With three top three placings on the water today Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were the most consistent pair on the 49er track and have opened up an 18 point gap on 2nd place with just one day of qualifying remaining before the medal race line up is decided.
They sailed outside the bay on the Copacabana course where conditions were good for three afternoon races, but deteriorated soon after racing was complete with a blustery front striking the skiff fleets as they returned ashore.
“It was beautiful conditions out there for racing” said Burling. “Three low scores and that’s exactly what we wanted to get out of today. It felt like the boat was going really fast.”
The closest crew to Burling and Tuke is Germany’s Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel who retain 2nd place at the end of day four of racing.
The defending Olympic champions, Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen of Australia, had a solid day and improve from 6th to 3rd as a result.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech posted a solid day in the women’s skiff to go into tomorrow lying 2nd overall. Points around them are extremely tight however putting pressure on everyone to perform on what is their final day of qualifying tomorrow.
In today’s racing the New Zealand crew had a 6th, a 12th and a 3rd.
“We had a really cool day out there on the water and we had one down and two really nice ones so keeping it quite consistent,” said Meech. “Consistency was definitely the aim for the week and so far so good.”
Maloney described the day, “It was glamour skiff sailing. We had 10 to 12 knots, sunshine and a little swell, so we were really enjoying the conditions.”
“We still have a lot more racing to go we’ll just take it one race at a time – lots more to come,” she added.
Spaniards Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Bertanzos were the stand out crew on the 49erFX course today posting a 4th and two wins to take the overall lead.
They are four points advanced on the NZL Sailing Team pair, while local favourites Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze are just one point behind in 3rd.
They’re scheduled to sail three more races tomorrow.
1st Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (49er) (1, 1, 5, 2, 8, 6, 2, 3, 1)
2nd Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (49erFX) (6, 5, 4, 4, 5, 1, 6, 12 3)