ISAF World Cup: NZ Women lead in 49er FX, Finn's Junior well placed

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech surfing their FX under kite, at the first round of the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne
Alexandra Mckinnon

New Zealand’s 49erFX pair Alex Maloney and Molly Meech has stormed into the lead with one day to run at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres on now in France.

Kiwi sailors will also feature in the medal races in the Finn, 49er, Laser and Men’s 470 events with Finn sailor Josh Junior the next best placed of the team and in with a shot at a podium finish.

Conditions were challenging, the official report describing; 'Tricky conditions have been evident throughout the week and the fifth day of racing was no different. An early morning easterly breeze faded as the day progressed.'

But Alex Maloney and Molly Meech dominated the day despite that, with two race wins and a second place the kiwis, who are currently ranked world #2, were the standout sailors on the women’s skiff course today.

Their results see them overtake Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) for the lead who are relegated to second overall after their showing on day five which included a sixth, an eighth and a black flag. The kiwis have opened an 18 point clear margin on the Brits as the head into the last day of the regatta.

'Final day tomorrow, with three stadium style races,' explains Alex Maloney. 'Should be interesting with double points, boundaries and ten minutes races.... Anything could happen!'

Josh Junior will go into the Finn medal races in fourth place overall, just one point behind Pieter Jan Postma (NED) lying third. British sailors Giles Scott and Andrew Mills hold the top two spots at the end of the penultimate day.

While Junior was ninth then 25th on the water today he discards the 25th and will go into the medal races hunting his first ever podium finish at a major international since switching to the heavy-weight dinghy around one year ago.

Andrew Murdoch placed 21st and 16th in the challenging conditions seeing him slip from the top ten and miss the cut for tomorrow’s medal races and marking a 13th place finish at this regatta. Despite the lapse in form today Murdoch’s results throughout the regatta are encouraging given he is still in a learning phase after switching classes very recently.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox have made the cut for the Men’s 470 medal race and will head into tomorrow lying ninth in the standings. Consistent, but not stellar today they were 10th and 15th in their two races.

'Just made it into medal race after a hard day in testing conditions,' reports Paul Snow-Hansen. 'We will have two double point races tomorrow with the rest of the top ten. Very close on points between 10th and fifth place and different conditions forecasted for tomorrow. Looking forward to see how we go!'

Andy Maloney will start the Laser medal race lying seventh in the standings after inching one rung up the leader-board ladder after today’s two races. He was 13th then 15th and holds 78 points meaning he is well within reach of those placed just ahead of him, but a long way back from the leading trio.

Brazil’s Robert Scheidt is out in front with 30 points, with Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Tom Burton (AUS) in second and third all eyeing the podium places.

Things didn’t go the way Sam Meech had hoped, day five proving his least successful and seeing him slip from the top ten to record an overall finishing result of 12th place. Like Murdoch though, Meech has delivered some highlights through five days of racing and will go away to build on the positives and take the lessons from the negatives.

In the 49er Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski are even further up the standings after day five of racing. Taking their second race win of the regatta in today’s final race the young NZL Sailing Team pair is now in sixth position, earning themselves a start in 49er medal races on tomorrow for the top eight placed crews.

While the leaders have a significant points margin the nature of the last day, which for the skiffs includes three short sharp races worth double points on a tightly defined course, guarantees high pressure racing where big losses and big gains are possible.

New Zealand’s Nacra17 crew of Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were agonisingly close to getting a medal race start, but will finish in 12th overall just one point behind the crew placed 10th.

Tomorrow promises high pressure, big stakes racing with medal races across all the Olympic class fleets and prize-giving to follow.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, 2013
New Zealand’s standings after day five

49ERFX
1st Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX (3, 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 1, 1, 1, 2)

FINN
4th Josh Junior (4, 8, 5, 3, 6, 9, 25)
13th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) (5, 7, 8, 16, BFD, 21, 16)

49ER
6th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team) (19, 17, 5, 1, 7, 7, 13, 22, 16, 1)

LASER
7th Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) (13, 12, 19, 15, 10, 13, 15)
12th Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) (3, 18, 10, 14, 15, 48, 29)
25th Thomas Saunders (7, 11, 46, 33, 38, 24, 23)
50th Andrew McKenzie (2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team) (48, 52, 50, 55, 32, 21, 50)
91st Michael Cate (47, 35, 35, 23, 8, 38, 41)
107th Jack Collinson (50, 59, 55, 47, 51, 34, 22)


MEN’S 470
9th Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) (2, 11, 19, 10, 12, 10, 15)
31st Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 32, 30, OCS, 27, 29, 14)

NACRA17
12th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (26, 5, 9, 6, 11, 12, 12, 8, 10, 9)
20th Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden (19, 28, 25, 15, 19, 15, 13)