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Andy Maloney

Kiwi dominance continues at World Cup Series Final

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Andy Maloney and Josh Junior can often be found together and they've transferred that to the race course at the Hempel World Cup Series Final where they have won all five Finn races between them.

Junior won two of the three races on the third day in Marseille, with Maloney taking out the other, which leaves Maloney with a one-point lead over his fellow Kiwi. Sweden's Max Salminen is eight points behind Junior in third.

Only 12 boats are competing in the Finn class in Marseille but the dominance of the Kiwis is impressive. Maloney has finished in the top two in all five races to carry on his impressive form of late which has seen him win the Princess Sofia Regatte in Palma and finish second at the Finn European championships in Athens.

Junior has won three of the five races but was disqualified from the second race today for being over the start line so has a much bigger discard for his worst result on his score sheet.

"Josh and I both had really good days today," Maloney said. "We had about 12-16 knots of breeze, onshore, with some really big waves so it was really fun, physical sailing out there.

"It was obviously a good day with Josh taking a couple of wins and myself winning the middle race so both of us found ourselves at the front of the fleet pretty much in every race. We managed to extend in a couple of them and had some pretty good battles between us.

"In the first race, Josh managed to sneak across the line about half a boat length in front of me, which was a pretty exciting finish. We were both going 100 to try to beat one another and we are having a lot of fun out there."

The pair have developed a very close working relationship, sharing everything in training in the belief it will give whoever goes to next year's Olympics the best chance of winning gold. They understand the brutal reality that only one of them can go to Tokyo but will work as a team until the Olympics roll around.

There are two more days of fleet racing in the Finn class until Sunday night's (NZ time) top 10 medal race. 

"We're about halfway through the event now so there's still a lot of racing to go but we are obviously going quite nicely and we're really happy with how things are progressing over here. We will keep sticking to what we are doing well. There's a lot of breeze in the forecast tomorrow so hopefully we get out there and get some more wild racing in the offshore [conditions]." 

The Nacra 17 fleet have only one more day of fleet racing before their medal race and Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders are eighth heading into the business end of the regatta.

The pair banked four top-10 results today in the 24-boat fleet, with their best a fourth in the first race of the day, to leave them 40 points behind Italy's Vittorio Bissaro and Maelle Frascari in the lead.

Results and standings after day 3 of the Hempel World Cup Series Final in Marseille:

Finn (13 boats)

1st: Andy Maloney (NZL) (2) 1 2 1 2 - 6 points
2nd: Josh Junior (NZL) 1 4 1 (13 UFD) 1 - 7 pts

3rd: Max Salminen (SWE) (11) 2 5 4 4 - 15 pts

Nacra 17 (24 boats)

1st: Vittorio Bissaro / Maelle Frascari (ITA) (8) 4 2 1 1 2 5 2 1 - 18 pts
2nd: John Gimson / Anna Burnet (GBR) 3 (12) 1 5 3 5 2 5 2 - 26 pts
3rd: Billy Besson / Marie Riou (FRA) 1 1 5 7 2 6 3 (25 RET) 4 - 29 pts

8th: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) (11) 10 7 4 8 4 9 10 6 - 58 pts

Full results

Pic: Andy Maloney has finished in the top two in all five Finn races to date. Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing.