16 Apr 2016

49er crews well placed in Barcelona

7:20 am on 16 April 2016

The New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling are on track for another title.

New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.

New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The pair have a 41 point lead heading into the final day of the European Championship in Barcelona.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have sailed themselves into podium contention.

Conditions in Barcelona were tricky and puffy, requiring full concentration from the sailors. Both the 49er and 49erFx fleets sailed three races.

With a day to go Burling and Tuke look hard to beat for the 2016 49er European crown. Securing this one would extend their incredible unbeaten run of regatta victories even further and make it four back to back 49er European Championship titles - to match their four consecutive 49er World Championship wins.

Today they managed to push further ahead of the pack on points and are now 41 clear of 2012 Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS). They placed 3rd in the first race of the day, then 17th in the second race, but nearly everyone on the race track collected one average result in today's tricky winds, and they bounced back with a 2nd.

Tomorrow's schedule includes three gold fleet races starting at 10am in Spain, with a medal race later in the day. With the extra racing planned on the final day (more often only the medal race is sailed on the last day) Burling and Tuke don't have this one in the bag just yet.

New Zealand's Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were the most consistent crew on the 49erFX course today and they've bounced back into medal contention after starting the day in 9th overall.

With a 4th, a 2nd and a 4th in today's three races the NZL Sailing Team pair have leap-frogged up to 4th overall with some of their rivals struggling in today's conditions.

Maloney and Meech are on 69 points, eight adrift of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) in 3rd with 61 points, while in 2nd place, Victoria Travascio and Maria Sol Brannz (ARG) have 60 points. The scene is set for an exciting battle between these crews on the water tomorrow.