Sailing: Two world titles for NZ

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in action. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand’s Olympic class sailors have pulled off an unprecedented result at the 49er and 49erFX World Championships with two world titles and a silver medal.

Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke secured their first ever 49er World title in Marseille, France, with compatriots Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski behind them in second.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech made it a New Zealand double by winning the inaugural 49erFX world title.

2013 has been a stellar year for Burling and Tuke who have won the 49er European title, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup title and now the 49er world title after a ninth and a second placing on the final day of racing.

“We’ve worked hard for this not just over the past year but since we started sailing the 49er together,” Tuke said.

“To do it today it and have the other boys in second place and the girls win their world title makes it extra special.”

New to the Olympic programme for 2016 the 49erFX women’s skiff has attracted a number of accomplished international sailors and for Maloney and Meech to secure the world title is a massive achievement.

The young pair holds the ISAF World number one ranking after top three placings at all the major international regattas they’ve contested in 2013 including gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and a bronze at the 49erFX European Championships in Denmark in June.

Today’s world title puts the icing on the cake for Maloney and Meech who both only recently stepped out of the youth classes.

Like Burling and Tuke, Maloney and Meech went into today’s medal races with the overall lead. Competing in a fleet of ten boats with double points on offer they raced away with a second, a fifth and a fourth to secure the world title by a huge 20 point margin from silver medallists Martine Soffiati Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil.

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