5 Apr 2015

Two golds for NZ crews in Spain

10:54 am on 5 April 2015

The New Zealand sailing team have secured two gold medals at the 2015 Princess Sofia Regatta in Spain.

The women's 470 crew of Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie topped their field to successfully defend their title in Palma, as did the men's 49ers, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

Jo Aleh and Pollie Powrie in action

Jo Aleh and Pollie Powrie in action Photo: Barbara Sanchez / Sofia

Aleh and Powrie went into the medal race with a seven-point lead over the French with the British close behind, just two further adrift. But that order remained unchanged after the race, though the 2012 Olympic gold medallists didn't find it easy.

"It was a race of many parts, it all looked a little bad a few times, but we kept at it, after rounding the first mark in seventh with the French in second, we had a bit of work to do," says Aleh.

"We got back into the race on the first downwind and rounded the last top mark in fourth, with the overall title still just safe. Then the downwind went a little crazy and it was boats coming out of everywhere! We just held our nerve and just snuck in front of the pack to cross the finish line in third after a few good gybes to take out the regatta by three points. Tight!"

In the 49er skiff Burling and Tuke's win was characteristically dominant, finishing 18 points clear of the fleet. With this Princess Sofia Regatta gold in the bag the pair have further extended their winning streak to 17 major wins in a row.

New Zealand sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling on the 2012 Olympic medal podium.

New Zealand sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling on the 2012 Olympic medal podium. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The second New Zealand crew in the 49er medal race, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski, crossed the line second to conclude the regatta in fifth overall.

In the Finn medal race, Josh Junior also finished second which edged him into seventh overall in Palma de Mallorca.

Meanwhile Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech placed fifth in the 49erFX medal race and finish the regatta in ninth.

Next on the Olympic sailing circuit is ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and the majority of the New Zealand crews in Palma will travel on to France to prepare for the regatta which kicks off on 22 April.