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Sail-World NZ - May 27: Kiwi Medal in Lasers..Am Cup - The BIG Bang


Sail-World NZ - May 27: Kiwis Medal wins continue..Am Cup's BIG Bang

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Laser European Championship - Day 5 - photo © Neuza Aires Pereira

Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for May 27, 2019

The NZL Sailing Team has set itself nicely for the 2020 Olympics winning four medals from six events on the European Championship circuit.

The two that did not make the podium were fourth and seventh in their fleets - that is still a very creditable performance.

As discussed in the last newsletter, this group of six classes - all of which are qualified for the 2020 Olympics, are expected to form the shadow Olympic team, with the individual sailors involved expected to be named in the next six months or earlier. The exception being where there are multiple crews in the viewfinder, and the selectors will be keeping a close eye on form - maybe delaying their deliberations and decisions. However in practice the team should pick itself.

Sam Meech (NZL) wins the Silver Medal at the European Laser Championships, Porto, Portugal, May 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
Sam Meech (NZL) wins the Silver Medal at the European Laser Championships, Porto, Portugal, May 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia

New Zealand has solid multiple crew campaigns running in four of the Olympic events - the Nacra 17, Men's Laser, the 49er and the Finn. In fact in three of these events - the Nacra 17, 49er and Finn the crew who qualified New Zealand was not the top boat in the Europeans. The 2019 Worlds which will be held in Auckland in late 2019 for the $9erFX, 49er and Nacra 17 classes will be a crucial selection events for the 49ers and Nacra 17.

Compared to the other top Olympic sailing nations, New Zealand is more than holding its own, winning four medals - a 66% success rate, which is very high. A medal conversion ration of 50% is the accepted norm. With the 2019 European Championship circuit concluded for all ten Olympic classes, the British won medals in five events, along with the Netherlands who also won five. Both won multiple medals in the one event. The Brits in the 49er and Nacra 17 - with the Dutchies doing the same in the Mens Windsurfer.

Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch

The Danes, Australians and French all won two Medals - in the Australians case they were both Gold - from the Men's Laser and the Men's 470. Winning just a single medal from the 30 on offer were Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, China and Belgium. Seventeen nations were on the Medal table in Rio after the 2016 Olympics. Tokyo2020 is shaping up to be even tighter.

Looking at the Medal/Event conversion rates, Netherlands medaled in five events and has qualified in five Olympic events for a 100% conversion rate - confirming their place as the top Olympic sailing nation; New Zealand medalled in four events and Olympic qualified in six for a 66% conversion rate; GBR medaled in five events and is Olympic qualified in 10 for a 50% conversion rate; Australia medaled in two events and have Olympic qualified in four for a 50% conversion rate; Denmark won two medals and have Olympic qualified in five events for a 40% conversion rate. The rest taper away from there.

Unless there is a dramatic result posted at the 2019 World Championships by the 470 Women, Laser Radial, and both the Men's and Women's RS:X, New Zealand will be represented in just six classes in Enoshima - down from seven in 2016 and nine in 2012.

So far, the British are the only country to qualify in all ten events for Tokyo from the first round of Qualifying in the 2018 Sailing World Championships in Aarhus in August last year. (Japan is also represented in all 10 events by virtue of being the Host country.)

The European Championships were the second opportunity for Olympic Qualification for all nations only for the Finn class - with all other classes using their 2019 Worlds as the second Qualification Round.

The meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith
The beleaguered World Sailing Board during the meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith

A foggy future

It is generally recognised that it takes six years to come up to speed in an Olympic class - that period starts now in 2018 for those aiming at Paris/Marseille 2024.

Unfortunately, World Sailing seems to be unable to provide much definition about what is happening, six years out. Three new events - Offshore Keelboat, Mixed Two Person Dinghy, and Mixed Kiteboard - have yet to hold a World Championship.

In both the Windsurfer disciplines, the Council refused to endorse the RS:X for Tokyo2024 at the just concluded Mid-Year Meeting at the Chelsea Football Club.

That reversal of the Board's Recommendation should have been no surprise given that World Sailing's Equipment Committee had thrice recommended against the RS:X, but the Board did not accept that wisdom. This time the current Olympic Champion circulated a letter before the Council meeting questioning why the RS:X was endorsed with such alacrity. To cut a long story short, a Windsurfer Evaluation Trial will now be held, which is expected to include two Windfoiling options.

