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Kiwi 49erFX duo hunt for consistency

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/06/2017

Olympic silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech begin the hunt for more consistency when they compete in their first major regatta since Rio next week.

The 49erFX duo line up in the sailing World Cup Final in Santander, Spain, before travelling to Germany for Kiel week.

Meech and Maloney say they won't be afraid to try new strategies in their return to racing, experimenting with a handful of scenarios as they look to turn silver into gold at Tokyo in 2020.

The pair established themselves as one of the world's best teams over the last Olympic cycle, winning the 2013 world title along with silver in Rio, but also finished down the fleet too often for their liking.

"We want to become more consistent," Maloney said.

"It means we are going to try things at different regattas."

She said the focus in Spain would be on putting a good event together after a long break, while also testing themselves in bigger waves.

"We want to see how we measure up against the other teams. We definitely want to win it.

"We are going to treat Kiel as a learning event. We had a few weaknesses in the last Olympic cycle, so we are not going to be afraid to try different things in the hope of getting better."

Maloney and Meech have already made changes, bringing on Nathan Handley as coach.

Handley previously worked with 2012 Olympic 470 champions and 2016 silver medallists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, although had one season with Maloney and Meech when they won their world title.

The pair returned to full-time training about two months ago after an extended break, and are itching to get back into race mode.

"Having a really long break was challenging because we have been sailing all our lives," Maloney said.

"But we need to be fully committed to another Olympic campaign and there was a danger of going through the motions if we had kept going straight after Rio."

Maloney and Meech will be joined in Santander by 49er duo Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey.

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