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London Olympics- Day 6 - Kiwi 49ers grasp second place

by Kristine Lederis, Yachting NZ on 4 Aug 2012
August 3, 2012 - Weymouth, England - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) lead the 49er class racing in front of a big crowd on the Nothe course, in Race 11. Richard Gladwell

In front of their family and friends on the Nothe spectator course, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have reclaimed their grasp on the Olympic 49er second place standing, while 470 women Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie had similar performances to also be ranked second after their first day of racing.

After three races today for the fleet, 49er skiff sailors Peter and Blair have considerably closed the gap on the leading Australian boat, and given themselves a fifteen point buffer on the third placed Finnish team, scoring a seventh, second and then winning the final race of the day.

'It was really fun... good to finish the three races on a high going into the lay day, and with some good low scores' said Blair after sailing.

Just four races remain for the men’s 49er before the top ten competitors progress to the double point medal round. Blair continued 'We’ve put ourselves in a good position but there’s still a lot more to do.'

Women’s 470 sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie made a top start to their regatta, breaking away from the pack in the first race with one other boat, and finishing the race second. They followed it up with a solid seventh, and are scored second equal with the women’s team from Israel. It is still very early in the event for this team who have nine more races to sail.

Also in the 470, Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders had two top five finishes, although a disqualification from yesterday’s first race due to a port/starboard incident with another competitor has lowered them to eighth overall. After completing one more race tomorrow, they will be eligible to discard that result as their worst score.

Both the NZ Finn (Dan Slater) and Star (Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner) have finished the opening series inside the top ten and after a rest day tomorrow, they will be progressing to Sunday’s medal race ranked ninth and eighth respectively.

Dan talked about going forward to the medal race: 'I’m looking forward to racing... Raffa [Spanish competitor] and I have been training partners for years sailing at home and we’ve been match racing around the track so it’s kind of neat that the two of us get to bash it out even though it’s not really the position we wanted to be in.'

Sara Winther today had her two best ones to date, finishing races in ninth and eleventh in this extremely competitive fleet of 41 sailors.

Tomorrow, Saturday August 4th, the RS:X Boardsailing and Women’s Match Racing will resume, while it will be a rest day for the Finn, Star and 49er. There will be two races each for the 470’s, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X, while the Women’s Match Racing crew will have just one.

Standings- Day 6 – August 3rd, 2012

2nd Peter Burling/Blair Tuke (49er) after 11 of 16 races (9, 7, 1, 7, 3, 5, 9, 11)

2nd Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (470 W) after 2 of 11 races (2, 7)

6th JP Tobin (RS:X) after 6 of 11 races (15, 4, 3, 7, 8, 8)

8th Paul Snow Hansen/ Jason Saunders (470 M) after four of 11 races (28DSQ, 3, 5, 4)

8th Hamish Pepper/ Jim Turner (Star) after 10 of 11 races (15, 7, 1, 13, 6, 5, 9, 8, 8, 9)

8th Women’s Match Racing- Round Robin: Four win, Six loss

9th Andrew Murdoch (Laser) after 8 of 11 races (12, 8, 17, 18, 1, 7, 13, 15)

9th Dan Slater (Finn) after 10 of 11 races (7, 12, 1, 6, 17, 11, 6, 15)

21st Sara Winther (Laser Radial) after 8 of 11 races (31, 23, 21, 15, 35, 31, 9, 11)

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