Stakes increase at 49er/FX & Nacra 17 world champs

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn are sixth heading into gold fleet at the 49er at the Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships. Photo: Sailing Energy.

The Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships in Auckland might be halfway through but for New Zealand's top sailors the real business starts today.

The biggest thing is to get into gold fleet with as little damage on their scorecard as possible and, for some, they've done it particularly well.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had another very solid day in the 49er, posting a first, third and seventh in their three races on the final day of qualifying to sit only one point off the lead held by Germany's Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel.

They'll be joined in the top 25 boats by fellow Kiwis Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn (sixth) as well as Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie (22nd).

Dunning Beck and Gunn had one scary moment on Thursday when they discovered a sizeable hole in their gennaker in their final race of the day. They had been leading the race and were wondering why they felt sluggish sailing downwind.

"We didn't actually see it happen in that first run," says Gunn. "We were just trying to make the boat go fast and it just wasn't happening and we were getting a bit frustrated. Turns out there was a massive hole. It looks pretty bad and we were lucky not to blow it apart."

They got to the finish line in relative safety, eventually finishing fifth in that race to round out another good day on the water. They've shown excellent speed at times this week, winning two of their nine races and finishing in the top five in three others, but know they need to establish some consistency over the coming days.

"This is where the real racing starts and you get to race the top teams," says Gunn. "It's good to get through that qualifying series relatively unscathed. Now the fun begins."

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech didn't have a particularly enjoyable day in the 49erFX as they dropped to seventh overall and lost some ground on the leaders.

They were fourth, 21st, 10th and ninth in their four races and felt that most things they tried didn't pay off.

Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil profited in the mostly light sea breezes, winning two of their four races, and hold a 14-point lead over Norway's Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen who were the other big movers of the day.

Maloney and Meech are by no means out of it, especially as mistakes are magnified in gold fleet racing and the points can rack up quickly, but they will look to post some low scores tomorrow.

Liv Mackay and Jason Saunders started in that fashion in the Nacra 17 on Thursday, winning two of their first three races to jump up the leaderboard before finishing 15th in their last race after a lengthy delay due to a shifting wind direction.

"It is always good for the confidence to win races," says Saunders. "We were going really nicely in those conditions, which were conditions prior to this regatta we had the biggest question mark over, but that was awesome. It was nice to be sailing at the front of the fleet again."

Fellow Kiwis Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson (15th) and Gemma Jones and Josh Porebski (21st) also had some good moments today and will join them in gold fleet.

Great Britain's John Gimson and Anna Burnet hold a narrow one-point lead over Italy's Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari, with siblings Nathan and Haylee Outteridge of Australia two points further back in third.

There will be a noticeable lift in intensity when all three classes kick off gold fleet racing tomorrow and Sunday's medal races come closer into view.

"It only just begins, doesn't it?" says Mackay when talking about what changes in the regatta. "It becomes harder, that's for sure. We just have to keep chipping away."

Results and standings after day 3 of the Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club:

49er (88 boats)

1st: Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel (GER) 2 1 5 (27) 3 6 1 2 7 - 26 points
2nd: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) 1 (11) 3 3 1 8 1 3 7 - 27 pts
3rd: Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl (AUT) 5 8 1 5 2 2 13 (19) 1 - 37 pts

6th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) (21) 3 14 1 8 1 10 4 5 - 46 pts
22nd: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 11 5 7 6 (14) 12 11 8 14 - 73 pts
38th: Markus Somerville / Jack Simpson (NZL) 18 27 12 20 11 3 (31 UFD) 1 4 - 94 pts
49th: Jackson Keon / Scott McKenzie (NZL) 8 (25) 18 12 15 20 5 21 13 - 111 pts
53rd: Sam Bacon / Henry Gautrey (NZL) 15 19 1 17 22 14 (31 RET) 5 29 - 122 pts
73rd: Lewis Anderson / Reece Caulfield (NZL) 25 23 10 25 24 (31 DNF) 15 24 23 - 168 pts
76th: Campbell Stanton / William Shapland (NZL) 20 22 25 24 23 21 (26) 24 17 - 176 pts
77th: Tom Fyfe / James Wilson (NZL) (31 DNF) 27 27 19 27 21 7 28 22 - 177 pts

80th: Sam Morgan / Pat Morgan (NZL) 21 25 24 (31 UFD) 21 27 21 21 27 19 - 185 pts
85th: Ben Paterson / Sean Paterson (31 DNC) 31 DNC 28 28 25 27 20 26 25 - 209 pts
87th: Craig Keenan / Gavin Ninnes (NZL) 28 31 DNC 26 31 DNF 31 DNC 17 27 27 28 - 214 pts

49er FX (61 boats)

1st: Martine Grael Kahena Kunze (BRA) 3 (9) 6 5 1 2 1 5 - 23 pts
2nd: Helene Naess / Marie Ronningen (NOR) 10 10 (19) 11 2 1 2 1 - 37 pts
3rd: Kimberly Lim / Cecilia Low (SGP) 9 4 1 (20) 3 8 10 2 - 37 pts

7th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 14 2 3 9 4 (21) 10 9 - 51 pts
52nd: Crystal Sun / Olivia Hobbs (NZL) 19 27 9 13 25 27 29 (30) - 149 pts

Nacra 17 (52 boats)

1st: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 2 2 1 1 3 (9) 9 2 - 20 pts
2nd: Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari (ITA) 1 4 5 (8) 2 6 2 1 - 21 pts
3rd: Nathan Outteridge / Haylee Outteridge (AUS) 3 5 3 6 (27 UFD) 3 2 1 - 23 pts

11th: Liv Mackay / Jason Saunders (NZL) 9 (27 UFD) 3 13 1 3 1 15 - 45 pts
15th: Micah Wilkinson / Erica Dawson (NZL) 6 10 12 6 12 (17) 3 5 - 54 pts
21st: Gemma Jones / Josh Porebski (NZL) 4 9 9 12 (27 UFD) 11 15 7 - 67 pts
33rd: Helena Sanderson / Henry Haslett (NZL) 13 18 16 18 18 2 (23) 16 - 101 pts
52nd: Aaron Duncan / Julia Francis (NZL) (26) 23 25 25 24 26 26 26 - 175 pts

Full results




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