Sam Meech lifts to 3rd in Laser, tough start for Josh Junior


10th August 2016

Two New Zealanders sailed on day two of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta including Sam Meech who has climbed into third overall with a couple of great races.

Lying 6th going into day two Meech sailed two solid keeper races placing 5th in the first of the day, then 6th in the next one.  Discarding the 19 points he collected in race one, Meech has 14 points and now lies 3rd overall in the 46-boat fleet and just one point adrift of 2nd place.

“It was a good day I had great starts and went the right way most of the time so that was good,” said Meech when he came ashore.

When told he has climbed into 3rd place he said, “Fantastic, but its day two and it’s a long regatta so I can’t get too excited about it yet. Hopefully I’ll be in the same position on the last day and then I’ll be excited.”

Racing on the Ponte course further up the harbour, the Laser fleet reported reasonably consistent breeze today, and are expecting more when they move to the outside Copacabana course for day three tomorrow.

“We’re racing on Copacabana outside and the forecast looks very strong, especially for that course so I’ll try and eat as much as I can tonight,” he joked.

It was a tough opening day for NZL Sailing Team Finn sailor and Olympic debutant Josh Junior who found himself buried at the back of the fleet in race one to place 18th.

Then in race two Junior was among a group of four sailors penalised for being too early at the start line.

Junior sums up the day; “We had two races today in pretty shifty and light winds. Didn’t go so well for me I ended up with one near the back and then unfortunately got a UFD in the second race so not a good day, but you know, five or six more days to go so.”

Junior remained upbeat pointing out that there is plenty of racing yet to come, “It’s unfortunate for me to have a couple of bad ones but it’s not the end of the world and I’ll carry on – hopefully tomorrow is a bit better.”

He described the conditions on the Pao race course as typical; “The wind is incredibly shifty and if you get it wrong you get a bit punished and it’s very hard to sail back through the fleet.”

“Things can change, there is four more days of racing and get rid of one of those and start again.”

Junior will be back on the water tomorrow for Finn races three and four.

Tomorrow both 470 fleets get started which means Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie open their Rio campaign, as do men’s crew Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox.

The first of the new Olympic sailing classes, the mixed gender multi-hull Nacra 17, gets underway tomorrow too featuring kiwis Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders.

NZL Sailing Team current standings

3rdSam Meech (Laser) (19, 3, 5, 6)
21stJosh Junior (Finn) (18, 24UFD)

Full results are available on the Rio 2016 website:

Yet to start;

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470)
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470)
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17)
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er)
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX)

NZL Sailing Team Rio 2016 Media Guide here

In total, 380 sailors from 66 nations will race in 274 boats across ten Olympic Events across seven racing areas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information:

Jodie Bakewell-White
Rio tel: 21973483812

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