Maloney and Meech claim early lead
Kiwi Olympic silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech sail into the lead as the 49er/FX world championships finally begin in Porto.
31 August 2017
After two days of waiting, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have burst from the blocks to claim an early lead at the 49er and 49erFX world championships in Portugal.
Fog and light winds in Porto forced the first two days to be abandoned but conditions improved in time for a late start on day three.
Kiwi Olympic silver medallists Maloney and Meech took full advantage, placing third and first to sit one point ahead of the German combination of Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz.
"The delays were long but I guess it's part of our sport," Meech said. "But after two days of not sailing, it felt really good to get back on the water and into some racing."
Improved conditions are forecast for Thursday, when fellow-Kiwis Erica Dawson and Kate Stewart will seek to improve on their 33rd placing in a 56-strong field.
Three races were possible for the 81 men's 49er boats, with Kiwis Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey sitting an encouraging seventh.
They are six points behind British leaders James Peters and Fynn Sterritt.
It continues consistent form for the pair in Europe this year, having placed in the top 13 at leading regattas in Spain, France and Germany.
Fellow-Kiwis Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie were eighth, fourth and 11th in their races to be 15th overall.
The men's regatta is considered wide open because of the absence of Kiwi kingpins Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who won the previous four titles.
Both have taken a break since their golden triumph at the Rio Olympics, helping steer Team New Zealand to America's Cup glory before signing for teams to contest the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race.
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