Day 1  - RS:X, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
The Council rejected the Board of World Sailing's recommendation to grant the RS:X Olympic status for 2024 . - photo © Sander van der Borch

Both New Zealand and Australia spoke up, saying they had low RS:X sailor numbers. New Zealand won't be represented in the RS:X at the Youth Worlds in Poland this July. Neither has any one qualified in the class for the 2020 Olympic regatta.

Yet another Urgent Submission came from the Board to try and put some shape into the Offshore Keelboat event - supposedly to control an "arms race" developing. That piece of wishful thinking fell flat on its face when members of the Equipment Committee, in an informal discussion, commented that it was a futile exercise trying to stop national Olympic programs from spending massive amounts of money on the Offshore event.

No answers were forthcoming on whether the class used for the new Offshore Event in 2024, would also be retained for the 2028 Olympics. There was no answer as to whether a boat selected in December 2023 as proposed by the latest World Sailing would be able to be built and brought up to Olympic competition standard in six months.

The meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith
There were plenty of questions but not too many answers from the Mid-Year Meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Chelsea Football Club, London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith

Neither could they say if the Offshore event would be like the other Olympic classes - organised around a specific class. Or, if it was more a general test of offshore racing expertise regardless of the chosen class. On the latter basis, every class would change every Olympic cycle.

There was also a deathly silence on the question if World Sailing would allow countries to buy existing boats in the chosen class after it was announced in December 2023.

The Mixed Offshore and Windsurfer situations aside, the Council delivered a paddy-whacking to the Board and Equipment Committee, when it voted to reject their Recommendation for the RS Aero to replace the Laser/ILCA as the Men's and Women's single-handed dinghy events, by margins of 36-5 and 37-4 in favour of retaining the Laser and its 85 nation contribution to Lausanne's universality score for each sport.

36th America's CupAC75 foil arms structure testing at Persico Marine - photo © America's Cup
Mission control consisting of the top designers oversee the structure testing of the 36th America's CupAC75 foil arms at Persico Marine - photo © America's Cup

Foiling arms fixed

Turning to the America's Cup, which looks to be the model of decorum, sanity and organisation compared to the world sailing body, the vexed issue of the structural integrity of the carbon foil arms seems to have been resolved.

For the first time in America's Cup history, we have images and video of the designers for the various teams collaborating in an open environment on the structural testing of a component. When has that ever happened in the Spy vs Spy world of the America's Cup?

Final destruction test- AC75 foil arms - Persico Marine - May 2019. - photo © America's Cup Media
Final destruction test- AC75 foil arms - Persico Marine - May 2019. - photo © America's Cup Media

The videos (we feature four of varying lengths and content) released by give a unique insight into the structural testing process along with a graphic and very audible demonstration of what happens in these engineering tests.

The "BANG" when the carbon arm crosses the line from maximum load to disintegration is an unforgettable noise and sight.

The video shows both test sessions in September 2018, when the arm failed at 88% of the expected maximum workload, and again in May 2019, when the arm failed at 188% of maximum working load.

Luna Rossa's AC75 spar arrives in Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa's AC75 spar arrives in Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © Luna Rossa

We also have video, such as it is, showing the first AC75 spar for Luna Rossa being delivered to the Challenger of Record's base in Cagliari, Sardinia. They are the first team to announce reaching this milestone - and indicator that their launch is probably 6-8 weeks away.

The AC75 commissioning process of the hull, rigs and foils is expected to take a couple of months - about the same as the AC72 and AC50 wingsailed catamarans which preceded them as the America's Cup Class.

There is still no definitive word on the state of the Late Challengers - one is believed to be close to pulling out - however, we have been told that several times before by the team themselves, and yet they survive.

The other two are continuing. We expect to have better information later this week.

Mapfre -  Leg 4, 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race January 10, 2018 - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Mapfre - Leg 4, The new course will try and reduce the number of Equator crossings - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

The Ocean Race- course changes

In this edition, we carry the third and final part of the interview with Richard Mason, Executive Director of The Ocean Race. The New Zealander sailed in four editions of the race - the last being in 2011/12 aboard Sanya, before stepping ashore and taking onshore management roles.

In Part 3, we look at the course for the 2021/22 edition of The Ocean Race.

It is expected to be a shorter length - down to 38-42,000nm from the 45,000nm monster of 2017/18. A couple of stopovers are expected to be dropped - reducing to 10 from 12 - including start and finish.

