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NZL Sailing Team: Meech ends as form Laser sailor of 2018

by Yachting New Zealand 10 Aug 23:16 BST 11 August 2018
Sam Meech - (NZL)- Laser Day 10 - Hempel Sailing World Championship, Aarhus, Denmark - August 2018 © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Olympic Bronze medalist is New Zealand's equal best performer at the Hempel Sailing World Championships, placing 4th in the Laser class or Mens One Person Dinghy event. The Kiwi team will leave medal-less but having qualified in six of the ten events

Yesterday, America's Cup champion and 2016 Olympic representative, Josh Junior also placed fourth in the Finn singlehanded class, and New Zealand will leave the sailing World Championships, medal-less, but having achieved 2020 Olympic qualification in six of the ten events to be sailed at Tokyo 2020.

The Laser Olympic bronze medallist was second in today’s medal race, lifting him one place in the overall standings, but it wasn’t the result he had come to Aarhus for.

Meech was the form Laser sailor of the year, collecting silver medals at three regattas so far this year, and led the standings at the world championships heading into gold fleet racing.

A 34th in desperately fickle conditions in the first gold fleet race was “a bitter pill to swallow” and his issues were then compounded when he was disqualified in yesterday’s race which realistically knocked him out of medal contention.

“It’s my best worlds finish so I’m happy with that but I have felt this year I have had great form and had an opportunity to finish at least in the medals,” Meech said. “I really came here trying my best to win.

“It hurts a little bit, especially after starting out so well. I had awesome form in the first three days and after that I just couldn’t get the shifts right. I guess I will have to come back and try again next year.”

There are still a handful of Kiwis competing in Aarhus, including Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn who will go into the 49er medal race in seventh and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech who are ninth in the 49erFX heading into their medal race.

Neither combinations have a chance of picking up a medal but, crucially, both have qualified the boat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was the primary goal at these world championships.

Maloney and Meech have not matched their high expectations, having been among the favourites before the regatta, but Dunning Beck and Gunn have illustrated their growing potential.

The pair have been sailing together for little over a year and have already picked up medals at two international regattas, including silver at the World Cup in Hyeres.

They toiled away today, finishing 15th and 25th in their two races, but they weren’t the only ones who struggled in the strong winds.

“It was pretty tough out there, really windy,” Dunning Beck said. “Everyone was out of control at times and we struggled to get off the start line and up the first beat cleanly, so we battled our way around the course with the rest of the fleet.

“[Olympic qualification is] something that every country has to tick off the list so the earlier you can do that the better. Although we struggled today, we had a few good results earlier in the regatta so we are still in the hunt for some good competition tomorrow and we will just have to go out there and try to win it.”

New Zealand has also qualified the Nacra 17 for Tokyo but both crews narrowly missed out on the top 10 medal race. Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson were 11th after a first and second in their last two races today, but couldn’t quite overhaul the British pair in 10th.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders were 12th, which was a meritorious result considering they had to pull out of the first two races of the regatta because of boat damage that left them in 51st after the first day.

Results and standings after the ninth day of the sailing world championships in Aarhus, Denmark, overnight (NZ time):

Laser (165 boats)

1st: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 8 3 7 2 1 2 12 4 2 (14) 18 - 59 points 2nd: Matthew Wearn (AUS) 7 4 1 4 3 1 3 9 (14) 13 16 - 61 pts 3rd: Philipp Buhl (GER) 4 3 19 3 6 6 2 16 (22) 5 6 - 70 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 1 1 2 13 4 34 7 13 (56 DSQ) 4 - 79 pts 14th: Tom Saunders (NZL) 6 11 21 10 21 2 (32) 2 18 31 - 121 pts 28th: Andrew McKenzie (NZL) 6 4 31 17 5 12 37 (42) 21 - 153 pts 35th: George Gautrey (NZL) 18 14 8 17 21 8 26 32 (34) 15 - 159 pts 106th: Matthew Kempkers (NZL) 40 12 45 45 22 33 28 35 35 (46) - 296 pts

Laser Radial (119 boats)

1st: Emma Plasschaert (BEL) 5 7 1 (15) 9 3 11 7 11 2 10 - 66 pts 2nd: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 3 2 11 (28) 16 4 14 11 1 8 - 75 pts 3rd: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 4 3 2 18 2 2 12 (44) 3 33 6 - 85 pts

40th: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 31 18 41 10 12 29 42 25 (54) 8 - 216 pts 56th: Olivia Christie (NZL) 28 48 51 3 12 8 43 (57) 35 53 - 281 pts 106th: Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) (58) 57 54 20 42 50 47 52 15 40 - 377 pts

Finn (90 boats)

1st: Zsombor Berecz (HUN) 13 8 6 (15) 10 5 3 9 7 7 2 - 70 pts 2nd: Max Salminen (SWE) 3 4 16 10 4 1 (21) 8 13 1 14 - 74 pts 3rd: Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) 14 1 3 3 (19) 6 18 12 4 11 4 - 76 pts

