Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have taken a big step in defending their Olympic title, winning the 49er European championships in Weymouth.
It’s the pair's first international title since their return to the 49er circuit and they did it in only their third international event. It's an impressive feat so soon after jumping back in the boat, particularly at a regatta featuring all of the world's top teams in a mammoth seven days of racing.
"It's really pleasing for Pete and I," Tuke said. "It has been a really long week, lots of races in a variety of conditions. There was quite a lot of wind at the start so we are pretty tired but really stoked to come away with the win.”
Burling and Tuke went into the final day holding a 17-point lead over their nearest rivals but they almost saw that slip away in the final gold fleet race. They found themselves near the back of the fleet in 22nd place in the light conditions as Great Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell scooted away but clawed their way back impressively to finish ninth and maintain a nine-point lead.
It was a significant result because the wind had died completely by the time the top-10 medal race rolled around preventing any further racing.
"This has been our third event in a month or so, so we have had a lot of 49er racing lately. We managed to get a few things working a little bit better here. We executed at a better level and got some really nice scores on the board early on and managed to continue that on to the end of the week. It's pleasing to be back on the top of the podium."
The gold medal came on the back of Andy Maloney's silver at the Finn European championships in Athens earlier in the week. New Zealand's Laser squad, which includes world No 1 Sam Meech, begin their European championships in Porto tomorrow.
Above: Andy Maloney in action
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech were also in action but fell short of claiming a medal in the 49erFX. The Olympic silver medallists were third in today's medal race and finished fourth overall.
Most of New Zealand’s elite sailors now switch their attentions to Japan, where an Olympic test event will be held in August.
Meanwhile New Zealand’s boxers claimed a silver and two bronze medals at the Boxam Valenciana International tournament in Spain.
Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist Tasmyn Benny, boxed her way to the Female 51kg Final before losing a 4-1 points decision to Australian Taylah Robertson to receive the Silver Medal.
Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Nyika lost to Aziz Abbes Mouhidine from Italy in his heavyweight semi-final to take bronze.
The Italian heavyweight put early pressure on the kiwi boxer and while Nyika finished strongit wasn’t enough.
“Not the result we were after but we’re going home with some valuable learnings,” Nyika posted on Instagram.
Female Welterweight Chei Kenneally also won a bronze medaln, defeating Vivien Budai from Hungary before dropping a decision to Emilie Sonvico from France in the semi-finals.
In Germany mountain biker Anton Cooper placed 36th out of 171 riders in the first World Cup of the season.
Cooper suffered two flat tyres during the race which dropped him down the order.
“I wanted so much more from this race, but sometimes wanting it just doesn't cut it,” Cooper posted on Instagram.
“Disappointing way to begin the World Cup year but on the bright side a positive result in Friday's XCC [short track] competition.”
Cooper races again next weekend in the Czech Republic.
Triathlete Ryan Sissons has also been in action, placing 9th at the World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan.
The top 10 finish is a solid result for Sissons who said he was “tickled” by the placing.
At the North Island Weightlifting Championships Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Liti set a national snatch record of 180kg and a national clean and jerk record of 230kg.
Liti was last week named in the New Zealand team for the Samoa Pacific Games in July and the result has him firmly eyeing the top of the dais.
In the World Surf League Olympic hopefuls Paige Hareb and Ricardo Christie battled hard but were taken down by a pair of big hitting Americans in Bali.
Above: Ricardo Christie at Keramas
Christie was unable to beat the aerial game of Kolohe Andino in his matchup while Hareb was undone by three-time women’s world champion Carissa Moore.
The Kiwis now prepare for the Margaret River Pro in West Australia.