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NZ one-two in Finn class in Palma

Josh Junior won the first race of the day in the Finn class and is now in second behind fellow Kiwi Andy Maloney. Photo: Sailing Energy.

The first European regatta of the season is always an opportunity for the New Zealand sailors to check in on how summer training has gone and, for Andy Maloney and Josh Junior, it appears to have gone well.

The pair are first and second in the Finn class at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma after day three, the first day of gold fleet racing, with Maloney holding a nine-point lead over Junior in second.

It was a mixed day for the rest of the Kiwis. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech recorded three results in and around the top 10 and are third in the 49erFX and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders slipped to fifth in the Nacra 17 but Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox climbed 11 places to sixth in the men’s 470.

The 49er crews are also well places heading into their gold fleet racing, with Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn ninth, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke 13th and Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey 16th.

The 49ers are effectively a day behind the rest of the competition, considering they didn’t race on the opening day, and a lot can change once all the top sailor once all the top sailors are grouped into gold fleet.

The conditions are also likely to change for day four. Until now, the more than 1200 sailors in the Olympic classes in Palma have contented with light, onshore breezes and big chop but its forecast to switch to an offshore breeze which could mix things up.

Maloney and Junior have been working hard on their light-wind sailing in recent times and the pair have won six races between them.

“Josh won the first race of gold fleet racing today and I was just behind in third,” says Maloney. “It was really cool to see the Kiwi flags at the front of the fleet.

“We have put in a lot of hard work over the summer and it’s cool to come over here and put together a good first half of the regatta.”

There is still plenty of time left in the regatta, with two more days of gold fleet racing for most fleets before the top-10 medal race.

“We are just going to keep chipping away and not change too much,” says Junior.

“It’s exciting for us to be over at the first European regatta of the season. We haven’t raced a lot of these guys since last year’s world champs. We are quite keen to see how we go for the rest of the regatta and see what we keep on improving on.”

Jones and Saunders will look to improve their results on day four in the Nacra 17 fleet.

They had been very consistent throughout qualifying, with four of their six results in the top two, but struggled on the first day of gold fleet racing overnight.

They posted scores of 15th, 11th and 17th to drop from second to fifth but are only 10 points behind leaders Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin of Australia.

“It was a bit of a tough day for us,” says Saunders. “We had been sailing really well in the qualifying but had a bit of a rough day getting off the start line, unfortunately.

“We feel like we are sailing pretty quickly and we’re pretty happy with how things are going considering it’s our first regatta back into the swing of things. The gold fleet racing just highlights the little mistakes you make.”

Snow-Hansen and Willcox couldn’t afford to make many after they were disqualified for a race yesterday for being over the start line and it affected the way they sailed.

They finished sixth in their first race, fighting back from 12th, and backed it up with a second. They are now only nine points behind Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bregstrom of Sweden in first.

“We’re pretty happy with the day,” says Snow-Hansen. “It’s always tough in gold fleet and today was no different.

“We were a bit conservative on the starts after out black flag yesterday. It wasn’t fun having to sit out and watch your mates racing without you.”

Results after day 3 of the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma overnight (NZ time):

49erFX (66 boats)

1st: Charlott Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) 1 2 4 (25) 4 8 2 1 1 - 23 points

2nd: Martine Soffiatti Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 7 6 1 1 (9) 6 1 2 4 - 27 pts

3rd: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 6 1 9 2 8 3 9 10 (14) - 47 pts

49er (108 boats)

1st: Dylan Fletcher / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 3 3 1 (6) 2 5 - 14 pts

2nd: Yago Lange / Klaus Lange (ARG) 1 5 (17) 2 1 6 - 15 pts

3rd: Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl (AUT) (37 UFD) 4 4 11 1 1 - 21 pts

9th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 3 (11) 8 8 3 3 - 26 pts

13th: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) 18 (23) 1 5 7 3 - 34 pts

16th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 8 4 11 8 (20) 5 - 36 pts

33rd: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 4 9 15 (23) 19 9 - 55 pts

Nacra 17 (59 boats)

1st: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) 2 5 3 9 1 7 4 3 (12) - 34 pts

2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) (16) 4 5 1 7 8 3 7 4 - 39 pts

3rd: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) (18) 2 2 2 3 1 5 9 15 - 39 pts

5th: Gemma Jones/ Jason Saunders (NZL) 1 7 1 5 2 2 15 11 (17) - 44 pts

21st: Liv Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 12 10 13 11 7 1 13 (31 UFD) 26 - 93 pts

Finn (86 boats)

1st: Andy Maloney (NZL) 4 1 1 1 3 (12) - 10 pts

2nd: Josh Junior (NZL) 1 7 1 (16) 1 9 - 19 pts

3rd: Facu Olezza (ARG) 7 7 6 2 (20) 1 - 23 pts

Men's 470 (73 boats)

1st: Anton Dahlberg / Fredrik Bergstrom (SWE) 3 5 (10) 2 5 8 - 23 pts

2nd: David Bargher / Lukas Mahr (AUT) 2 (21) 3 3 8 9 - 25 pts

3rd: Luke Patience / Chris Grube (GBR) 9 6 (13) 5 4 4 - 28 pts

6th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) - 8 7 (38 BFD) 9 6 2 - 32 pts

Women's 470 (45 boats)

1st: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) (13) 1 2 2 4 9 - 18 pts

2nd: Hannah Mills / Edilidh McIntyre (GBR) 3 4 4 (12) 5 2 - 19 pts

3rd: Mengxi Wei / Haivan Gao (CHN) 2 19 (32) 3 2 4 - 30 pts

38th: Susannah Pyatt / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 17 43 (46 UFD) 17 31 37 - 144 pts

Laser Radial (118 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 1 1 1 1 5 (7) - 9 pts

2nd: Emma Plasschaert (BEL) 8 2 3 5 8 (17) - 26 pts

3rd: Erika Reineke (USA) 6 3 3 (21) 6 9 - 27 pts

71st: Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) (46) 7 33 41 37 12 - 129 pts

85th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 35 10 37 37 (38) 32 - 151 pts

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