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Maloney and Meech win World Champs warm-up; Tuke and Burling take third

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have spearheaded a strong Kiwi effort at this year's Oceania yachting championships in Auckland, weeks out from the World Championships which will be held at the same venue.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech competing in the women's 49er race in Rio. Source: 1 NEWS

Meech and Maloney won the 49erFX class after starting the final day in third, pipping Germany's Tina Lutz and Susan Beucke and the USA's Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea.

Meech said they won't get comfortable with the result, though.

"It's nice to win the training event but we really see it as training and getting used to racing again and the race courses," Meech said. "The big one is next week, so we'll be refocusing on that.

"We can see we are going alright in the fleet and some of our routines, like starting, are coming along nicely. It's a bit of a confidence booster going into worlds."

World renowned Kiwi duo Blair Tuke and Peter Burling made a confident return to skiff racing ahead of the World Championships - which also doubles as an Olympic qualifier for the pair - with a third place finish in the 49er event.

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The event is a chance for New Zealand's favourite sailing duo to stake their claim for the Tokyo Olympics. Source: 1 NEWS

"To get a third is not first but is not bad," Tuke said.

"We left a lot of points out there. All in all we are pretty happy with how we are going, especially now that we have a few more days. Next week is when it really matters."

Fellow Kiwi 49er duo Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie finished fourth in the event. New Zealand also had three Nacra 17 crews finish inside the top 15.

Burling said all eyes are now on next week and who can take momentum into Tokyo.

"There are a lot of good boats here and the fleet is always at a really high level. It's going to be about who puts together the best week. You can't really make too many mistakes in these big events if you are going to win.

"It's bloody exciting. Where would you rather be?"

Oceania Championships, Auckland, final results:

Nacra 17

1st Ben Saxton / Nicola Boniface GBR 3-1; 14pts

2nd Billy Besson / Marie Riou FRA (16)-2; 36pts

3rd Thomas Zajac / Barbara Matz AUT 1-(11); 43pts

4th Quentin Delapierre / Manon Audinet FRA 6-8; 47pts

5th Jason Waterhouse / Lisa Darmanin AUS 13-(13); 51pts

49erFX

1st Alexendra Maloney / Molly Meech NZL 3-2-7; 37pts

2nd Stephanie Roble / Maggie Shea USA (26)-13-6; 42pts

3rd Patricia Suarez / Nicole van der Velden ESP 1-12-4; 47pts

4th Tine Lutz / Susann Böcke GER 12-3-10; 50pts

5th Charlotte Dobson / Saskia Tidey GBR 5-(15)-2; 50pts

49er

1st Benjamin Bildstein / David Hussl GER 1-6-10; 28pts

2nd Diego Botin / Iago López Marra ESP (9)-1-4; 31pts

3rd Peter Burling / Blair Tuke NZL (11)-2-5; 35pts

4th Isaac McHardie / William McKenzie NZL 8-4-(18); 48pts

5th Mathieu Frei / Noe Delpech FRA 10-(10)-6; 50pts