Kiwis back in Paralympics fleets

23:55, Sep 05 2012

The winds rose but New Zealand's fortunes stayed the same on the penultimate day of the London Paralympic sailing competition in Weymouth.

SKUD 18 crew Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel remained in 10th place with one race to go, on a day where the breeze blew harder than it had all week.  Paul Francis in the 2.4mR keelboat kept his position of 13th overall, with a 14th and a 9th.

Dempsey and Apel concentrated on an internal battle with their closest rivals, Spain and Malaysia, to try to leap-frog them in the fleet.

"They had to beat Malaysia in today's two races to pull in front of them and that was quite the battle," said New Zealand coach Rob Hielkema. "In the first race, after a good start and first beat, they lost ground on the second lap. They worked really hard to catch up and did, which was good."

They beat Malaysia in that first race, finishing in 9th place, but the Spanish were two spots ahead of the Kiwis and extended their advantage. In the next race, the New Zealanders were 10th, finishing closely behind both rivals.

"It was a nicer day for sailing, that's for sure. It was quite breezy with about 18 knots early in the day, and it just very gradually dropped all day," Hielkema said.

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The sailing competition ends tomorrow with one race to sail.

New Zealand standings after 10 of 11 races

10th: Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel (SKUD 18) - 9, 9, 5, 7, 8, 11, 10, 10, 9, 10

13th: Paul Francis (2.4mR) - 14, 10, 14, 12, 14, 3, 11, 12, 14, 9

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