Meech in contention for another World Cup medal

Sam Meech is fourth with two more days of racing at the World Cup in Enoshima. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.

It's a mark of Sam Meech's class that he feels like he's sailing poorly but is still in contention for a medal heading into the final stages of a World Cup regatta.

The Olympic bronze medallist was 19th in Friday's only race in not only the Laser fleet but also the entire World Cup regatta in Enoshima.

It saw him slip from second to fourth overall, but he's still only five points off third and, with three races scheduled today before Sunday's top 10 medal race, is well placed to push for a podium position.

Day four brought interminably light breezes in Enoshima. Most classes got out on the water but spent most of the time bobbing around hoping for the breeze to fill in before they were sent back to shore.

The Lasers were the only ones to get around the track.

"I sailed quite badly," says Meech, who has been one of the best performers on the Laser scene over the past two years. "I didn't get a good start and was then behind the eight-ball the whole race. I was trying to catch up but it's quite hard when you're not in the front group.

"I haven't really sailed well all week. I'm just not getting off the start and I'm doing things I shouldn't be doing. I guess that's to be expected at this time of year after having just finished the big event of the year in the world championships. But I'm stoked to still be up the front when it doesn't feel like I'm sailing very well.

"There's sill a lot of room to move up but also down. It would be nice to get a couple of races where I feel like I'm sailing well."

George Gautrey was the best performed of the three New Zealanders in the Laser fleet, finishing ninth in today's race to leave him 15th overall. Tom Saunders was 22, which is now his drop, and is only four points behind Meech in sixth.

Gautrey has been making good progress this year and is on the verge of his best finish in a senior fleet at a major regatta. The 2015 youth sailing world championships silver medallist came into the regatta with the goal of making the top 15 in the 59-boat fleet but could push for a first top-10 finish if he sails well tomorrow.

"To make a medal race would be pretty cool," he says. "We have three races tomorrow and a lot can happen in either direction but to make a medal race at the Olympic venue would be pretty special.

"On the whole I'm feeling pretty good. I'm still making a lot of youthful mistakes but I'm sailing a lot better than other regattas. I'm making some big inroads into the fleet after a couple of years of banging my head against a wall. I'm finally seeing some progress, which is awesome to see."

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn have also made big strides in 2018 and go into tomorrow's 49er medal race in third. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are fourth heading into the 49erFX medal race and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are sixth in the Nacra 17. Medals will also be handed out in the men's and women's RS:X.

Three more qualifying races are scheduled for the Finn class, with Josh Junior fifth and Andy Maloney seventh, as well as three in the men's and women's 470.

Results and standings after the fourth day of the World Cup regatta in Enoshima, Japan, today:

Laser (59 boats)

1st: Elliot Hanson (GBR) 11 6 (14) 1 3 6 - 27 points
2nd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) (27) 15 1 8 9 4 - 37 pts
3rd: Matthew Wearn (AUS) 3 12 (25) 4 19 5 - 43 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) 4 (35) 17 2 6 19 - 48 pts
6th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 15 18 8 3 8 (22) - 52 pts
15th: George Gautrey (NZL) 5 36 11 (60 BFD) 16 9 - 77 pts

Laser Radial (53 boats)

1st: Alison Young (GBR) 4 (17) 2 4 - 10 pts
2nd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 2 (23) 4 5 - 11 pts
3rd: Josefin Olsson (SWE) (15) 1 10 2 - 13 pts

19th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 25 4 21 (45) - 50 pts

Nacra 17 (25 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti (ITA) 1 1 1 1 1 (12) 4 6 12 - 27 pts
2nd: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) 6 5 3 5 3 2 (8) 1 7 - 32 pts
3rd: Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari (ITA) (11) 2 2 2 7 3 9 5 8 - 38 pts

6th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 2 3 10 3 (26 DSQ) 10 12 3 5 - 48 pts

Finn (21 boats)

1st: Giles Scott (GBR) 6 1 2 6 (10) 2 - 17 pts
2nd: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 5.4 DPI 6.4 DPI 1 (8) 4 4 - 20.8 pts
3rd: Jorge Zarif (BRA) 5 9 3 1 5 (12) - 23 pts

5th: Josh Junior (NZL) 2 6 8 3 6 (10) - 25 pts
7th: Andy Maloney (NZL) (14) 8 12 7 9 1 - 37 pts

49er (27 boats)

1st: James Peters / Fynn Sterritt (GBR) 4 3 5 1 7 8 (17) 9 15 - 52 pts
2nd: Lukasz Przybytek / Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) 2 8 3 17 5 (23) 4 5 8 - 52 pts
3rd: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 3 5 8 6 9 17 5 (22) 3 - 56 pts

13th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 19 22 2 10 13 5 9 (25) 14 - 94 pts
18th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 21 6 20 14 (24) 9 10 8 13 - 101 pts

49erFX (24 boats)

1st: Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 1 5 2 1 1 (13) 1 - 11 pts
2nd: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) 3 6 4 4 5 (18) 15 - 37 pts
3rd: Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) 6 1 3 19 9 (20) 2 - 40 pts

4th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 19 3 1 2 4 12 (24) - 41 pts

Men's 470 (32 boats)

1st: Keiju Okada / Jumpei Hokazono (JPN) 5 2 1 2 (12) 2 - 12 pts
2nd: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan (AUS) 3 (15) 5 1 11 5 - 25 pts
3rd: Daichi Takayama / Kimihiko Imamura (JPN) 7 9 6 5 2 (13) - 29 pts

24th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox (NZL) 19 (32) 14 18 26 19 - 96 pts

Women's 470 (23 boats)

1st: Benedetta di Salle / Alessandra Dubbini (ITA) 5 2 7 (13) 5 2 - 21 pts
2nd: Afrodite Kyranakou / Anneloes van Veen (NED) 2 5 6 2 6 (8) - 21 pts
3rd: Agnieszka Skrzypulec / Jolanta Ogar (POL) 3 10 1 8 4 (24 UFD) - 26 pts

22nd: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 21 20 20 (23) - 61 pts

Men's RS:X (40 boards)

1st: Kiran Badloe (NED) 3 2 8 2 4 11 (17) 4 - 33 pts
2nd: Mattia Camboni (ITA) 1 2 1 (34) 10 7 18 1 - 40 pts
3rd: Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) 9 (20) 12 1 7 4 1 - 43 pts

Women's RS:X (30 boards)

1st: Peina Chen (CHN) 1 3 10 3 8 4 1 (13) - 30 pts
2nd: Bryony Shaw (GBR) 5 4 3 8 (31 BFD) 5 3 5 - 33 pts
3rd: Lilian de Geus (NED) (21) 1 1 10 15 1 8 3 - 39 pts

Full results here


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