Solid day at World Cup regatta for Kiwi sailors
Four New Zealand crews remain in the top-five but the men's 470 pair of Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox have dived down the leaderboard at the halfway point in the World Cup sailing regatta in France.
In good breeze off Hyeres, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (second in 49er FX), Sam Meech (fourth in Laser, and Josh Junior (fourth in Finn) retained spots in the top five in their respective fleets, while Thomas Saunders (fifth in Laser) joined them.
Andrew Murdoch slips from fifth to seventh in the Finn but the biggest sldie was felt by the men's 470 crew, which dropped from second to seventh after three days, having led the 63-strong fleet after the first day.
"The boys made a couple of basic mistakes and paid dearly," their coach, Hamish Willcox, said. Race one they were in sixth place around the top mark and gained a place each leg of the course to be third before the final run to the finish. Then disaster as they capsized and lost nine boats and finished 11th.
After a grood start in race two Willcox and Snow-Hansen then chose the wrong side of the track, losing ground, and places to their rivals, to collect a 19th. "Still there is tomorrow to redeem themselves," said Hamish Willcox.
The Kiwis are on 13 points, equal to the French crew in sixth position, and with two more days of finals racing before the medal races they are within reach of the leaders.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech had their best day of the regatta, opening the finals series with a race win and backing that up with a third and fourth to rise from fifth overall to second, four points adrift of the leaders from Britain as they chase their third World Cup medal of the season.
"Epic day on the water with three intense races in crazy waves," said Maloney. "We had a good day, moving up the leaderboard, but there is definitely room for improvement. Pretty excited for similar conditions tomorrow."
New Zealand has three sailors sitting in the top-10 in the hotly contested Laser fleet, including Meech, Saunders and Andy Maloney, who has climbed to 10th.
Junior has been a model of consistency in the Finn and continues to hold fourth place after an eighth and fifth today. On nine points he is just four adrift of the overall leader Pieter Jan Postma of the Netherlands.
Murdoch is just three points back from his compatriot in seventh.
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski had a race win today which saw them rise from 16th to 10th overall in the 49er skiff, while Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were also big movers in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull a new Olympic class - jumping from 26th to 13th after the top-10 finishes today.
Each fleet has two more days of finals racing before Sunday's (NZT) medal races in the fourth and final World Cup regatta of the season.
New Zealand's standings after day three of six:
4th - Josh Junior (4, 8, 5)
7th - Andrew Murdoch (5, 7, 8)
10th - Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (19, 17, 5, 1)
2nd - Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (3, 1, 3, 4)
4th - Sam Meech (3, 18, 10)
5th - Thomas Saunders (7, 11, 46)
10th - Andy Maloney (13, 12, 19
54th - Andrew McKenzie (48, 52, 50)
99th - Michael Cate (47, 35, 35)
111th - Jack Collinson (50, 59, 54)
7th - Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (2, 11, 19)
29th - Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson (18, 32, 30)
13th - Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (26, 5, 9, 6)
21st - Tomer Simhony and Nicole van der Velden (19, 28, 25, 15)