Sam Meech will wait another day to sail for an Olympic podium finish after today’s medal race was postponed and then abandoned late in the afternoon in Rio 2016.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have stepped out their lead in the 49er event with one day, (three races) of qualifying to go and women’s skiff pair Alex Maloney and Molly Meech hold 2nd place on a tightly bunched 49erFX leader-board.

It was a day of extremes at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta where conditions ranged from not enough wind, to too much – with a dose of glamour in the mix too. The Men’s and Women’s 470 didn’t manage to complete any of their scheduled races but will use tomorrow to try and catch up.

49er – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

With three top three placings on the water today Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were the most consistent pair on the 49er track and have opened up an 18 point gap on 2nd place with just one day of qualifying remaining before the medal race line up is decided.

They sailed outside the bay on the Copacabana course where conditions were good for three afternoon races, but deteriorated soon after racing was complete with a blustery front striking the skiff fleets as they returned ashore.

“It was beautiful conditions out there for racing” said Burling. “Three low scores and that’s exactly what we wanted to get out of today. It felt like the boat was going really fast.”

The closest crew to Burling and Tuke is Germany’s Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel who retain 2nd place at the end of day four of racing.

The defending Olympic champions, Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen of Australia, had a solid day and improve from 6th to 3rd as a result.

49erFX – Alex Maloney and Molly Meech

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech posted a solid day in the women’s skiff to go into tomorrow lying 2nd overall. Points around them are extremely tight however putting pressure on everyone to perform on what is their final day of qualifying tomorrow.

In today’s racing the New Zealand crew had a 6th, a 12th and a 3rd.

“We had a really cool day out there on the water and we had one down and two really nice ones so keeping it quite consistent,” said Meech.  “Consistency was definitely the aim for the week and so far so good.”

Maloney described the day, “It was glamour skiff sailing. We had 10 to 12 knots, sunshine and a little swell, so we were really enjoying the conditions.”

“We still have a lot more racing to go we’ll just take it one race at a time – lots more to come,” she added.

Spaniards Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Bertanzos were the standout crew on the 49erFX course today posting a 4th and two wins to take the overall lead.

They are four points advanced on the NZL Sailing Team pair, while local favourites Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze are just one point behind in 3rd.

They’re scheduled to sail three more races tomorrow.

Women’s 470 – Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie
Men’s 470 – Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox

Both the men’s and women’s fleet were kept ashore under postponement before heading out on the water, however conditions on the Naval course (inside the bay) weren’t conducive to racing and despite best efforts no races were completed today.

The revised schedule will see them use their reserve day to try and complete the full ten race qualifying series for both the men and women double-handed dinghy fleets commencing at 1305 in Brazil on the Niteroi course area (outside the bay).

Tomorrow’s Medal Races: Laser, Nacra and Finn

Due to light winds on the medal race course the Laser medal race did not get underway today and the ten contenders, including New Zealand’s Sam Meech, never left the shore.

Meech, and the other nine sailors competing in the single-handed men’s medal race will return tomorrow to try again.

Here’s a summary of the Laser medal race starters;

  1. Stipanovic (CRO) 57 points
  2. Burton (AUS) 67 points
  3. Meech (NZL 77 points
  4. Bernaz (FRA) 86 points
  5. Scheidt (BRA) 87 points
  6. Thompson (GBR) 87 points
  7. Kontides (CYP) 92 points
  8. Maegli (GUA) 103 points
  9. Alsogaray (ARG) 107 points
  10. Van Schaardenburg (NED) 108 points

Yesterday was a pivotal day in the mixed multihull class where placings continued to change as the day unfolded and the official standings for the top ten ahead of tomorrow’s Nacra medal race are confirmed.

New Zealanders Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders will go into the double-points quick-fire finale in 5th place.

Here’s a summary of the Nacra medal race starters;

  1. Lange/Carranza (ARG) 65 points
  2. Bissaro/Sicouri (ITA) 70 points
  3. Zajac/Frank (AUT) 72 points
  4. Waterhouse/Darmanin (AUS) 74 points
  5. Jones/Saunders (NZL) 79 points
  6. Buhler/Brugger (SUI) 80 points
  7. Besson/Riou (FRA) 83 points
  8. Saxton/Groves (GBR) 91 points
  9. Gulari/Chafee (USA) 98 points
  10. Albrecht/Swan (BRA) 101 points

Also resting today was Josh Junior, Finn sailor, who sailed extremely well yesterday to break back into the top ten for a start in tomorrow’s medal race. He goes in 7th with ambitions of improving his final result for Rio 2016, but is not considered a medal contender based on points differential.

Here’s a summary of the Finn medal race starters;

  1. Scott (GBR) 32 points
  2. Zbogar (SLO) 56 points
  3. Kljakovc Gaspic (CRO) 69 points
  4. Paine (USA) 74 points
  5. Salminen (SWE) 74 points
  6. Zarif (BRA) 81 points
  7. Junior (NZL 84 points
  8. Olezza Bazan (ARG) 87 points
  9. Postma (NED) 87 points
  10. Lilley (AUS) 87 points

NZL Sailing Team current standings;

1st  Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er) (1, 1, 5, 2, 8, 6, 2, 3, 1)
2nd  Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX) (6, 5, 4, 4, 5, 1, 6, 12 3)
3rd  Sam Meech (Laser) (19, 3, 5, 6, 14, 17, 13, 6, 12, 1)
5th  Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (Nacra 17) (9, 13, 7, 5, 4, 2, 4, 8, 12, 13, 13, 2)
7th  Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Women’s 470) (21DSQ, 1, 4, 1, 12, 21UFD, 3)
7th  Josh Junior (Finn) (18, 24UFD, 14, 14, 5, 3, 18, 2, 4, 6)
9th  Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Men’s 470) (2, 10, 20, 15, 23, 5, 2)

Full results are available on the Rio 2016 website:

Tomorrow’s schedule

Sam Meech – Laser Medal Race (1350 Brazil/0450 NZ)
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – Nacra 17 Medal Race (1435 Brazil/0535 NZ)
Josh Junior – Finn Medal Race (1520 Brazil/0620 NZ)

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – W470 – Races 8, 9 & 10
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox – M470 – Races 8, 9 & 10
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech – 49erFX – Races 10, 11 & 12
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 49er – Races 10, 11 & 12

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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