Smooth sailing for Aleh, Powrie at worlds

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 09:18 15/05/2012

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Kiwi sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are right in contention after two days of the 470 class world championships off Barcelona, Spain.

Three races were possible overnight and the New Zealanders were among those to make a move, carding a third, fourth and second to be tied for third overall in the 54-strong women's fleet, which has been split into two fleets for the qualifying series.

Aleh and Powrie, who won silver and bronze at the past two world championships, have accumulated 12 points from the first four races and are just three behind pace-setters Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout of the Netherlands, who won all three races in their fleet today.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders also made a big move on the second day of the men's 470.

After a black flag disqualification on the first day put them at the tail of the 95-strong fleet, the New Zealanders bounced back with a sixth, seventh and third today to move up to 28th overall and in sight of the gold fleet.

Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page lead the regatta with four wins from four races as they look to defend the two-person dinghy title they won in Perth last year.

Meanwhile, Dan Slater has dropped four places to 17th after two days of the Finn world championship in Falmouth, England, where he's looking to secure a spot on the New Zealand Olympic team.

Slater was 13th and 27th in the two races overnight and is well of the pace being set by Olympic gold medal favourite Ben Ainslie, who has a seven-point lead over fellow Brit Edward Wright.

Of the other Kiwis, Matt Coutts is 34th and Rob Coutts 64th.                                                               

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