2 May 2016

Burling and Tuke take gold, again

7:29 am on 2 May 2016

New Zealand 49er sailors Blair Tuke and Peter Burling have won gold at the latest World Cup regatta in France.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on their way to their 25th straight 49er regattta win, in Bacelona.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. Photo: Supplied

The World Champion and Olympic silver medallists had an unassailable lead heading into this morning's medal race.

New Zealand's Sam Meech also won silver in the Laser class after a dramatic tussle on the water.

New Zealand also collected two medal race victories with both Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie in the women's 470 and Andy Maloney in the Laser finishing on a high note.

Burling and Blair Tuke had 49er gold in the bag before starting today's medal race due to a massive 48 point leading margin over the closest boat.

Today they placed 4th in the medal race and the pair finished the regatta leading by 46 points, defending their Hyeres title.

Together with coach Hamish Willcox, the Burling and Tuke phenomenon now have 26 consecutive regatta victories tallied.

With the Olympic Games now less than 100 days away from starting, the pair sees this victory as another stepping stone towards Rio 2016.

"Obviously, we are really happy with how we have been going at the moment but still like we have been saying, we have a lot of hard work to do over the next three or four months just to finish it off and finish off the final detailing," said Burling.

"If Rio was tomorrow I don't feel like I think we are ready yet, so we've still got plenty in the tank to go and we are looking forward to the challenge."

Meech was fourth going into the medal race but won silver after a third place finish in the high stakes finale.

"I'm feeling fantastic, really happy with the result. Obviously, it's coming close to our selection so finishing in front of the other Kiwis hopefully helps," said Meech.

With a second Olympic selection announcement for sailing still pending the Laser class will undoubtedly one of the toughest decisions the selectors have to make.

Meech was asked if he thought this result was enough to push for selection.

"I guess we'll find out. I've just been trying to sail as well as I can and get the best overall result I can to give me the best chance."

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie were pushed out of medal contention after a black flag in the final fleet race of the regatta and went into the medal race lying 6th overall.

And with nothing to lose and plenty to prove they took out the women's 470 medal race today to finish 4th overall.

Josh Junior finished fourth overall in the Finn, missing out on a podium finish by just one point.

The World Championship, the 2016 Finn Gold Cup, starts next Thursday in Gaeta, Italy.