NZ women's 49ers start well in Melbourne
Young Kiwis Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech made an excellent start in the new 49er FX Olympic sailing class at the first World Cup regatta of the season.
Maloney and Meech have been eyeing the women's skiff since it was announced mid-year as a new class for the Rio Olympics, and had earlier travelled to Spain to take part in trials to determine which boat would be given the nod for the Olympics.
That head start clearly played a part in their dominant performance at Sail Melbourne, the first World Cup level regatta to include the women's skiff class.
The Kiwis won six of the 12 races in the small fleet of seven crews, were second in one race and third in four. They finished sixth in the other race, but were able to drop that result, which meant they accumulated just 20 points, eight clear of second-placed Tessa Parkinson and Kate Lathouras of Australia.
Both Maloney and Meech have represented New Zealand at youth world championship level, Maloney winning a silver medal in the 29er two years ago.
Other top-10s went to James Turner and Carl Evans (seventh in the men's 470), Thomas Saunders (sixth in the Laser), Rob Coutts (fifth in the Finn), Torrin Bright (second in the men's kite), Cullen Le Roy (sixth in the men's Laser Radial), Gemma Jones and Luke Stevenson (fourth in the Viper) and Miranda Powrie and Mark Stichbury-Cooper (seventh in the Viper).
Olympian Susannah Pyatt, part of the women's match racing crew for the London Olympics, was seventh in the Laser Radial.