Also covered is how the media coverage will be handled. The Ocean Race's predecessors have always been notable for being on the leading edge of sailing coverage - from the first live radio calls that became a regular part of Peter Blake's race coverage from Ceramco New Zealand. The spectacular drone images from the last race - gave fans their first glimpse of the VO65's at pace flying on and through the Southern Ocean. They were also a wake-up call to the rest of the sport, indeed all sports, just what is possible with this technology and some good training of On Board Reporters, along with the OBR's and their skippers putting the training in.

Chinese New Year - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15  - photo © The Ocean Race
Although it is a long haul, Asia and China are important to The Ocean Race sponsors and teams, - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 - photo © The Ocean Race
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Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
RS:X Olympic medalist and now top coach, Aaron McIntosh (NZL) on Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019. He finished 8th overall. - photo © Sander van der Borch
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Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch

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An Italian competitor finds a too small gap at the windward mark - Day 2 -  European Laser Championships - Porto - May 21, 2019 - photo ©  Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
An Italian competitor finds a too small gap at the windward mark - Day 2 - European Laser Championships - Porto - May 21, 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
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Mettraux Justine, Gahinet Gwénolé, Teamwork - photo © Christophe Breschi
Justine Mettraux (SUI) - the Beneteau Figaro 3 won't be the 2024 Offshore class - photo © Christophe Breschi
Course for the The Ocean Race
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Six months to go to Yacht Racing Forum 2019 in Bilbao, Spain
Members of the yacht racing community and sailing industry from all over the world will meet in six months' time in the town of Bilbao, in the Basque Country, for the 12th edition of the Yacht Racing Forum.

North Sails Weekly Debrief - Rolex Capri Sailing Week, 52 Super Series, J/70 Telemetry Testing
Clients win eight titles at sailing week, including line honors in the Tre Golfi, the Maxi Yacht Capri Trophy and the Mylius Cup Trophy.

GC32 Villasimius Cup - Overall
The GC32 Villasimius Cup has a worthy winner in Oman Air supported by EFG Private Bank Monaco, but her lead of nine points as the ten flying catamarans returned to Marina di Villasimius this afternoon was no reflection of the competition's closeness.

Click&Boat 2019 MPU   GAC Pindar Superyacht Services - 250
Medemblik Regatta attracts 27 WindFoil riders from eight nations
Off the back of the Council of World Sailing decision not to endorse the RS:X for the 2024 Olympic Windsurfing event, one of Europe's first windfoil surfing competitions was sailed this weekend just gone in in Medemblik, The Netherlands.

Collinson FX: May 27, 2019 - Trump calls early end to trade war
NZ Business Confidence data, out Wednesday the 29th of May, will be a key driver in the local market, although US/China trade developments will remain the macro influence

The other AC
It was terrific to meet Aaron Young at the recent ASMEX conference on the Gold Coast. He is the grandson of one, Jim Young, who is like 96 now, and so many sailors can remember all the boats they sailed on that were penned by this gifted man.

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Barcolana 51: Registrations kick off, North Sails and Dee Caffari involvement
After a successful 50th edition recognised by the Guinness World Records as "the largest sailing race in the world", Barcolana adds a "+1" to its 'edition 50' aiming to create a regatta with an environmental focus, gathering all sailing lovers in Trieste

America's Cup: Luna Rossa takes delivery of their AC75 spar
America's Cup Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa is the first team to announce their building progress, when they released a video of their AC75 spar arriving at the team base in Cagliari, Sardinia.

A new direction for The Transat with Brest confirmed as 2020 start city
Starting in May, the 2020 edition will also see the race celebrate its 60th anniversary as the world's best solo sailors gather to race a gruelling 3,500-nautical miles across the North Atlantic to the USA.

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Laser European Championship at Porto, Portugal - Overall
It was an intense week on the Atlantic front of Porto with more than 300 sailors, representing 55 countries towards the European title.

NZL Sailing Team: Meech adds another silver medal at Laser Euros
There's a good reason why Sam Meech is seen as one of the world's most consistent Laser sailors and today he added another silver medal, this time at the Laser European championships in Porto.

Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival - Overall
The Medemblik Regatta closed with some exciting racing. There was some delay due to light and shifty wind, but the end of the day all races are sailed. In the RS:X Youth a complete French podium and two Dutch gold medallists in RS:X women and men

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Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week - Overall
After a thrillingly close finish, Harm Müller-Spreer's Platoon crew clinched the first regatta title of the 2019 52 Super Series season, winning the Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week by one single point this afternoon.

