NZ crews make bright start to Kiel Week

Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey banked three good scores to leave them sixth after the first day. Photo: Kiel Week.

The New Zealand contingent made a strong start to Kiel Week, with five boats inside the top four after the first day or racing.

Kiel Week is the world's biggest sailing regatta, with more than 4000 sailors competing across 45 classes, but it's taken on more importance this year as the last major regatta before the upcoming sailing world championships in Denmark.

The three New Zealand crews in the 49er made a good start in the 87-boat fleet, with Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn leading despite a capsize in their first race, Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey sixth and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie eighth.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders also started well, sitting second in the Nacra 17, with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech third in the 49erFx, Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox fourth in the men's 470 and youngster Josh Armit second after the first day of the Laser Radial world championships.

The fresh and gusty conditions in Kiel Bay made life difficult at times and Dunning Beck and Gunn capsized close to the finish line in their first race. The 15th in that race is presently their discount but they backed it up with a second and a first to be level on points on the top of the leaderboard with three other crews.

"We played the shifts well on the first upwinds and we'll take those lessons forward for the rest of the week," says Dunning Beck. "With a lot more racing to go, it's anyone's game.

"Regardless of the leaderboard, we will just aim to survive each day with good clean scores and aim to get comfortable with the big fleet racing in the fresh to frightening breezes that are forecast."

Porebski and Rippey finished the first day in sixth, three points behind the leaders, but are in arguably a stronger position with their worst result to date, and discard, a fifth. There are four more races scheduled tonight to wrap up qualifying before the boats are split into gold and silver fleet.

"It was a good day for Trent and I with three good results," says Porebski. "We were pretty consistent so we're happy with that.

"It was a pretty challenging day with 15-20 knots and big shifts and we managed to stay in phase up the first beat. With a lot of boats, it was important to get out of the battles without a heap of boats all around. Our goal is to keep consistent and get some more good results so we get to the final series without any big scores."

It's what Jones and Saunders will be aiming for as well in the Nacra fleet and they revelled in the stronger breezes.

Fellow NZL Sailing Team members Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson also posted two good scores, with a fourth and a fifth, but didn't finish the third race due to a minor issue with their boat and are 11th overall.

"The events we have sailed this season have been really light so it was good to get 14-18 knots," says Jones.

"It was like learning to sail again in a new class because the boat sails so differently in the breeze. It was pretty fun to get switched back into the racing after a bit of training.

"We had pretty good pace downwind so we tried to hang with the fleet upwind and then make our gains downwind. There was a bit of chaos on our course, with is common with the Nacras. There were a couple of collisions and ripped sails and a lot of capsizing."

Armit posted two good scores to sit second overall after the first day of the Laser Radial world championships. The 16-year-old, who last year won the under-17 Laser Radial world title, was first and third to be level at the top with two other sailors.

Results and standings from the first day of the Kiel Week regatta overnight (NZ time):

Men's 470 (49 boats)

1st: Mathew Belcher / Will Ryan (AUS) 1 2 - 3 points
2nd: Kazuto Doi / Naoya Kimura (JPN) 2 3 - 5 pts
3rd: Luke Patience / Chris Grube (GBR) 5 1 - 6 pts

4th: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 4 2 - 6 pts

Women's 470 (28 boats)

1st: Nadine Bohm / Ann-Christin Goliab (GER) 2 4 - 6 pts
2nd: Fabienne Oster / Anastasiya Winkel (GER) 1 8 - 9 pts
3rd: Maria Bozi / Rafailina Klonaridou (GRE) 7 2 - 9 pts

11th: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 3 16 - 19 pts

49er (87 boats)

1st: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) (15) 2 1 - 3 pts
2nd: Erwan Fischer / Clément Pequin (FRA) (6) 1 2 - 3 pts
3rd: Dominik Buksak / Szymon Wierzbicki (POL) 1 (9) 2 - 3 pts

6th: Josh Porebski / Trent Ripey (NZL) (5) 3 3 - 6 pts
8th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 4 4 (28) - 8 pts

49erFX (54 boats)

1st: Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) 1 1 (15) - 2 pts
2nd: Stephanie Roble / Maggie Shea (USA) (10) 2 1 - 3 pts
3rd: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 3 (4) 1 - 4 pts

Nacra 17 (44 boats)

1st: Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin (AUS) (1) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 2 (5) 1 - 3 pts
3rd: Riley Gibbs / Louisa Chafee (USA) 1 (9) 2 - 3 pts

11th: Liv Mackay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 4 5 (24 DNF) - 9 pts

Women's Laser Radial (82 boats)

1st: Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) 1 - 1 pts
2nd: Maxime Jonker (NED) 1 1 - 2 pts
3rd: Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) 2 - 2 pts

21st: Susannah Pyatt (ZNL) 5 11 - 16 pts

Laser Radial worlds (97 boats)

1st: Alexander Arian (POL) 3 1 - 4 pts
2nd: Josh Armit (NZL) 1 3 - 4 pts
3rd: Caelin Winchombe (AUS) 2 2 - 4 pts

38th: Caleb Armit (NZL) 5 34 - 39 pts

Full results can be found here.

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