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Strong start for New Zealand crews at Weymouth

Credit: Lloyd Images

Strong start for New Zealand crews at Weymouth


It was a bit like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears today for the New Zealand sailors at their respective European championships - no wind at one venue, too much at another and just right at a third.

The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans kicked off in Weymouth with champagne conditions, and a number of New Zealand crews are already standing out. But there was no racing on the first day of the Finn Europeans in Athens due to a lack of wind and also no racing on the penultimate day of the 470 European championships in San Remo because of strong winds.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox had been hoping for racing at the 470 Europeans to continue their climb up the leaderboard. Three races had been scheduled, which was more than enough time for them to move up from their present position in sixth but they will now go straight into a top 10 medal race.

They have too much ground to make up on leaders Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan of Australia but are only eight points off Spain's Jordi Xammar and Nicolas Rodriguez in third.

Andy Maloney and Josh Junior were equally frustrated on the opening day of the Finn European championships in Athens. A strong fleet has gathered in the Greek capital for the event and the New Zealand pair go into it on the back of their first and third placings at last month's Princess Sofia regatta in Palma.

The real action was at the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European championships in Weymouth, where the more than 200 boats enjoyed the perfect 13-17 knot conditions and nice waves.

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn took advantage, claiming three race wins in their fleet - the 98 boats are split into three groups for qualifying - and a fourth to sit on top of the standings. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke also enjoyed a strong day at the same venue they claimed silver at the 2012 London Olympics, with four results in the top three including two race wins, and are third overall.

Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey are 27th and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie 28th and will be looking to improve their positions on day two.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are sixth in the 49erFX and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders sixth in the Nacra 17 after two fourths and a third in their races.

The fresh conditions in Weymouth were a welcome change after the mostly light winds experienced at regattas in Palma and Genoa recently.

"We had pretty cool racing conditions out there today, with a good 15 knots and some good waves," Saunders said. "It was really nice to actually stretch the legs out after most of the season being pretty light. We are pretty happy with how we are going. We got three keepers.

"It's going to be one of the longest regattas we have ever done with apparently 19 races, or something crazy like that, so we just have to try to keep getting some top fives in qualifying and see how we go from there. I think tomorrow should be pretty breezy as well so should be good fun."

Results and standings after day 5 of the 470 European championships in San Remo:

Men's 470 (70 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 1 1 1 2 1 (7) - 6 points
2nd: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 3 2 5 1 (35) 2 - 13 pts
3rd: Jordi Xammar / Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP) 8 1 3 3 4 (36 DNF) - 19 pts

6th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 6 8 8 4 (12) 1 - 27 pts

Women's 470 (40 boats)

1st: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) 1 (8) 1 6 3 2 - 13 pts
2nd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 5 2 4 (7) 6 1 - 18 pts
3rd: Silvia Mas Depares / Patricia Cantero Reina (ESP) (12) 3 8 5 4 4 - 24 pts

28th: Susannah Pyatt / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 19 (31) 30 28 22 16 - 114 pts

Full results here

Results and standings after day 1 of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European championships in Weymouth:

49er (98 boats)

1st: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) (4) 1 1 1 - 3 pts
2nd: Diego Botin le Chever / Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) 2 (5) 1 1 - 4 pts
3rd: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) (3) 1 2 1 - 4 pts

27th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 (13) 7 8 - 25 pts
28th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 11 (17) 5 11 - 27 pts

49erFX (57) boats

1st: Vilma Bobeck / Malin Tengstrom (SWE) 1 1 3 - 5 pts
2nd: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 2 2 2 - 6 pts
3rd: Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 3 3 1 - 7 pts

6th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 8 3 5 - 16 pts

Full results

Nacra 17 (55 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 1 1 - 3 pts
2nd: Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari Diotallevi (ITA) 2 3 1 - 6 pts
3rd: Tara Pacheco / Florian Trittel (ESP) 3 1 4 - 8 pts

6th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 4 4 3 - 11 pts