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Kiwi crews lead World Cup regatta

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/04/2016

A dramatic capsize has not been enough to prevent star 49er pairing of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from topping the leaderboard on the first day of World Cup racing in France.

They are one of three New Zealand crews to lead their classes as the five-day regatta opened in Hyeres.

Burling and Tuke won the opening race and followed that up with a third place before a late calamity pushed them to ninth in the final race in blustery conditions.

"We sailed the first two races well and 99 per cent of the third race, but we capsized right at the finish which is a bit of a pain," said Tuke.

The combination, unbeaten since the London Olympics and having chalked up 25 consecutive wins in regattas since then, hold a one point lead over Australian brothers Sam and William Phillips.

Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie lead the women's 470 class by five points after a win and a second place, while Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox are fourth in the men's class.

Josh Junior is also out in front of the Finn class after a win and a fourth to hold a two-point lead over American Caleb Paine. Junior's countryman Andrew Murdoch is eighth.

Only one Nacra race was possible in the challenging conditions and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders finished third as more than half of the field failed to finish the course.

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