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Maloney chases another medal at Finn European championships

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Maloney chases another medal at Finn European championships_2

Andy Maloney has his sights on another medal as he enters the final stages of the Finn European championships in Athens.

He led the regatta for a brief period on day four, following his win in the first race of the day, but slipped two places to third overall with two scores in the 20s. It's easy to do in such a big 80-boat fleet, where the chances of getting buried in the pack are high, and every sailor has at least one result in the 20s.

Olympic champion Giles Scott of Great Britain leads over world champion Zsombor Berecz of Hungary, with Maloney another seven points back in third. There's a sizable gap of 30 points back to a handful of sailors, including Josh Junior who climbed three places today to seventh.

Maloney has made a successful transition to the Finn class after sailing in the Laser in the last Olympic cycle and won his last event at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma.

"We had a building breeze for the first race which I managed to win, which was a great start to the day," Maloney said. "In the second race I didn't really nail the first beat and found myself really deep at the top mark. I had to play catch-up from there and worked really hard to get myself as far through the fleet as I could by the finish line. In the third race I was sailing a fairly good race by the bottom mark and then the wind started dying out and I didn't play the last beat too well so lost a bit in that race.

"I'm pretty happy with third overall but a little bit disappointed with the last two races today. It's a really high scoring regatta and everyone has had a bad race now. With two races tomorrow, it's all to play for."

It's the same at the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European championships in Weymouth where the leaderboards in the three classes saw some changes on the first day of gold fleet racing.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are now second in the 49er, eight points behind Spain's Diego Botin and Iago Lopez, after finishing fifth, 13th and seventh in the three races today.

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn lost some ground, slipping from third to seventh, but the picture will change again once the second drop comes into play. There are also still two days of gold fleet racing before the top 10 medal race.

"It was a really tricky day for Blair and myself," Burling said. "We found ourselves on the wrong side of it early on in the race all three times. We actually did a really good job to grind it back to a lot less points than it could have been, so we are pretty happy to walk away with the scores we got.

"It's a pretty different breeze forecast tomorrow, the first change in the breeze for the regatta. It's been pretty similar all week so far but it's going a lot further left and a bit more offshore tomorrow so it should be a bit more flat water and a bit different, which is exciting. We are over halfway in the event now as we're looking forward to pushing on and trying to be in the fight at the end."

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech will also be looking forward to the second drop coming into play after they finished quite deep in one race today (21st), and they will look to get back to the sort of consistency they displayed in qualifying. The pair are now fifth in the 49erFX, which is still being led by Olympic champions Martine Grael and Kahene Kunze from Brazil.

It's tight at the top of the Nacra 17 class, with only three points separating the top three boats. Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders had two good scores today but a 17th in the last race saw them drop a couple of places to ninth overall.

Results and standings after day 4 of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European championships in Weymouth:

49er (98 boats)

1st: Diego Botin / Iago Lopez (ESP) 2 5 1 1 2 1 1 1 (9) 4 11 2 3 - 34 pts

2nd: Peter Burling / Blair Tuke (NZL) 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 (9) 5 2 5 13 7 - 42 pts

3rd: Dylan Fletcher / Stuart Bithell (GBR) 5 1 2 6 6 3 3 (14) 1 7 2 8 5 - 49 pts

7th: Logan Dunning Beck / Oscar Gunn (NZL) 4 1 1 1 3 (11) 2 3 8 5 4 17 19 - 68 pts

19th: Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie (NZL) 11 (17) 5 11 16 5 10 2 7 2 19 2 21 - 118 pts

23rd: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 10 (13) 7 8 11 7 10 (16) 10 3 7 25 10 - 121 pts

49erFX (57) boats

1st: Martine Grael / Kahena Kunze (BRA) 2 2 2 1 1 3 1 1 (6) 4 2 2 - 21 pts

2nd: Annermiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz (NED) 3 3 1 2 3 2 (6) 3 1 6 3 5 - 32 pts

3rd: Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey (GBR) 4 1 3 1 1 2 2 (13) 3 30 UFD 1 4 - 52 pts

5th: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) (8) 3 5 3 2 1 1 5 2 21 4 15 - 62 pts

Nacra 17 (55 boats)

1st: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 6 4 2 1 1 2 3 2 2 1 6 2 - 26 pts

2nd: Lin Cenholt / CP Lubeck (DEN) 5 2 3 2 3 3 4 1 3 2 3 1 - 27 pts

3rd: Ruggero Tita / Caterina Banti (ITA) 1 1 1 1 1 (7) 1 2 4 4 10 3 - 29 pts

9th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 4 4 3 4 3 (11) 2 8 2 3 9 17 - 59 pts

Results and standings after day 4 of the Finn European championships in Athens:

Finn (84 boats)

1st: Giles Scott (GBR) 1 3 1 3 (23) 14 3 3 - 28 pts

2nd: Zsombor Berecz (HUN) 9 2 4 (22) 17 5 4 2 - 43 pts

3rd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 5 1 3 17 3 1 (25) 20 - 50 pts

7th: Josh Junior (NZL) 11 8 22 12 19 (28) 23 4 - 99 pts

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