NZL Sailing Team: Maloney and Meech take the lead in 49erFX Worlds

49er and 49erFX World Championship 2013 day 4

Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have taken the lead in the 49erFX fleet after day four of the 2013 49er and 49erFX World Championships on now in Marseille, France.

In the hunt for the 49er World title Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are lying sixth and Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski are in 10th after today’s racing.

After lights winds over the opening half of the regatta today stringer breeze kicked in, Maloney and Meech finding form and producing results which saw them rocket from seventh to take the overall lead with two days remaining. Today they were sixth, second, sixth and first in the women’s gold fleet races featuring the top twenty placed boats.

'Nice to win the last one,' said Meech. 'It was a good day out there, and great to stretch the legs at last after three light days. We’re expecting more wind tomorrow too. It was quite tricky, shifty wind and a really nasty chop, so it was nice to finish on a good note.'

Points are extremely tight however with previous leaders Sarah Steyaert and Jule Boassard of France just three behind the kiwis on 52 points with Italian’s Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich just one further back on 53.

Many in the 49er gold fleet, including the New Zealanders, faced the challenge of consistency as the stronger breeze came with plenty of tricky gusts and shifts.

'Best wind of the regatta so far,' says Coach Hamish Willcox in France. 'But it was far from straight forward. Seven knots building to 11 but getting more puffy and unstable during the four races. With a few clouds around and the deeper instability of the approaching bad weather we saw puffs (three knots variance) and shifts up to 20 degrees.'

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are now lying sixth on 52 points after placing seventh, sixth, 16th and 11th in today’s quick fire gold fleet races.

After a fifth, a black flag, a 14th and an eighthMarcus Hansen and Josh Porebski are now in 10th overall.

Racing runs for two more days days with the world titles for the Olympic skiff classes set to be decided on Sunday 29th September.

49er and 49erFX World Championships New Zealand’s standings after Day 4

Men’s 49er -95 boats
6thPeter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL Sailing Team) – 52 points
10thMarcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL Sailing Team) – 60 points
43rd Ben Goodwin and Sam Bullock (23rd in Silver fleet)

Women’s 49erFX – 53 boats
1st Alex Maloney and Molly Meech – 49 points
41st Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland (21st in silver fleet)