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Burling and Tuke claim sixth 49er world title

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke celebrate a sixth 49er world title in Geelong on Saturday. Photo: Sailing Energy.

It might not have been as dramatic as the last one but it was no less significant as Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won their sixth 49er world title in Geelong on Saturday.

The pair started the day in second, only one point behind the Austrian crew of Benjamin Bildstein and David Hussl, and stamped their class on proceedings by winning the two gold fleet races left on the schedule and then taking an 18-point lead into the double-points, top-10 medal race.

It meant they could afford to take things a little more conservatively than the medal race in Auckland just two months ago when they were in a dogfight with the German combination of Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel. They still crossed fourth in the breezy conditions to finish 20 points ahead of Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra.

"It’s been a pretty tricky week and it was pretty top-end conditions in the medal race again but Blair and myself sailed pretty well this morning so it was nice have a little buffer going into that one so we could just enjoy the race," says Peter.

Blair added: "We are stoked. It’s only been a couple of months since Auckland but to do it in Olympic year builds a lot of momentum for us, so we are rapt."

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn rounded out a good week for the New Zealand 49er squad by finishing sixth, backing up the fifth they achieved in Auckland, and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie also finished in the top 20.

Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson achieved a breakthrough result in the Nacra 17 by finishing seventh and they will now hope that is enough to convince the Olympic selectors to hand them a ticket to Tokyo. The pair have been sailing together for little more than nine months and were 19th in Auckland in December.

They did it off the back of consistently solid scoring as more fancied teams stumbled in the variable conditions dished up off Geelong all week.

"We’re super-stoked," says Erica. "Going into the regatta we had no idea where we would end up and it’s probably better than we could have hoped, so we're really happy.

"It’s part of our Olympic trials so it was definitely an important one and we are just happy we did our best and left it all out there."

Gemma Jones and Josh Porebski were the next best of the Kiwis in 13th, with Liv Mackay and Jason Saunders 15th.

A couple of other Kiwis will be chasing medals tomorrow across town at the Laser world championships, where Sam Meech is eighth and Tom Saunders 10th.

Germany's Philipp Buhl and France's Jean-Baptiste Bernaz continued to excel but with three gold fleet races still due to be sailed it's all still to play for.

Peter and Blair can at least take their foot off the gas momentarily and reflect on another exceptional week that saw them win seven of the 13 races and confirm their position in the pantheon of Olympic class sailing.

"We’ve put in a lot of work over the last couple of years towards this Olympic campaign so it’s definitely nice to see it all come together," says Peter. "It’s a pretty key event. It’s one that everyone tries to perform at so we are really happy with how we are progressing. It’s just really exciting to wrap up another world champs."

Their attention will now switch to the Tokyo Olympics where the pair will be looking to defend the gold medal they won in Rio.

"It’s an exciting few months coming up, that’s for sure, but we will enjoy this," says Blair. "It’s been a great week. Obviously the result is great but the fashion we have done it has been pretty pleasing, too."

Results and standings from the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Geelong:

49er (78) boats

1st: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) 1 5 1 1 3 1 1 (15) 4 11 1 1 8 - 38 points
2nd: Diego Botin / Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) 4 9 1 1 1 1 13 5 1 (23) 2 8 10 - 58 pts
3rd: Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER) 8 3 6 1 5 3 10 (25) 12 1 5 4 2 - 60 pts

5th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 8 2 12 4 (15) 4 12 14 5 3 4 3 - 74 pts
19th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 5 7 (20) 8 4 8 19 19 19 9 12 16 - 126 pts
23rd: Markus Somerville / Jack Simpson (NZL) 9 7 4 14 9 14 22 18 16 20.5 (24) 12 - 148.5 pts

Bronze fleet
54th: Jackson Keon / Scott McKenzie (NZL) 15 9 10 (20) 20 20 1 7 4 12 8 - 106 pts
59th: Sam Bacon / Henry Gautrey (NZL) 17 (24) 19 23 20 15 3 3 11 9 14 - 134 pts
66th: Campbell Stanton / Will Shapland (NZL) - 21 23 19 22 (24) 16 4 4 19 23 11 - 162 pts
68th: Sam Morgan / Pat Morgan (NZL) (22) 16 19 21 21 17 21 9 5 19 (24) - 169 pts
72nd: Lewis Anderson / Reece Caulfield (NZL) 9 19 26 15 22 21 19 (UFD) 13 24 18 - 186 pts

49erFX (44 boats)

1st: Tamara Echegoyen / Paula Barcelo (ESP) 5 1 4 2 1 3 2 1 10 3 (14) 10 - 42 pts
2nd: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) 1 1 11 2 2 3 3 2 3 (15) 4 20 - 52 pts
3rd: Stephanie Roble / Maggie Shead (USA) 3 8 8 6 12 8 15 8 7 (17) 7 2 - 84 pts

42nd: Crystal Sun / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 21 21 17 21 19 (44 UFD) 17 15 9 7 16 - 162 pts

Nacra 17 (34 boats)

1st: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 10 1 1 1 1 20 (27) 7 7 6 10 2 - 67 pts
2nd: Nathan Outteridge / Haylee Outteridge (AUS) 1 2 10 (15) 2 2 9 9 2 5 8 18 - 68 pts
3rd: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) (17) 3 3 3 15 9 2 12 9 1 6 14 - 77 pts

7th: Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 8 4 5 (20) 7 19 6 4 5 13 14 20 - 105 pts
13th: Gemma Jones / Josh Porebski (NZL) 7 (26) 25 10 5 14 12 15 11 9 15 - 123 pts
15th: Liv Mackay / Jason Saunders (NZL) 9 16 9 4 20 7 23 25 6 12 (35 DSQ) - 131 pts
31st: Helena Sanderson / Henry Haslett (NZL) 28 (32) 31 18 25 30 25 32 30 26 24 - 270 pts

Full results

Results and standings from the Laser world championships in Melbourne:

Laser (124 boats)

1st: Philipp Buhl (GER) 4 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 (5) - 15 pts
2nd: Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) 1 7 1 1 4 1 (43 BFD) 1 3 - 19 pts
3rd: Matt Wearn (AUS) 6 4 2 2 2 (11) 4 8 2 - 30 pts

8th: Sam Meech (NZ) 5 5 5 5 1 10 (14) 6 10 - 47 pts
10th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 3 9 4 3 2 11 16 7 (40) - 55 pts
20th: George Gautrey (NZL) 14 18 3 8 15 12 5 12 (31) - 87 pts

Silver fleet
20th: Josh Armit (NZL) 8 21 12 22 21 19 30 (37) 24 - 157 pts

Bronze fleet
13th: Luke Deegan (NZL) (32) 32 29 24 31 27 23 21 8 - 195 pts

Full results

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