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World Cup gold looms for Burling and Tuke

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/04/2016
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke © Buda Mendes/Getty Images Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have defied fickle French winds to sail clear in the 49er class at the World Cup regatta in Hyeres.

The multiple world champions from New Zealand extended their lead from three to 34 points on the third day. With two days remaining, they are set to extend their unbeaten run at major regattas to 26.

Just two out of three races were possible because of light, fluky conditions but Burling and Tuke made the most, notching a win and a ninth place.

Nearly all of their rivals suffered at least one poor result, including second-placed Australian brothers William and Sam Phillips.

Five Kiwi crews go into the penultimate day in a top-five position.

Sailors Aleh and Powrie. © Getty Images Sailors Aleh and Powrie.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie dropped from a share of second place to third following their seventh in the only completed women's 470 race.

They sit just two points behind Brazilian leaders and defending champions Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan.

A big improver was Sam Meech, whose two top-10 finishes lifted him from ninth to second overall in the Laser class. Andy Maloney is eighth.

Finn hopeful Josh Junior slipped from second to fifth following a difficult day while Andrew Murdoch is 14th and needing a strong final day of fleet racing to qualify for Sunday's medal race.

Men's 470 crew Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox were 10th in their only race and are fifth overall.

The only other Kiwis in the top 10 are Olympic-bound 49erFX duo Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech, who improved to ninth.

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