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Aleh, Meech bronze in final Olympic build-up

A bronze medal for Jo Aleh and Molly Meech as they build up to the Olympics
Jo Aleh and Molly Meech have finished their Olympic build up with bronze at Hyeres in France. PHOTO: SAILING ENERGY

Kiwi 49erFX sailors Jo Aleh and Molly Meech, have claimed bronze at the French Olympic Week in Hyeres, their first medal at a major international regatta since teaming up two years ago.


It also signifies progress, says Aleh, and with the Olympic Games now less than three months away, that is as invaluable as the bronze medals around their necks.


Aleh and Meech finished third overall in a nine-boat women's skiff fleet when the scheduled medal race was cancelled due to extreme winds overnight (NZ time). The pair secured the podium spot with strong results across 14 qualifying races, including two race wins.


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Gold went to Dutch crew Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz, with Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler of Sweden taking out silver.


It was only the second time Aleh and Meech had qualified for the medal race at a top regatta since joining forces in early 2022.


The duo have just been selected for the seventh Olympics between them, they have been in a race against time to perfect their partnership in the boat.


Olympic sailing starts on July 28 in Marseille.


The Kiwis will enjoy a few days off before heading to Marseille, where they will be based for the rest of their build-up to the Games. 


Tom Saunders had to settle for fifth overall in a quality ILCA 7 fleet after his medal race, was abandoned.


Saunders finished only nine points behind Germany's Philipp Buhl in third, with Brit Michael Beckett and Matt Wearn (Australia) first and second, respectively.


Though the former world champion was pleased with his progress since finishing 10th at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain three weeks ago, he was ruing another sluggish start to the regatta.


Following a short stint in New Zealand, Saunders will also continue his Olympic build-up in Marseille.


Earlier, Josh Armit and Veerle ten Have both qualified for the medal series of the men's and women's windfoil competitions, while Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie narrowly missed out on a top 10 spot in the 49er event.


McHardie and McKenzie were selected to the Olympic sailing team along with Armit, ten Have, Saunders, Aleh, Meech, Erica Dawson and Micah Wilkinson (Nacra 17).


Still trying to book their spots on the start line in Marseille, are Greta Pilkington (ILCA 6), who impressed with her 16th place in Hyeres, as well as Lukas Walton-Keim (men's kitefoil) and Justina Kitchen (women's kitefoil).


NEW ZEALAND SAILING RESULTS


Results and standings from the 2024 French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France:


49erFX fleet (9 boats)


1. Odile van Aanholt/Annette Duets (Ned) 4 2 2 5 1 1 2 4 (6) 3 5 4 1 2 - 36 points

2. Vilma Bobeck/Rebecca Netzler (Swe) (8) 5 5 1 5 2 6 5 1 1 2 3 2 1 - 39 pts

3. Jo Aleh/Molly Meech (NZ) 7 1 4 2 3 3 (9) 9 7 2 1 2 8 5 - 54 pts



49er fleet (30 boats)


1. Diego Botin/Florian Trittel (Esp) 5 (18) 10 4 3 9 1 1 2 3 8 5 1 12 - 64 pts

2. Dominik Buksak/Szymon Wierzbicki (Pol) 6 19 2 2 5 3 6 5 9 (22) 6 2 6 10 - 81 pts

3. Erwan Fischer/Clément Pequin (Fra) 1 20 12 1 16 (23) 5 8 3 1 2 1 10 9 - 89 pts


12. Isaac McHardie/Will McKenzie (NZ) 28 2 11 13 7 (BFD31) 4 15 15 15 10 9 5 14 - 148 pts

20. Campbell Stanton/Will McKenzie (NZ) 8 12 23 25 (28) 15 11 11 13 20 4 28 28 23 - 221 pts

23. Seb Menzies/George Lee Rush (NZ) 18 27 (29) 22 24 27 26 21 19 14 12 20 20 22 - 272 pts


ILCA 6 fleet (69 boats)


1. Charlotte Rose (USA) 8 19 (23) 1 2 5 4 3 2 - 44 ptsd

2. Marit Bouwmeester (Ned) 1 10 7 3 4 3 (70BFD) 1 18 - 47 pts

3. Line Flem Hoest (Nor) 7 (42) 8 4 17 4 11 8 4 - 63 pts


16. Greta Pilkington (NZ) 24 5 25 25 13 10 20 31 (41) - 154 pts


ILCA 7 fleet (68 boats)


1. Michael Beckett (GBR) 3 1 (18) 8 5 3 5 3 10 - 38 pts

2. Matt Wearn (Aus) 8 5 6 1 6 1 4 8 (9) - 39 pts

3. Philipp Buhl (Ger) 7 20 7 5 9 7 7 1 (27) - 63 pts


5. Tom Saunders (NZ) 15 (44) 1 18 4 6 8 15 5 - 72 pts

60. Caleb Armit (NZ) 48 46 63 52 49 (69BFD) 59 32 64 - 413 pts


Women's windfoil fleet (25 boards)


1. Tamar Steinberg (Isr) (16) 1 (9) 1 1 3 8 8 1 1 - 22 pts

2. Mina Mobekk (Nor) 2 9 (18) (19) 2 2 1 1 2 - 17 pts

3. Palma Čargo (Cro) (14) (18) 5 6 4 11 5 5 1 2 3 - 36 pts


9. Veerle ten Have (NZ) 4 (15) (11) 11 3 1 11 11 6 - 41 pts

17. Stella Bilger (NZ) 15 17 3 16 13.25RDG 18 (21) (21) - 82.25 pts


Men's windfoil fleet (35 boards)


1. Ethan Westera (Aru) (17) (15) 1 7 6 8 9 12 12 2 2 1 - 55 pts

2. Grae Morris (Aus) (27) 3 1 (5) 1 1 4 1 1 2 - 12 pts

3. Nacho Baltasar (Esp) (31) (19) 7 1 5 3 2 11 11 1 1 3 - 40 pts


8. Josh Armit (NZ) 5 1 5 (11) (9) 5 5 7 7 8BFD - 35 pts

22. Thomas Crook (NZ) 9 21 23 (37BFD) (37) 19 22 8 (24) 24 - 126 pts


Women's kitefoil fleet (24 boards)


1. Jessie Kampman (Fra) (5) 2 (4) 3 3 2 (8) 2 1 1 3 1 3 1 - 21 pts

2. Eleanor Aldridge (GBR) 2 (3) (3) (5) 2 3 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 2 - 20 pts

3. Lauriane Nolot (Fra) 9 7 1 1 1 1 3 (16DNC) (25) (17) 2 2 6 3 - 33 pts


19. Lucy Bilger (NZ) 18 (19) 19 (23) 17 16 19 18 14 18 (20) 18 17 - 174 pts


Men's kitefoil fleet (20 boards)


1. Maximilian Maeder (SGP) 1 (3) 1 1 2 (4) (5) 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 - 13 pts

2. Toni Vodisek (Slo) 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 (12DNC) (21) (12) 2 2 2 2 - 17 pts

3. Axel Mazella (Fra) 3 (7) 3 (8) 4 2 3 4 5 3 3 3 (21DNC) 3 - 33 pts


11. Lukas Walton-Keim (NZ) (16) 10 13 6 (14) 10 11 (14) 7 8 10 5 8 - 88 pts


Mixed 470 (28 boats, Last Chance Regatta)

1. Giacomo Ferrari/Alessandra Dubbini (Ita) 2 3 3 1 1 1 5 1 2 (7) 4 - 23 pts

2. Elena Berta/Bruno Festo (Ita) 1 (13) 1 2 2 2 6 2 3 8 16 - 43 pts

3. Tina Mrak/Jakob Bozic (Slo) 3 (9) 7 4 6 9 4 6 1 3 2 - 45 pts


11. Derek Scott/Rebecca Hume (NZ) 13 8 8 13 (24) 8 8 20 12 13 - 103 pts


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