Multiple Kiwi sailing crews chasing Olympic medals

New Zealand’s sailing team at this year’s Olympics are nearing the end of their campaigns in Enoshima with multiple crews in the hunt for medals.

Some crews have three more races to go before their respective medal race while others only have one before the finale.

Here’s how each crew sits so far.

Men’s 49er – Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

New Zealand's Peter Burling, left, and Blair Tuke. Source: Associated Press

The headliners of the New Zealand sailing team are right in the hunt after nine races, sitting in a tie for first place with Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell.

Tuke and Burling got off to a rough start in their Olympic gold defence with a 12th place finish in the 19-strong field in their opening race.

However since then they’ve accrued seven top-10 finishes and five podiums, one of which was a win.

The Kiwis and Brits have challengers on their tails though with Spain one point back on 35 and Denmark just five points adrift on 39.

The men’s 49er class has three more races to go before the medal race on Monday.

Women’s 49er FX – Alex Maloney and Molly Meech

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech of Team New Zealand capsize during the Women's Skiff - 49er FX class race 1 on day four of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Source: Getty

Maloney and Meech are doing their best to recover from a tough first day and have managed to fight their way into ninth halfway through their regatta.

A capsize in their opening race along with a disqualification in the following race left the Kiwi crew in a rough spot.

Since then though, Maloney and Meech have finished inside the top five in three of four races.

They’ll need plenty more results like that to catch up to the top three of their class though, with the Kiwis 21 points adrift of bronze and 28 points behind leaders Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey from Great Britain.

The women’s 49er FX has six more races before their medal race on Monday.

Men’s 470 – Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox

New Zealand's Dan Willcox and Paul Snow-Hansen compete during the 470 men race at the Enoshima harbour. Source: Associated Press

Snow-Hansen and Willcox are right in the hunt for a medal this year although reining in the front runners for gold may be a tough task.

The Kiwis sit third with 27 points after six races, having placed no lower than seventh so far.

Spain are behind them in fourth, sitting one point adrift thanks to their first place finish in the latest race.

Great Britain’s Luke Patience and Chris Grube are five points ahead of the Kiwis in second while Australian duo Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan have dominated the regatta so far with an incredible 11 points through six races.

The Aussies have never finished lower than fifth in the six races so far, having won two races and earned two more podium finishes.

With just four races left before the medal race, they’ll be hard for anyone to catch but if Snow-Hansen and Willcox can continue their form, they’ll be putting enough pressure on to be in the conversation.

The men’s 470 medal race is the penultimate final for sailing at this year’s Games, taking place next Wednesday.

Men’s Finn – Josh Junior

Josh Junior in action at the Tokyo Olympics. Source: Photosport

Junior is in the middle of the pack after six races in the men’s finn, sitting on 33 points to hold seventh in the regatta with four races to go.

To crack the top three, Junior will have to overcome a 12-point deficit in the remaining races with Hungary’s Zsombor Berecz currently in bronze medal position.

Way ahead of the pack and dominating the class is Great Britain’s Giles Scott, who has accumulated just 13 points in six races, with Spain’s Joan Cardona Mendez one point back on 14.

Scott has the edge on the duo though thanks to an impressive streak of four-straight first place finishes he’ll look to maintain

The men’s finn medal race is next Tuesday.

Mixed Nacra 17 – Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson

Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson compete in Tokyo. Source: Photosport

Wilkinson and Dawson are running out of time to make up ground in their regatta.

The Kiwi crew sit 12th halfway through the 12-race regatta before the medal race, having accumulated 54 points in six races so far.

Wilkinson and Dawson have managed just one top-10 finish, an eighth in race five. They sit 35 points back of third-placed Germany currently.

Meanwhile, at the top of the class, Italy’s Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti are ruling the roost on just eight points having finished in the podium of every one of their recorded results so far, including three race wins.

The Nacra 17 medal race is also on Tuesday.

Men’s Laser – Sam Meech

Sam Meech in Tokyo. Source: Photosport

Meech’s chances of medalling in Tokyo are slim with just two races to go before the medal race.

Despite two podium finishes in his recent races, Meech is 14th with 75 points, 26 points adrift of third-placed Norwegian sailor Hermann Tomasgaard.

The men’s laser medal race is on Sunday.