by Jodie Bakewell-White
New Zealand has won three medals at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma – the first of the major European World Cup Regattas for Olympic classes: Gold to Andy Maloney in the Laser, Silver to Alexandra
Maloney and Molly Meech in the 49erFX and Bronze to Sam Meech also in
The medals have come despite New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic medallists
not competing at this regatta, giving a strong indication that the NZL
Sailing Team is in good shape very early on in this new Olympic cycle.
Lying 3rd equal going into today Andy Maloney knocked it
out of the park on the last day of competition coming away with two race
wins in the two medal races sailed. The bullets, worth zero, added
nothing to his overall pointscore and he concluded the six day regatta
eight points clear of former leader Tom Burton of Australia who was
looking hard to beat.
Burton placed 3rd in the first of the medal races but was hit with an OCS in the next race relegating him to 2nd place overall and the silver medal.
Meanwhile NZL Sailing Team’s Sam Meech sailed strongly to place 5th and 3rd
and claim the bronze medal. This is an excellent result for Meech who
is a two-time medallist for New Zealand at ISAF Youth World
Championships with gold in 2009 and bronze in 2008.
Andy Maloney has this to say; “It was a really good day. With the new
system and having two medal races there were a lot of points up for
grabs. It was good to get different conditions out there with some
offshore breeze and really shifty. It went pretty well to get two wins –
I couldn’t have asked for much more.”
“It feels pretty good to come from 3rd equal to win the event today, really good day,” he continues.
“We’ll have a bit of a week off, a break from sailing and then we’ll head over to Hyeres for the next World Cup event.”
Both Andy Maloney and Sam Meech will sail in September’s Red Bull
Youth America’s Cup as part of the NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team
New Zealand, both announced in February among the crew selections to
sail on an AC45 with Peter Burling at the helm.
The 49erFX women’s skiff event was always going to capture the
spotlight at this regatta. A new class for the Rio Olympic Games this is
the first time the current campaigners from around the world have truly
come together and lined up on the same race track.
Billed as one of the crews to watch, the young kiwi pairing of
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have kept their composure among the
hype and concentrated on the business of sailing – earning themselves
the silver medal along the way.
Sailing four stadium style races today with only eight boats on the course the kiwis were 4th, 2nd, 2nd
and wrapped things up with a win. Across the six days of racing Maloney
and Meech won five races and only finished outside the top eight on one
Denmark’s Nielson and Olsen have sailed an almost faultless regatta
and with three wins for them today they have taken the gold medal
New Zealand featured two representatives in the Finn medal races today – Andrew Murdoch has placed 7th
at what is his international debut in the Finn class after announcing
his switch from the Laser earlier this year. Today Murdoch was 8th and 4th on the water.
Josh Junior also a former Finn sailor has finished 8th overall just behind Murdoch in the overall standings.
Today Junior was 6th and 9th in the two medal races sailed.
Jez Fanstone, High Performance Manager is pleased with the overall
team’s performance in Palma; “Andy (Maloney) sailed really well, and Sam
did well to hang in there and take the bronze too.”
“Great from Alex and Molly at this regatta which is their first in a
full strength fleet, and a huge opportunity for learning. Tom Saunders
is really stepping things up and Josh and Andrew have had a great first
showing the Finn.”
“New combination Paul and Dan only just missed their medal race in
the 470 by one point, and the Nacra crew of Gemma and Jason are doing
good things too. Everyone is in good spirits.”
The next major event for the NZL Sailing Team is ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres on from 20-27 April.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma
New Zealand’s standings after day five
1st Andy Maloney (NZL Sailing Team)
3rd Sam Meech (NZL Sailing Team)
15th Thomas Saunders
2nd Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech
7th Andrew Murdoch (NZL Sailing Team)
8th Josh Junior
11th Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL Sailing Team)
31st Francisco Lardies and Luke Stevenson
38th Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (NZL Sailing Team) – winners silver fleet
20th Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders
25th Nicole van der Velden and Tomer Simhony
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta website