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Three Kiwis in top 10 in Hyeres

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Three Kiwis in top 10 in Hyeres_2
George Gautrey has posted seven top-10 results and is sixth overall in Hyeres. Photo: Eric Bellande / FF Voile / SOF 2019.

Three of New Zealand's Laser sailors are in the top 10 at the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères but all admitted to having their struggles at times on day four of the regatta.

Sam Meech continues to be the best-placed of the Kiwis but slipped from second to fourth on the back of two 13th-placed results on the first day of gold fleet racing. George Gautrey is sixth after two ninths and Tom Saunders is 10th after a third and an 11th.

Matthew Wearn tightened his grip at the top of the leaderboard and now holds an eight-point lead over Luke Elliott with Olympic champion Tom Burton rounding out an all-Australian top three another nine points behind.

Meech just couldn't find his rhythm on a day when the top 35 sailors all came together in gold fleet.

"It was not a great day for me today," he said. "I actually got better starts today, which is what I wanted to do after yesterday, but just didn't really put the boat in the right place.

"I was in positions halfway up the first beats I could have converted into decent roundings [at the top mark] but just didn't do it, so that was a little bit disappointing.

"There are still three races tomorrow so there are still good opportunities to be had on top of the medal race on Saturday. There is still lots of racing to go."

That's the main aim of Gautrey, who is looking to establish himself in the Laser fleet after his 2018 was blighted by illness. The 21-year-old is a member of New Zealand's strong Laser squad and has posted seven top-10 results in his last seven races.

"It was a tricky day because I got myself in some sticky situations but managed to drag out a couple of half-decent results," he said. "For me, this regatta is a little less about the result and more about building on my experience. I'm looking to be consistent and will go from there.

"With three races tomorrow, there is a lot of moving to do in the fleet so let's see how it goes. I'm just enjoying being out on the race course [after last year]."

Annabelle Rennie-Younger was 10th in the second race of the Laser Radial on day four, her second top-10 result of the regatta, and is 24th overall. Fellow New Zealander Olivia Christie is one place ahead.

The Laser Radial title looks to be a two-horse race, with Hungary's Maria Erdi holding a slim lead over Finland's Tuula Tenkanen and American Paige Railey 26 points behind in third.

Results and standings after the fourth day of the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères:

Laser (69 boats)

1st: Matthew Wearn (AUS) (7) 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 - 9 points

2nd: Luke Elliott (AUS) 3 (8) 3 1 1 2 1 6 - 17 pts

3rd: Tom Burton (AUS) 4 3 1 8 6 3 (15) 3 - 28 pts

4th: Sam Meech (NZL) 1 1 9 3 2 1 (13) 13 - 30 pts

6th: George Gautrey (NZL) (22) 3 10 2 4 3 9 9 - 40 pts

10th: Tom Saunders (NZL) (21) 2 11 6 12 5 3 11 - 50 pts

22nd: Josh Armit (NZL) 19 18 4 16 9 7 24 (27) - 97 pts

Silver fleet

61st: Luke Deegan (NZL) 26 (30) 28 25 30 24 21 16 - 170 pts

Laser Radial (50 boats)

1st: Maria Erdi (HUN) 1 4 (11) 5 5 1 8 (15) - 35 pts

2nd: Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) 17 6 1 1 1 3 (19) 7 - 36 pts

3rd: Paige Railey (USA) (51 UFD) 1 3 7 11 2 7 31 - 62 pts

23rd: Olivia Christie (NZL) 31 11 21 9 12 37 (45) 28 - 149 pts

24th: Annabelle Rennie-Younger (NZL) 8 25 29 31 21 27 (34) 10 - 151 pts

Full results here

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