Peter Burling and Blair Tuke should add yet another 49er sailing title to their bulging CV on Monday (NZ time) as they head into the medal race at the World Cup regatta in France with a whopping 45-point lead.
With a comfortable margin already, Burling and Tuke were able to further extend that on the penultimate day of racing in Hyeres on Sunday.
The London Olympic silver medallists notched a second and first from the first two races before finishing 21st in the third, a result they were able to discard from their points tally.
Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics but have played second fiddle to the Kiwis ever since, are 45 points back in second place.
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski weren’t able to secure a position in the 49er medal race; with three double-digit results they dropped back to 13th place and this will stand as their final result.
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech will go into the women’s 49erFX medal race in ninth place.
Meanwhile, two excellent results from Olympic 470 champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie has put them within reach of the podium. They opened the penultimate day with a win and followed that with a third, and now hold fourth overall just one point adrift of the third-placed French crew and six back from the leaders.
Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan hold the lead on 41 points from Brits Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark on 43 points.
“Finally a better day on the water for us, bounced back from the annoyances of yesterday, got a few things a little more sorted and just enjoyed ourselves out there today,” Aleh said.
“So even after our fails mid regatta, we are back in the hunt now … so basically it’s all on for tomorrow’s medal race.”
In the men’s 470, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox retained fifth place but they are well off the pace.
Andy Maloney will represent New Zealand in the Laser medal race, lying eighth overall, while Thomas Saunders ends the regatta in 12th, Sam Meech two places back in 14th and Mike Bullot 19th. In the women’s Laser Radial, Sara Winther finishes 21st.
Josh Junior will sail the Finn medal race after climing from 13th to eighth with a second and 11th from Sunday’s two races.
Andrew Murdoch also had a good day on the water, with a sixth and eighth, but having been hampered by gear damage on the second day Murdoch had to settle for 12th overall.
Elsewhere, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders finished 17th in the Nacra 17 multihull class and Natalia Kosinska was 16th in the women’s RS:X boardsailing.