Sam Meech claims Laser gold in Weymouth

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 07:30 14/06/2013

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New Zealand sailor Sam Meech has claimed a wire-to-wire victory in the Laser class at the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup regatta in Weymouth, England.

After opening the five-day Sail for Gold regatta with two race wins, Meech continued to dominate and never looked like relinquishing the lead in the 33-strong fleet.

Going into today’s medal race the 2016 Olympic campaigner was a near certainty for gold with a monster 19-point leading margin, but he needed to get around the course and stay out of trouble to seal the deal.

He did just that, finishing seventh in the 10-boat medal race.

“I’m really happy, it’s been a really long trip over here, and it’s awesome to end on a high,” said Meech.

‘‘I just had really good form, and I really like Weymouth, I’ve had good results here in the past, so I’ve really enjoyed the week.”

It is the 22-year-old’s first win in the five-regatta series and New Zealanders have now won two of the opening three events, with overall cup leader Andy Maloney having won the first leg in Italy last month.

Maloney has extended his overall lead with a fourth-placed finish in Weymouth, which follows a bronze in the Netherlands last week.

Meanwhile, Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie remain third with two days remaining at the European 470 championships in Formia, Italy.

The Kiwis were eighth and second in today’s two races and while that wasn’t enough to move up the leaderboard, it has tightened the race.

The French and Austrian crews share the lead on 24 points with the Kiwis just two adrift.

“We had a mixed day with a terrible first leg to the first race where we rounded the top mark in the 20s,” Aleh said.

‘‘The next race was finally a better sailed effort, we had a great start and just did the simple things right.’’

Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox are ninth in the men’s 470 championship.

Podium places will be decided on Sunday.

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