors Josh Junior and Andrew Murdoch opened the finals stage with solid performances and they lie seventh and eighth respectively on the leader board.
Junior placed 14th, fifth and fourth in today’s races and has 17 points well within hunting range of those placed above him.
5th, second and 13th from Murdoch today means a big climb from 15th up to eighth overall and in good shape for a start in the medal race at his first international regatta in the new class.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox in the Men’s 470 is the other NZL Sailing Team crew looking good for a spot in their medal races scheduled for Saturday in Palma if they hold form tomorrow.
They sailed three races today and finished ninth, 31st and sixth putting them in eighth overall. The 31st is discarded and with 21 points they’re within reach of those sitting above them on the board, but the guys will need to stay out of danger unable to afford another big score.
Racing resumes tomorrow for the penultimate day of competition at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma. The medal winners will be decided on Saturday.
For full results click here
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma
New Zealand’s standings after day four
7th Josh Junior – 8, 14, 4, 5
8th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) – 15, 5, 2, 13
4th Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) – 2, 10, 5, 3
6th Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) – 3, 17, 8, 4
19th Thomas Saunders – 16, 21, 12, 49
8th Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) – 6, 9, 31, 6
29th Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson – 31, 32, 17, 28
40th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL Sailing Team) – 8, 0, 6 (Silver fleet)
6th Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech – 2, 5, 8, 5
20th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – 15, 20, 21, 17
27th Nicole van der Velden and Tomer Simhony – 21, 31, 20, 30
by Jodie Bakewell-White
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8:13 PM Thu 4 Apr 2013GMT
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