Laser European Championship at Porto, Portugal - Day 5
Early on, the 323 sailors, representing 55 countries, left the port of refuge in Afurada to face northwest winds and waves, on the Atlantic front of Porto.

HKCYIA signs MOU with Verventia for yachting development support
The International Cruise & Yachting Festival (Hong Kong) 2019 (ICYFHK 2019), is expected to be a scale-up of the International Cruise & Yachting Festival (Hong Kong) 2018.

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NZL Sailing Team: Meech chasing a medal at Laser Euros - Day 5
Sam Meech produced the sort of day he expects on Day 5 of the Laser European championships in Porto and it has left him with an outside chance of picking up a medal.

Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival - Day 3
The third day of the Medemblik Regatta had all the ingredients for a happy day of sailing. Nice wind conditions, lots of sun and exciting racing. A perfect day to start two new classes at the regatta

Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week - Day 3
On an uncompromising, very much one-sided race course off Mahón, Quantum Racing proved the top scoring boat at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week to take the overall lead at the first circuit regatta of 2019 by one single point.

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NZL Sailing Team: Kiwis looking to improve in Laser Euros - Day 4
Sam Meech slipped five places on the first day of gold fleet racing to 10th and George Gautrey dropped 10 places to 17th but Tom Saunders made some ground and is now 15th with two days remaining.

Time to take the plunge - Maxi Edmond de Rothschild returns to the ocean
There is no doubt that the large offshore multihull season is up and running! Following on from Actual Leader last week, Macif yesterday, today was the turn for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild to return to the ocean this at her Lorient base.

Positive Harris ready for The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
Keel damage early in the first major race for the new Figaro Bénéteau 3 in late March has left Harris' Hive Energy out of action in the boatshed for most of the intense build-up period.

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Marine Auctions Forthcoming Online Auctions
Well here we are on the first day of the "Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show" (SCIBS) and it looks like we are going to be busy for the four days.

MACIF Trimaran back at sea, better performance and more reliable
Just a few days after the MACIF trimaran left the cargo ship that brought it back from Pointe-à-Pitre, in mid-January, it was sent to the yard for a refit, where it has spent nearly four months in the expert hands of the MACIF technical team.

NZL Sailing Team: Kiwis smell blood at Laser Euros - Day 3
New Zealand's sailors emerged from an often treacherous qualifying series in good shape heading into gold fleet racing at the Laser European championships in Porto.

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America's Cup: Bang! New video of Foil Arm Destruction Testing
Three videos (including one uncut) have been released by America's Cup media and another party which shows the testing, including the failed September 2018 load testing, and the May 2019 successful test of the carbon foil arms for the AC75.

New hire for North Sails strengthens senior management team in France
North Sails have announced Philippe Touet as the new General Manager of North Sails France. Previously the Commercial Director of Incidence Sails, Touet is now responsible for sales management and operations of the North Sails business in France.

China Yachting Association visits Clipper Race Training Centre
Following a World Sailing event in London, the President of the China Yachting Association (CYA), Zhang Xiaodong, was invited to the Clipper Race Training Centre in Gosport in order to observe the set-up and training procedures first-hand.

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NZL Sailing Team: Meech fights back in Laser Euros - Day 2
Sam Meech, the world's No 1-ranked Laser sailor started the second day in 31st but climbed to 12th after banking a seventh and a fifth in his two races today.

The Ocean Race - Part 3: The Course - shorter length, fewer legs
"We are trying to push the race back towards its core which involves spending longer periods at sea, more time in the Southern Ocean - and trying to reduce the stop-start nature of the race that we have seen in the past.

RS Sailing reflect on vote for the 2024 Equipment Selection for Men's & Women's One Person Dinghy
The World Sailing Mid-Year conference, which gripped the attention of so many passionate sailors and followers, came to a close Sunday in London.

Gul 2018 October - Code Zero AUST MPU   HALLSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-battens
NZL Sailing Team: Gautrey best of Kiwi in Laser Euros - Day 1
George Gautrey was the best of the Kiwis, finishing fifth and seventh in his two races to be 11th overall. The 160 boats are in the Qualifier Round before the top boats are put into gold fleet for three more days of racing.

