NZ sailors Burling and Tuke make bright start
Youngsters Peter Burling and Blair Tuke continued their momentum from the pre-Olympic regatta on the opening day of their 49er class campaign at the world sailing championships off Perth, Australia.
Bronze medallists at the Weymouth regatta in August, Burling and Tuke claimed three successive top-five finishes (fifth, third and second) in stormy conditions to be second overall in the 67-team fleet.
''The wind today was relatively stable but unusual for this venue,'' Burling explained.
''We're walking away with three keepers (three results they won't have to drop) and that's the main thing. It was a good start, we're pretty happy.''
The women's 470 crew of Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie also had a strong start. 'Team Jolly', as they are known, finished their first two races in seventh and fourth which leaves them in fourth overall.
Predictably, Tom Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin were racing in close quarters on the men's RS:X boardsailing course and the pair have only one point separating them in their overall standings after two races, with Ashley sixth and Tobin eighth after both recorded top-10s.
The Laser sailors performed with consistency, with the top five Kiwis all in the top 25 per cent of the 147-strong fleet.
Josh Junior is highest placed in 12th, seven spots ahead of veteran Andrew Murdoch who will face a massive challenge from the highly ranked youngster as they battle for New Zealand's sole spot at the Olympics.
Racing continues for all classes today.
New Zealand have so far qualified four boats for next year's Olympics from the four completed classes, the men's 470, women's RS:X, women's Laser Radial and men's Finn.
New Zealand are not represented in the Star class after Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk split following a funding disagreement with Yachting New Zealand.
Their results during the past 12 months did not meet criteria for extra funding so Monk pulled the pin on the team, citing the personal costs required to carry through an Olympic campaign.
Pepper is hoping to get residency for former British America's Cup sailor Jim Turner, a New Zealand resident of eight years, so the pair can qualify for the Olympics at next year's Star world championships.
New Zealand results and standings:-
2nd - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (5, 3, 2)
43rd - Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (34DNC, 13, 18)
62nd - Chris Burgess and Rohan Swanson (26, 29, 34DNC)
4th - Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (7, 4)
39th - Vicki Francis and Erica Dawson (32, 43)
12th - Josh Junior (7, 3)
19th - Andrew Murdoch (6, 7)
21st - Mike Bullot (12, 4)
29th - Andrew Maloney (17, 5)
32nd - Sam Meech (12, 11)
90th - Tom Saunders (26, 35)
6th - Tom Ashley (2, 7)
8th - JP Tobin (6, 4)
58th - Antonio Cozzolino (26, 32)
83rd - Carl Evans (38, 47DNF)
Women's Match Racing:
Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen, Susannah Pyatt - eight wins, six losses (second round robin repechage)