New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech successfully completed the defence of their 49erFX title on the penultimate day of the Sailing World Cup in Miami.
The pair held a firm advantage before the final fleet race and won it by a huge margin, handing them a 30-point lead that cannot be overturned in tomorrow’s medal race.
“We’re pretty happy to come away with a win this week,” said Meech.
“We haven’t looked at the results this week so we are kind of surprised.
“Last year we came away with a win in Miami so it’s nice to do it again.”
Maloney and Meech won the inaugural 49erFX World Championships in 2013 and while they remained in the top bunch of racers last year, they were short of the heights they were used to.
“We had a pretty up and down season in 2015 so it’s nice to start this one off on top again so hopefully we can continue,” added Meech.
“We’ve had a pretty good summer back home in New Zealand and then coming over here we’ve felt fresh.
“We’ve been working on a few things and it’s another step forward for us.”
Sweden’s Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga and Denmark’s Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen are tied on 97 points in second.
Spain’s Diego Botin and Iago Lopez are poised to take the 49er title following four final gold fleet races.
The leading duo finished second, third, 17th and ninth, putting them 12 points clear of Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa.
Sweden’s Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark hold the final podium position, but five chasing teams have a chance to overthrow them in the medal race.
In the men’s 470, the United States’ Stu McNay and partner David Hughes came out on the wrong side of a few shifts today, finishing 12th, first and 13th having previously not come lower than fifth.
But they can take solace from the fact that every men’s 470 team in the regatta had at least one double-digit result, with the exception of Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, who finished second, sixth and second on the day.
McNay and Hughes are virtually tied with Panagiotis and Kagialis, and Spain’s Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera going into tomorrow’s double-points medal race.
Austria’s Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar have been the steadiest performers in the women’s 470 fleet, giving them a four-point advantage going into the medal race.
In conditions that caused a few of their main rivals to falter, Vadlau and Ogar were solid, finishing fourth, fifth and first.
Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan have led the regatta since winning both opening races, but a black flag disqualification in race eight and an eighth place finish in race 10 dropped them to second, one point in front of China’s Shash Chen and Haiyan Gao.
Brazil’s Jorge Zarif currently leads the Finn regatta with 34 points, while Denmark’s Jonas Hoegh-Christensen is two points back in second.
Both will enter the medal race in a virtual tie since the race is worth double points and also counts as the tiebreaker in case two sailors finish with the same points total.
Dutch champion Marit Bouwmeester will start the Laser Radial medal race with a six-point lead over Belgium’s Evi van Acker, who like her counterpart has already ensured at least a silver medal.
To claim the Championship, Van Acker will need to put two boats between herself and Bouwmeester in tomorrow’s medal race.
More error-free sailing from France’s Jean-Baptiste Bernaz and Brazil’s Robert Scheidt has put those two sailors into a virtual first-place tie going into the Laser medal race.
After dominating the qualifying series, The Netherlands’ Rutger van Schaardenburg faltered slightly today, and is now third, though within easy striking distance of the lead and with a 12-point cushion over fourth.
Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw holds an 11-point advantage over The Netherlands’ Lilian de Geus in the women’s RS:X.
De Geus had led since day one, but Shaw had the better of her in all three of today’s races.
Two fourths and a win compared to a pair of nines and a second allowed the Briton to grab the lead.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge of The Netherlands has a firm grip of top spot in the men’s RS:X.
Van Rijsselberge has remained in the top five all week and posted two thirds and a win today to lead compatriot and training partner Kiran Badloe by 15 points.
Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have remained the most consistent racers over the 15-race Nacra 17 series and have a six-point advantage over Switzerland’s Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger going into the medal race.
Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning of The Netherlands remain in contention, eight points off the Australians, in what is a three-way shootout for honours.
- By Daniel Etchells
- This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, www.insidethegames.biz