13 Apr 2016

Burling and Tuke retain lead

10:25 am on 13 April 2016

New Zealand 49er sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have retained their lead in at the European Championships in Barcelona.

New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.

New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Compatriots and fellow New Zealand Olympic team members Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are locked in a three way points tie for third place in the women's 49erFX.

An unexpected light air day didn't bother the New Zealand Sailing Team in Spain.

While the unstable winds caused most of the front runners in the 49er drop the ball in at least one of their four races today, Burling and Tuke shone through with their worst score was a 6th in the final race of the day.

Before that Burling and Tuke had taken a couple of race wins and a 3rd to remain at the top of the leader board with a ten point gap back to 2nd place.

Tuke said, "As always, with qualification for us it's all about getting through in good shape so we are there or thereabouts for the finals racing."

"Today was a bit different than yesterday, it was a bit lighter wind and more unstable. Lucky for us we were mostly on the right side of the shifts and had the boat going pretty well."

"We're looking forward to the rest of the week!"

Nico Delle Karthe and Nikolaus Resche (AUT) are in 2nd place, while John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) have pushed up into 3rd place.

In the 49erFX fleet Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are among a tight pack near the top of the leader board with fierce racing between the big names in Olympic women's skiff racing.

While Burling and Tuke have a much-talked-about edge over their rivals, there is no one dominant crew in the women's 49erFX.

Currently the top ten at this Championship features sailors from ten different nation and most are likely to be on the start-line Rio 2016 this August.

The New Zealanders, are now tied for 3rd with the British and Argentinean pairs.

In today's three races they placed 5th, 11th and 2nd.