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Kiwis leading in Lasers at Palma

Andrew McKenzie is fourth after two days of racing in the Laser fleet in Palma. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.

Three Kiwis are showing good early-season form to be in the top 10 after two days at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma, in one of the most competitive international Olympic classes, the Laser. 

A massive 183 Lasers lined up for the first major multi-class European regatta of the season, which meant avoiding big scores was critical over the first couple of days, and the top three New Zealanders escaped relatively unscathed.

Tauranga’s Sam Meech banked a series of good scores (2, 5, 8) in today's three races to sit in second, one point behind 2016 youth world champion Finn Alexander of Australia and three points ahead of world champion Pavlos Kontides (Cyprus).

Andrew McKenzie continues his good form and is fourth with fellow Kiwi and Tauranga sailor Tom Saunders jumping up to ninth with three top 10 results including a win in his second race.

The top 60 boats now move into gold fleet, which also includes 2015 youth sailing world championships silver medallist George Gautrey (34th), but they will all be hoping for some more consistent breeze than the first two days which was a bit of a lottery at times.

"Conditions started off pretty promisingly today with some good breeze and it was nice to hike for a little bit but it slowly deteriorated and the wind got light and fickle, which made it quite stressful," says Tom.

"You could look really good at times and pretty average at times so it was weighing up risk versus reward.

"I'm pretty happy with the day, especially to come away without any big scores. Hopefully there will be a bit more breeze tomorrow but today was meant to be good also so we will see what we get. We move onto gold fleet now so racing starts again and hopefully I can bang out a couple of consistent results to set me up for the rest of the week."

Sam Meech is in a strong position, with his worst result and discard so far the eighth he collected in the last race. It gives him a little more breathing space than others like McKenzie who has a 43rd on his record along with three top-10s.

"I’ve already got a large discard after a tough race today and it gets harder moving into gold fleet," says Andrew, who won his last race of the day. "From now the plan will be to try to get some consistent races in the top 10.

"I’ve had a few good scores by sticking to the basics but it’s really easy to come unstuck out there."

A healthy number of New Zealand crews are well placed in other fleets, with Alex Maloney and Tauranga sailor Molly Meech ninth in the 49erFX, Gemma Jones and Tauranga sailor Jason Saunders 10th and Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson 14th in the Nacra 17, Andy Maloney 13th in the Finn and Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox 16th in the men's 470.

The 49er is another class to attract big a big fleet with 91 boats and Josh Porebski and Tauranga sailor Trent Rippey were content to make the top-25 gold fleet.

They climbed up to 22nd overnight with three decent results, including a fourth and third, but are looking forward to more breeze in the coming days.

"The regatta starts again tomorrow," says Josh. "It has been a really tough week with light and shifty winds so we are relieved to get through to fight another day.

"Two days of qualifying is always really tough, especially when the breeze is light and there are a lot of 49ers on each course so a few really good boats unfortunately missed out [on gold fleet] so we are just relieved to scrape through. Hopefully we can move up the leaderboard over the next three days."

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn just missed out on gold fleet after placing 29th after two days.

The Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta is the first major European event for the majority of the 26 New Zealand sailors competing in Palma and has attracted nearly 1200 sailors and 840 boats from more than 60 nations across 13 classes.

Results and standings after the second day of the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Palma overnight (NZ time):

Men's 470 (79 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / William Ryan (AUS) 2 (13) 3 1 - 6 points

2nd: Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi (JPN) 4 (18) 2 1 - 7 pts

3rd: Simon Diesch / Philipp Autenrieth (GER) 1 (14) 4 5 - 10 pts

16th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Daniel Willcox (NZL) 9 12 (14) 2 - 23 pts

Women's 470 (48 boats)

1st: Noya Bar-Am / Nina Amir (ISR) 4 3 (10) 2 - 9 pts

2nd: Linda Fahrni / Maja Siegentahler (SUI) 3 2 4 (8) - 9 pts

3rd: Nadine Boehm / Ann-Christin Goliass (GER) 5 1 4 (18) - 10 pts

29th: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) (15) 13 9 12 - 33 pts

49er (91 boats)

1st: Dylan Fletcher-Scott / Stuart Bithell (GBR) (12) 1 5 1 1 2 - 10 pts

2nd Kévin Fischer / Yann Jauvin (FRA) 3 2 (12) 1 6 3 - 15 pts

3rd: Lukasz Przybytek / Pawel Kolodzinski (POL) 8 5 2 (UFD) 1 2 - 18 pts

22nd: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 8 (13) 4 3 12 - 37 pts

29th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) (15) 13 15 3 12 1 - 44 pts

49erFX (54 boats)

1st: Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 1 1 (8) 1 3 1 - 7 pts

2nd: Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen 1 2 (8) 2 5 6 - 16 pts

3rd: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GER) 2 2 (25) 6 1 8 - 19 pts

9th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 2 (13) 1 3 12 7 - 25 pts

Finn (73 boats)

1st: Nils Theuninck (SUI) 1 (12) 9 4 - 14 pts

2nd: Giles Scott (GBR) 6 3 8 (11) - 17 pts

3rd: Luke Muller (USA) 3 14 2 (26) - 19 pts

13th: Andy Maloney (NZL) 16 (48) 19 6 - 41 pts

42nd: Josh Junior (54) 38 37 24 - 99 pts

51st: Raymond Hall (NZL) (60) 17 54 57 - 128 pts

62nd: Brendan McCarty (NZL) 63 50 (BFD) 55 - 168 pts

Laser (183 boats)

1st: Finn Alexander (AUS) 1 5 1 (31) - 7 pts

2nd: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 2 5 (8) - 8 pts

3rd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) (21) 3 4 4 - 11 pts

4th: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 5 7 (43) 1 - 13 pts

9th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (30) 6 1 9 - 16 pts

34th: George Gautrey (NZL) (27) 8 19 7 - 34 pts

146th: Matthew Kempkers (NZL) 43 27 46 (47) - 116 pts

Laser Radial (113 boats)

1st: Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) 2 (5) 2 4 - 8 pts

2nd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) (16) 1 3 6 - 10 pts

3rd: Maud Jayet (SUI) 1 (32) 8 2 - 11 pts

32nd: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) (40) 4 36 7 - 47 pts

44th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 12 (40) 14 28 - 54 pts

Nacra 17 (47 boats)

1st: Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface (GBR) 2 1 (3) 1 1 2 - 7 pts

2nd: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 1 3 (6) 1 3 - 9 pts

3rd: Fernando Echavarri / Tara Pacheco (ESP) 10 (13) 2 1 2 1 - 16 pts

10th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 5 (14) 4 10 3 8 - 30 pts

14th: Liv Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 17 3 9 4 4 (18) - 37 pts

Men's RS:X (118 boards)

1st: Yoav Cohen (ISR) 1 1 (2) 1 - 3 pts

2nd: Bing Ye (CHN) 1 1 (6) 4 - 6 pts

3rd: Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) 2 3 1 (4) - 6 pts

80th: Antonio Cozzolino (NZL) 27 21 (33) 23 - 71 pts

                 

                 

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