2019 Golden Globe Race: Tapio Lehtinen - Barnacles killed my race
Barnacle growth was the root cause of Finnish skipper Tapio Lehtinen's slow solo circumnavigation but the 110 day difference between his and Race winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's time was definitely enjoyable.

A strong entry from outside of France for 50th anniversary Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
This year, with the introduction of the new foil assisted Figaro Bénéteau 3 as the boat of choice, the playing field has been levelled for the skippers who are readying themselves for 2,130 nautical miles of racing across four legs

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Paris 2024: Laser Performance has a spray at ILCA
Laser Performance the predominant builder of the Laser dinghy, until they had their building licence revoked last March, have hit out at the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), after the class was provisionally confirmed for the 2024 Olympics

470 class confirmed as equipment for mixed two-person dinghy at 2024 Paris Olympics
The International 470 Class is pleased to announce that on Sunday 19th May 2019, the World Sailing Council confirmed the selection of the 470 as the equipment for the mixed two-person dinghy at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Rolex China Sea Race set for 8th April 2020 start
Entries are flowing for the 30th edition / 58th anniversary of the Rolex China Sea Race which will start on 8 April 2020.

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NZL Sailing Team: Burling and Tuke win 49er Europeans
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took a big step in their comeback to trying to defend their Olympic title when they won the 49er European championships in Weymouth today.

Golden Globe Race, Day 322: Tapio Lehtinen takes 5th place
Tapio Lehtinen, the 5th and final placed Finnish skipper competing in the Golden Globe Race crossed the finish line at 20:21 hours today accompanied by Bernard Moitessier's famous yacht Joshua and a flottila of excited wellwishers

Paris 2024 decisions made at World Sailing's 2019 Mid-Year Meeting
World Sailing's Council made key decisions on the Equipment to be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition on Sunday 19 May as the Mid-Year Meeting concluded in London, Great Britain.

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Paris 2024: Key decisions on 2024 Olympic classes
Laser/ILCA was voted as the One Person Dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta, by a landslide in the Council Meeting. The RS:X was rejected and the Windsurfers will have an Evaluation Trial - which will include Windfoilers

Kiteboard foiling at the Medemblik Regatta
In the Netherlands, the preparations for 2024 are in full swing. A reason for the Dutch Watersport Federation to implement this sport at the Medemblik Regatta.

North Sails Weekly Debrief - Figaro 3 R&D, Palma Vela, J/24 European Champs, New Moth Class Leader
Six division wins and an ORC podium sweep at Palma Vela. The European sailing season is getting warmed up and North Sails powered teams are on fire.

Marine Auctions 2019 600x500   BandG NLZ Triton2 300x250
Equipment Committee make recommendations on Paris 2024 Equipment
The Equipment to be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition was at the top of the agenda and the Committee debated the subject at length before voting on what recommendations they will put forward to World Sailing's Council

Ultimes threaten Rolex Fastnet Race record destruction
In the last windy Rolex Fastnet Race in 2011, the Loick Peyron-skippered Banque Populaire V blasted around the 608 mile course in one day, eight hours and 48 minutes.

Paris 2024: World Sailing Committee recommends RS Aero
The Equipment Committee of World Sailing has voted to recommend the RS Aero to the body's Council for confirmation at its meeting tomorrow (Sunday). The Committee decided not to support a Board recommendation that the RS:X be retained for 2024 Olympics.

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NZL Sailing Team: Maloney claims silver at Finn European championships
Andy Maloney had a chance of collecting silver on the final day of the Finn European championships in Athens if everything went his way and the medal race couldn't have worked out any better for the New Zealand sailor.

The Ocean Race: Unfinished business
Kiwi star Blair Tuke on trying to win the Race that 'pushes you like nothing else'. When Blair Tuke looks back on his first crack at The Ocean Race, onboard MAPFRE, he describes it in two words: unfinished business.

NZL Sailing Team: Three medals on offer in Europeans - Day 5
Andy Maloney has guaranteed himself at least a bronze going into tonight's medal race at the Finn Europeans, while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke lead the 49er event with two days remaining and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are third in the 49erFX.

America's Cup: Foil arms pass stress test at Persico
It would seem that the saga of the Foiling Arms for the AC75 is over. A tweet from #AmericasCup showed the carbon Foiling Arm in its test bed, with a second graphic of the tests that had been applied and apparently passed.

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