Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh began their defence of their Olympic women’s 470 sailing crown in impressive fashion today.

The New Zealand pair recorded a first placing in their second race today and ended racing in 10th spot overall, after being disqualified from race one.

The New Zealanders could have done even better. They dominated most of the first race before the wheels fell off near the end. A protest decision has seen Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie disqualified from race one in the Women’s 470 at Rio 2016. As a result they will carry maximum points (21 points) for that race.

Austria protested the New Zealand crew around a port starboard (right of way) incident which occurred soon after the start of race one and the Jury found in favour of Austria.

Powrie said they didn’t follow through with their race plan.

“We were happy to right the wrongs in the second one,” she said,

Aleh said normally she and Powrie thrive on the tricky conditions that the sailors encountered today.

“We should have had a better first day,” she said. “We had a bit of a stuff-up, but it was nice to finish off with a good race and know that we can put it all together.

“We’re happy with the day, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Sam Meech, who performed so well in the first two days of the laser competition, slipped off the pace slightly today.

He recorded 14th and 17th positions to leave himself on 45 points at the end of the day, good enough for seventh position. The laser contest is being  led by Croatian Tonci Stipanovic.

“Today was disappointing,” Meech said. “It was the kind of conditions where I felt like I could go really well and I just didn’t get it right.”

In the 470 men, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniell Wilcox were second in the first race, after a storming finish, and 10th on their next outing. They finished the day third overall behind the Croatian team.

 “Today was pretty tough conditions out there,” Willcox said, “So to come away with two solid races is a good benchmark to start from.

“We’re really happy with the day.”

Snow-Hansen was upbeat about the conditions.

“We were out in the middle of the bay, and we’ve trained here for years,” he said. “Actually we’ve never had it like this. You had to have your eyes out of the boat.

“There were crazy rain showers coming through the course. We took a bit of a hit now and then, but also gained, so we’ll take that for the first day.”

John Junior continued to struggle in the finn competition, placing 14th twice today. He is 20th on 46 points after four races, well behind the leader, Giles Scott of Great Britain on 6.

New Zealanders Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders had a middling day in the nacre mixed, with ninth and 15th placing. They are in 13th position overall on 24 points. Switzerland leads on eight points.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Gemma Jones Jason Saunders Paul Snow-Hansen Daniel Willcox Sam Meech Josh Junior Jo Aleh Polly Powrie Sailing
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