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Medals on the agenda for Kiwi sailors in Palma

by Yachting NZ 6 Apr 2018 14:55 PDT 7 April 2018
49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR

Sam Meech has guaranteed himself a medal at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma and three other New Zealand boats will be fighting for a podium finish on the final day of the event tonight (NZ time).

Meech is virtually assured of silver in the Laser after five days of consistently good results, and he banked another two top-10 finishes overnight. He's too far behind Australia Matt Wearn to win gold but he's also 18 points ahead of Croatia's Tonci Stipanovic in third with only the double points top 10 medal race remaining.

Andy Maloney is also in a strong position to collect a medal in only his second major Finn regatta since switching to the heavyweight dinghy.

He presently sits in third, seven points behind Holland's Nick Heiner who spent the summer in New Zealand training with Maloney and Josh Junior, and has a handy 18-point advantage over two competitors tied on points. Great Britain's Giles Scott has already wrapped up gold in the Finn.

The 49erFX gold has also been decided - five of the 10 Olympic classes have already been settled - but Alex Maloney and Molly Meech lifted themselves into medal contention overnight on the back of three good results (2, 4, 3). They are now third, only four points behind Denmark's Odile Van Aanholt and Marieke Jongens, but two other teams are not far behind so it's all to play for.

"Unfortunately, we didn't achieve our goal of starting well but we did most things fairly well after that to get three solid races on the scoreboard," Maloney said. "We feel confident in the boat, sailed tactically well and are super excited for a close medal race.

"First is already decided but there's silver and bronze to play for so our game plan is to send it and have some fun - try go for a solid race win, ideally."

Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey collected two wins in the 49er overnight, propelling them from ninth into fourth. They benefitted from others around them struggling in the shifty conditions but they couldn't quite punch home their position when they were 20th in the third race.

"Today was good," Porebski said. "We nailed the shifts in the first two races then got stuck out on the wrong side of a big shift on the last race.

"Keeping the head out of the boat was key and lining up the puffs. The plan tomorrow is to try to take out the medal race. It looks like good breeze so we will need to get the boat going fast and in the right direction then worry about the points later."

Sam Meech has the rare luxury of not really having to worry about the points in his medal race. It's the benefit of a very consistent week that has seen him finish outside the top 10 only twice in the 10 races to date, which is an impressive achievement in such a big and competitive fleet and with such shifty conditions in Palma.

"I'm really happy to come away with second or third so early in the season," Meech said. "It will be nice to do a medal race with less pressure. I will still have a couple of people to watch but, fingers crossed, I won't have to do too much."

Andy Maloney will need to have his wits about him a little more in the Finn medal race but he, too, is in a strong position to finish on the podium.

He won today's first race and backed it up with a sixth to give him a chance of winning silver. He won't be able to treat the medal race as a match race with Heiner, with two others still with an outside chance of snatching bronze, but he will keep a close eye on the Dutchman.

"I had a really solid couple of races today," he said. "I definitely made the most of my lessons from day one in the offshore oscillating breeze and sailed two really good races.

"Tomorrow looks like another offshore day, with a shifty breeze, so I'll have to stick to similar priorities as today and try to get clear of the fleet. I'll really just look to do the basics well and try to win the race. If I get the opportunity to send Heiner off the wrong way at any stage, I'll definitely take that, too."

Two other New Zealand boats will be competing in the medal races, with Tom Saunders, who overnight won his third race of the regatta, lining up alongside Meech in the Laser, and Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson looking to improve on their ninth in the Nacra 17.

Results and standings after the fifth day of the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma overnight (NZ time): Men's 470 (79 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan (AUS) 2 (13) 3 1 1 1 9 1 3 - 21 points 2nd: Deniz Cinar / Ates Cinar (TUR) 4 10 (UFD) 16 5 6 5 3 7 - 56 pts 3rd: Simon Diesch / Philipp Autenrieth (GER) 1 14 4 5 7 10 (32) 9 8 - 58 pts

13th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox (NZL) 9 12 14 2 (21) 17 20 12 1 - 87 pts

Women's 470 (48 boats)

1st: Ai Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka (JPN) 2 4 7 (12) 4 5 8 1 2 7 - 40 pts 2nd: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) (19) 9 2 2 2 3 4 2 4 16 - 44 pts 3rd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 2 (22) 2 10 1 1 1 4 12 21 - 54 pts

