As day four of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres wraps up Tauranga sailor Molly Meech and Alex Maloney lying 2nd in the 49erFX are almost neck and neck with the leaders, while Josh Junior has inched into 3rd in the Finn.
Elsewhere the remainder of the Kiwi team produced some mixed results. By the end of racing tomorrow sailors must be placed top ten in their fleet, (top eight for the 49erFX and 49er) to qualify for the medal races on Saturday.
Tauranga sailor Molly Meech competes in day four racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Currently at least seven Kiwi crews are on track for a start on Saturday with our Jones/Saunders Nacra17 crew also in with a shot.
The 49erFX fleet sailed three races yesterday, Kiwis Alex Maloney and Molly Meech coming away with a 6th, a 9th and rounding the day out with a race win sees them close the gap on Charlotte Dodson and Mary Rook (GBR), who hold a narrow one point margin after they returned a less successful day on the water.
The Kiwis have a five point gap over third place, so with another three races on the schedule today they will be looking to continue their current form to go into the last day in a good position.
Over in the Finn class day four has seen some more shuffling of the places with the two Brits, Giles Scott and Andrew Mills dominating the day with a race win apiece and now holding the top two positions on the leader-board.
New Zealand’s Josh Junior features in 3rd place after finishing 3rd and 6th in today’s two races he is well and truly footing it with the best in the class, many with significantly greater experience in Finn racing. Junior, on 18 points, is five points adrift of Mills, and equal with Postma (NED) lying 4th.
Andrew Murdoch has been relegated to 10th overall after opening day four with a 16th he was then black flagged in the second race of the day. Points ahead of Murdoch are tight and with a return to form tomorrow he could easily improve his standing again.
The pressure of finals racing is as hot as it gets in the Laser class where Sam Meech remains the best placed of the Kiwis. After a 14th and 15th in today’s races the Tauranga sailor has slipped from 4th to 6th.
Andy Maloney improved his position overnight rising to 9th place after a 15th and a 10th in today’s races. However things moved in the other direction for Thomas Saunders, who took a slide to 24th place at the end of day four.
Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox are lying 8th in the Men’s 470 event where reigning world and Olympic champion Mathew Belcher of Australia leads followed closely by two local French crews. In racing today Snow-Hansen and Willcox were 10th and 12th, and holding 35 points they are equal with the Croatian crew in 7th.
49er sailors Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski have found form as the regatta heads into the business end edging further up the standings today from 10th to 8th with a 7, 7, 13 from their three races. In the two skiff classes (49er and 49erFX) only the top eight placed crews advance to the podium decider medal races, so Porebski and Hansen, currently on the cusp, will be aiming for solid results on day five.
Sailing the Nacra 17 multihull Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are in with a shot for a medal race start if they can make up the three places required to enter the top ten. Currently six points behind the sailors placed 10th the Jones Saunders combination will be giving it everything they’ve got on the last day of finals racing tomorrow.
Finals’ racing wraps up in Hyeres tomorrow before Saturday’s medal races and prize-giving.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, 2013
New Zealand’s standings after day four
3rd Josh Junior (4, 8, 5, 3, 6)
10th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team) (5, 7, 8, 16, BFD)
8th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski - 49er (NZL Sailing Team) (19, 17, 5, 1, 7, 7, 13)
2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech - 49er FX (3, 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 1)
6th Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team) (3, 18, 10, 14, 15)
9th Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team) (13, 12, 19, 15, 10)
24th Thomas Saunders (7, 11, 46, 33, 39)
53rd Andrew McKenzie (2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team) (48, 52, 50, 55, 33)
89th Michael Cate (47, 35, 35, 23, 8)
110th Jack Collinson (50, 59, 55, 47, 51)
8th Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team) (2, 11, 19, 10, 12)
31st Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 32, 30, OCS, 27)
13th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (26, 5, 9, 6, 11, 12, 12)
21st Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden (19, 28, 25, 15)