4th: Josh Junior (NZL) (25) 3 8 4 8 3 12 7 8 15 8 - 76 pts 10th: Andy Maloney (NZL) 6 13 5 5 11 13 (24) 1 22 6 20 - 102 pts

49er (86 boats)

1st: Sime Fantela / Mihovil Fantela (CRO) 6 8 3 1 (25) 15 11 1 4 2 12 2 - 62 pts 2nd: Tim Fischer / Fabian Graf (GER) 10 11 1 5 4 3 6 5 20 5 (21) 7 - 75 pts 3rd: Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER) 5 16 4 11 1 8 3 (27) 9 4 14 6 - 80 pts

7th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 8 2 1 2 9 9 20 3 17 16 15 (250 - 102 pts 18th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 7 18 14 5 7 1 15 8 1 22 (27) 22 - 121 pts 19th: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 4 3 (25) 3 4 19 18 9 6 20 16 19 - 121 pts

49erFX (60 boats)

1st: Tanja Frank / Lorena Abicht (AUT) 7 2 (25) 9 6 4 12 6 1 7 1 16 - 71 pts 2nd: Sophie Weguelin / Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) 13 7 9 8 (19) 8 15 3 2 1 4 12 - 82 3rd: Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 3 (26) 8 4 3 5 1 20 11 8 3 19 - 85 pts

9th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 5 13 6 6 11 4 (30) 19 4 18 18 7 - 111 pts

Men's 470 (64 boats)

1st: Kevin Peponnet / Jeremie Mion (FRA) 11 11 3 1 9 2 3 (24) 3 7 6 - 56 pts 2nd: Tetsuya Isozaki / Akira Takayanagi (JPN) 5 6 2 7 1 (25) 16 10 1 2 10 - 60 pts 3rd: Jordi Xammar Hernandez / Nicolas Rodriguez Garcia-Paz (ESP) 2 5 4 (18) 8 3 6 11 16 3 4 - 62

12th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) (25) 5 7 3 14 11 23 4 STP 15 12 - 94 pts

Women's 470 (47 boats)

1st: Ai Kondo Yoshida / Miho Yoshioka (JPN) (12) 1 3 6 2 5 6 - 23 pts 2nd: Camille Lecointre / Aloise Retornaz (FRA) 2 6 4 7 8 (36) 1 - 28 pts 3rd: Hannah Mills / Eilidh McIntyre (BGR) 9 14 1 1 5 3 (18) - 33 pts

35th: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds Smith (NZL) (40) 39 34 26 34 19 24 - 175 pts

Nacra 17 (68 boats)

1st: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Marianna Banti (ITA) 1 1 1 (35 DSQ) 16 13 16 3 5 2 3 7 1 - 69 pts 2nd: Nathan Outteridge / Haylee Ooutteridge (AUS) 5 5 13 5 8 3 7 1 3 5 (18) 9 6 - 70 pts 3rd: Santiago Lange / Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) 3 2 2 2 3 6 4 11 (35 UFD) 12 10 10 7 - 72 pts

11th: Olivia Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 4 7 (26) 6 8 21 18 23 14 15 1 2 - 126 pts 12th: Gemma Jones Jason Saunders (NZL) (35 DNF) 35 DNF 11 3 7 15 3 7 14 1 11 6 20 - 133 pts

Men's RS:X (76 boards)

1st: Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) 2 1 (14) 1 5 8 5 5 7 6 5 6 - 51 pts 2nd: Kiran Badloe (NED) 2 11 1 5 3 14 7.6 RDG (17) 6 9 4 2 - 64.6 pts 3rd: Louis Giard (FRA) 1 7 1 14 6 (20) 7 14 15 8 2 4 - 79 pts

58th: Antonio Cozzolino (NZL) 23 26 31 21 30 (34) 19 15 6 - 174 pts

Women's RS:X (62 boards)

1st: Lilian de Geus (NED) 4 3 5 2 6 3 (9) 1 6 1 1 4 - 36 pts 2nd: Charline Picon (FRA) 14 11 6 1 2 1 5 10 10 3 13 (24) - 76 pts 3rd: Emma Wilson (GBR) 1 (16) 11 2 8 2 16 5 5 16 6 7 - 79 pts

55th: Veerle ten Have (NZL) 9 24 (29) 29 29 29 25 25 24 - 194 pts

Men's formula kite (61 boards)

1st: Nicolas Parlier (FRA) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 (11) 1 2 (23 DCT) 1 3 8 1 6 - 29 pts 2nd: Guy Bridge (GBR) (2) (12) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 DNC 4 3 - 29 pts 3rd: Oliver Bridge (GBR) 1 (5) 2 2 1 2 1 1 (6) 1 1 1 1 7 2 8 - 31 pts

18th: Sam Bullock (NZL) 6 5 5 7 6 6 (23 DNC) 6 (11) 10 3 5 7 8 7 9 - 90 pts

Full results aarhus2018.sailing.org/results

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