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Meech knows top form not far off

by Yachting New Zealand 27 Jul 07:56 NZST
Sam Meech is 17th overall in the Laser after three races. © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Sam Meech feels like he's not far off making it all click but realises he needs some top results tomorrow to keep pace with the leaders in the Laser class at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 30-year-old was 19th and eighth today and sits 17th overall after three of the 10 qualifying races. Finland's Kaarle Tapper leads, with Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia third and Cypriot Pavlos Kontides in third.

But everyone in the field except Kontides has a drop in double digits, meaning big moves can still be made on the leaderboard.

Meech knows he needs to lay down a handful of good ones in their three races tomorrow to get right back in the mix but doesn't think much would need to change.

He was leading midway through the third race but was on the wrong side of a wind shift and dropped back to 14th at the top mark for the final time before worming his way through the field in the 15-knot winds to finish eighth.

"It was pretty painful," he said about today's racing. "The starts are going really well, the mark roundings have been pretty good. I feel like I’m doing the technical things really well but just not feeling it when it comes to the wind shifts.

"In the second one I was going really well, especially around the first lap. I was like, 'oh, this should be pretty easy' but then I made a right turn at the bottom mark both times and it was just so hard coming back from the left-hand side.

"My boat speed is fine. It’s really just the shifts and there are some big ones out there. You can gain and lose quite a lot and, unfortunately, I have been losing. There’s still a long way to go but I need some good races."

Three more New Zealand boats will join Meech on the race course tomorrow with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke beginning their quest in the 49er, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech opening their campaign in the 49erFX and Josh Junior getting under way in the Finn.

All three will be among the favourites in their fleets and they're likely to face shifty offshore winds on their first day.

Results and standings after day two of the Olympic sailing regatta in Enoshima:

Laser (35 boats)

1st: Kaarle Tapper (FIN) 2 3 (14) - 5 points 2nd: Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) (15) 6 3 - 9 pts 3rd: Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 4 (7) 5 - 9 pts

17th: Sam Meech (NZL) (19) 19 8 - 27 pts

Laser Radial (44 boats)

1st: Line Flem Host (NOR) (20) 3 1 - 4 pts 2nd: Svenja Weger (GER) 5 1 (21) - 6 pts 3rd: Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) 2 (19) 6 - 8 pts

Women's RS:X (27 boards)

1st: Charline Picon (FRA) 1 6 2 (9) 1 4 - 13 pts 2nd: Emma Wilson (GBR) 5 2 (6) 1 4 2 - 14 pts 3rd: Marta Magetti (ITA) 6 3 3 (13) 6 7 - 25 pts

Men's RS:X (25 boards)

1st: Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) 1 1 (9) - 2 pts 2nd: Angel Granda Roque (ESP) 2 3 (13) - 5 pts 3rd: Kiran Badloe (NED) 5 (7) 1 - 6 pts

Full resuts here.

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