Silver Fleet

29th: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 15 13 9 12 8 8 5 (DNC) 1 12 - 82 pts

49er (91 boats)

1st: Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 12 1 5 1 1 2 19 4 1 6 9 1 (25) 17 3 - 82 pts 2nd: Yago Lange / Klaus Lange (ARG) 7 7 10 4 2 3 1 2 13 3 3 (15) 14 10 8 - 87 pts 3rd: Mathieu Frei / Noé Delpech (FRA) 95 4 1 8 18 3 8 2 3 12 1 2 10 11 (UFD) 12 - 95 pts

4th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 8 13 4 3 12 6 5 3 10 7 17 1 1 (20) - 100 pts

Silver fleet

27th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) (15) 13 15 3 12 1 2 4 6 8 1 2 10 7 3 - 87 pts

49erFX (54 boats)

1st: Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 1 1 8 1 3 1 4 1 1 8 8 1 (15) 1 6 - 45 pts 2nd: Odile Van Aanholt / Marieke Jongens (NED) 3 5 5 9 2 12 16 7 7 2 5 5 1 (20) 4 - 83 pts 3rd: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 2 13 1 3 12 7 12 6 4 9 (19) 9 2 4 3 - 87 pts

Finn (73 boats)

1st: Giles Scott (GBR) 6 3 8 11 3 6 2 5 (17) 3 - 47 pts 2nd: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 18 (21) 13 16 2 12 6 3 2 4 - 76 pts 3rd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 16 (48) 19 6 7 1 13 14 1 6 - 83 pts

29th: Josh Junior (54) 38 37 24 4 9 29 17 43 31 - 232 pts 51st: Brendan McCarty (NZL) 63 50 (BFD) 55 42 46 39 57 18 64 - 414 pts 63rd: Raymond Hall (NZL) (60) 17 54 57 48 60 39 57 (66) 64 STP STP - 481 pts

Laser (183 boats)

1st: Matthew Wearn (AUS) 5 2 6 (24) 2 1 5 4 4 14 - 43 pts 2nd: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 2 5 8 4 1 22 (31) 9 10 - 62 pts 3rd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) 6 12 2 (20) 3 5 15 8 16 13 - 80 pts

7th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (30) 6 1 9 25 14 19 1 24 1 - 100 pts 20th: George Gautrey (NZL) 27 8 19 7 36 6 35 (44) 20 5 - 163 pts 24th: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 5 7 (43) 1 17 26 39 27 19 27 - 168 pts

Silver fleet

165th: Matthew Kempkers (NZL) 43 27 46 47 (DNC) DNC 43 18 18 41 - 327 pts

Laser Radial (113 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 9 8 3 2 3 2 2 (22) 10 8 - 47 pts 2nd: Alison Young (GBR) 6 7 9 4 7 1 23 (27) 11 2 - 70 pts 3rd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 16 1 3 6 1 4 6 (BFD) 26 15 - 78 pts

20th: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) (40) 4 36 7 29 26 38 15 7 19 - 172 pts 44th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 12 40 14 28 8 45 33 35 42 (53) - 257 pts

Nacra 17 (47 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 1 3 6 1 3 2 2 1 (12) 5 2 1 4 3 - 35 pts 2nd: Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface (GBR) 2 1 3 1 1 2 10 8 15 1 1 4 (18) 5 15 - 69 pts 3rd: Fernando Echavarri / Tara Pacheco (ESP) 10 13 2 1 2 1 8 23 4 23 10 6 3 1 2 - 86 pts

9th: Liv Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 17 3 9 4 4 18 1 1 2 (20) 12 11 13 2 16 - 112 pts 13th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 5 14 4 10 3 8 6 13 16 5 16 1 20 11 (22) - 132 pts

Men's RS:X (118 boards)

1st: Louis Giard (FRA) 3 3 3 3 3 1 4 (7) 3 1 - 24 pts 2nd: Pawel Tarnowski (POL) 2 3 4 7 2 2 8 (18) 2 2 - 32 pts 3rd: Sebastian Fleischer (DEN) 3 4 3 6 4 4 3 14 1 (21) - 42 pts

Silver fleet

83rd: Antonio Cozzolino (NZL) 27 21 33 23 9 12 (UFD) 1 10 3 - 139 pts

Full results click here

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