Kiwis coping in light winds

Tauranga sailor Sam Meech battling light airs. Photo: Sailing Energy

A handful of Kiwis across the classes are coping well in the light winds at World Cup regatta in Gamagori, Japan, with all three 49er crews inside the top seven and Olympic bronze medallist and Tauranga sailor Sam Meech in a share of third in the Laser fleet.

Sam and the 49er pair of Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn picked up race winds to put themselves in a handy position after two days of the regatta. The wind topped out at about five knots meaning big gains and losses could be made.

Sam is within striking distance in the Laser, sitting on the same points as Olympic champion Tom Burton (Australia) in third after a 15th and first in the two races yesterday. World champion Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus has opened up a small gap after two top-three results on day two.

"It was another really light-wind day and we were lucky to get both races in," says Sam. "It was going pretty well for me in the first race but I dropped back on the second beat when the wind went far left. In the second race I had a good recovery after not that great a start and managed to come away with the bullet which was a really nice way to finish the day.

"There are a couple of guys who are doing really well but there's plenty of racing still to go. My starts aren't going great but, after that, I feel like I'm sailing alright so a couple of good races and I could be in with a chance. It's pretty tricky racing and a long way to go."

Logan Dunning Beck has won a couple of World Cup regattas but Gamagori represents the first major regatta with Oscar Gunn after the pair teamed up earlier this year. They have been encouraged by their results so far, picking up a win in the third race of the day, but were also disqualified from the first race for being over the start line.

"It was a good day out today," says Logan, who skippered the NZL Sailing Team at this year's Youth America's Cup. "It was a mixed bag in the results department, especially with a UFD score but, that aside, we were sailing well through the water.

"We have learned a lot in the last few months and are relishing the chance to get out there and race. We are both learning plenty every day we have here, sailing against the overseas competitors, and it is exciting to see just how much is left in the development tank.

"The forecast breeze looks like we might get the chance to stretch out on the trapeze in the next few days so we will be looking to get off the line fast and keep the boat ripping all the way around the course. Still plenty left to learn from the races we have remaining."

Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie are another young crew and settled into fifth after day two, backing up their race win on the first day with three top-10 results and a 15th which is the discard as their worst result. Close behind are Josh Porebski and Tauranga sailor Trent Rippey in seventh.

Both Andrew McKenzie (12th) and Tauranga sailor Tom Saunders (15th) improved in the highly-competitive Laser fleet, with both recording top-four results

There was only one race in the men's 470, with Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox finishing ninth in the 24-boat fleet and they are now fifth after three races. It's tight at the top, with only two points separating the top three boats, including mulitple world champions Mathew Belcher and William Ryan (Australia) in third.

Susannah Pyatt had a disappointing day in the Laser Radial and dropped to 33rd overall.

A typhoon might be descending on Japan early next week.

Results and standings after day two of the World Cup regatta in Gamagori, Japan, yesterday:

Laser (50 boats)

1st: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) (7) 4 3 2 - 9 points

2nd: Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini (GBR) 3 (8) 5 6 - 14 points

3rd: Tom Burton (AUS) 1 14 (32) 3 - 18 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) 4 13 (15) 1 - 18 pts

12th: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 23 (32) 16 4 - 43 pts

15th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 13 39 2 30 - 45 pts

Laser Radial (35 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 1 5 (23) 2 - 8 pts

2nd: Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) 4 4 1 (9) - 9 pts

3rd: Emma Plasschaert (BEL) (16) 1 4 6 - 11 pts

33rd: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 14 (32) 32 30 - 76 pts

49er (20 boats)

1st: Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 4 1 (8) 5 1 - 11 pts

2nd: James Peters / Fynn Sterritt (GBR) 2 5 1 (9) 8 - 16 pts

3rd: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 6 (21 UFD) 9 1 3 - 19 pts

5th Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 1 6 10 (15) 6 - 23 pts

7th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 4 13 2 (14) - 29 pts

Men's 470 (24 boats)

1st: Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi (JPN) 1 (7) 2 - 3 pts

2nd: Matteo Capurro / Matteo Puppo (ITA) (14) 4 1 - 5 pts

3rd: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan (AUS) 3 2 (11) - 5 pts

5th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 2 (22) 9 - 11 pts

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn are third in the 49er fleet at Gamagori. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.



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