Aleh, Powrie in dominant form in Netherlands
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie made it two wins from two in Europe this year as New Zealand collected a set of medals from the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup regatta in the Netherlands.
The Olympic women's 470 champions were completely dominant at the five-day Delta Lloyd Regatta, winning seven of 11 qualifying and finals series races before taking out today's all-important medal race ahead of the Americans, helmed by Anne Haeger.
The New Zealanders also won the first EUROSAF Cup regatta in Italy two weeks ago, which suggests they have hit the water running in Europe as they prepare for bigger regattas in coming weeks - namely the European and world 470 championships, both in France.
As Aleh points out, the world championships in July-August will be the real test, where a full turn out of the world's best is expected.
"We had a big rest after London [Olympics] and only raced at home for Sail Auckland," said Aleh. "We are happy with the way we are going but there are lots of new faces and we will know where we are at when we race at the worlds in July."
New Zealand also claimed a silver and bronze in Medemblik, through the men's 470 crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox and Laser sailor Any Maloney respectively.
Snow-Hansen and Willcox won the medal race to climb from fourth to second, behind Olympic champion Mathew Belcher and his Australian teammate Will Ryan.
Like Aleh and Powrie, they are preparing for the world championships.
Maloney, who won gold at the first round of the EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup in Italy, secured the bronze after finishing fourth in today's six-boat medal race that saw plenty of leaderboard action, with leader Tom Burton finishing last to drop out of the medals and local sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg winning it to climb from fourth to the top of the podium.
Fellow Kiwi Sam Meech was fifth overall and, along with Maloney, will line up at the third of five EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup regattas, the Sail for Gold in England next month.