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New Zealand sailors set to claim two medals

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 14:42 05/04/2014

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New Zealand sailors are set to claim two medals at the World Cup regatta in Spain.

Heavyweight crews Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er) and Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (470) have podium finishes in their grasp when the opening Cup event of the year wraps up tomorrow at Majorca.

World champions Burling and Tuke continued to dominate in the 49er class today. Two wins and a ninth were enough for the Kiwis to extend their lead to 21 points from Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (Denmark) with Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign 14 points further back in third.

"It was a tricky day with the weather changing as we went through the three races, with a lot of left-over swell," Tuke said.

"We sailed pretty well, making a few mistakes in the middle race but other than that, it was a good day."

They now face three medal races tomorrow in a fleet reduced to the top 10 boats.

The 470 fleets sailed three races today with Olympic and world champions Aleh and Powrie lifting to second.

Provided they make it around the course tomorrow the Kiwis, on 34 points, can't do any worse than silver as the British crew of Saskia Mills and Hannah Clarke are 26 points adrift in third place.

To claim the gold they have to make up seven points on the overall leaders Camille Lecointre and Helene DeFrance of France who have barely put a foot wrong all week.

In the men's 470, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox earned a medal race spot and go into tomorrow's race lying sixth overall.

Sailing three races they placed 23rd, 20th and 7thwith a 12 point gap to close if they want to better their overall position on the final day.  

Laser sailors Andy Maloney and Sam Meech will contest the medal race tomorrow. Despite mixed results in their three races today they sit eighth and ninth respectively.

The other New Zealanders are out of the medal races.

In the 49er, Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski conclude the regatta in 32nd place, while the third kiwi crew of Ben Goodwin and Sam Bullock have wrapped things up in 57th.

49erFX World Champions Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech had to be content with an 11th placing.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders finished 14th in the Nacra 17 class.

Windsurfer Natalia Kosinska dropped to 12th overall.

Josh Junior ended up 16th in the Finns with Andrew Murdoch 25th.

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- Fairfax Media

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