Sailing Duo Set Sights on World Championship
By Radix Team 21/07/2017 8:58 am
Maloney & Meech

New Zealand’s sailing superstars, Molly Meech and Alex Maloney have just returned to home soil, having spent several weeks training in Europe and taking part in two international sailing regattas – their first big races together since August last year. The Olympic 49er Silver Medallists are now preparing for a week of training near Milford, along with several of the Kiwi 49er men – sailors whom the ladies have come to see as mentors as well as friends. Radix caught up with the pair while both are briefly back in Auckland to get the low-down on their trip.

Maloney: “Our first event was a return visit to the World Sailing Finals in Santander, Spain, from 6 - 10th June. We sailed well and had a strong chance at the medals, but sadly received a harsh points penalty because our boat was too light. Obviously, we hadn’t planned for something like this to happen and we hadn’t foreseen it. It’s a mistake we won’t make again in a hurry!”

At the end of day one, the pair were leading the fleet of fifteen boats, before a 50 percent penalty was imposed on their three races of the day. Despite this, the ladies placed a respectable fifth. Without the penalty, they’d have likely finished in the top two.

Meech: “It was good to return to such a great event and it confirmed we are still in the ‘ball park’. Although we were a little rusty after so long out of competition and obviously made a grave error with the boat!

Both agree it is hard to judge how they compare to competition right now, as there are still several teams yet to reappear on the scene after Rio’s Olympic Games last year.

Meech : “Currently, I think the British sailors, Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey are the ones to watch. The Brazilians will no doubt come out strong too.”

Sam Clark wins the C2C

Kiel Week kicked off in Hamburg, Germany on 21st June. Before that, there was a little downtime to explore and Maloney even found time to squeeze in a university exam.

Meech: “We heard Kiel Week might be cold, so we were a little apprehensive – but we got a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t cold and there was a fantastic buzz amongst the competitors. There were lots of different boats taking part and once we got into our stride, Alex and I sailed well.”

Maloney: “Kiel Week was incredible and very busy. It was energising racing again, experiencing the ever-changing highs and lows – I love the adrenaline! I’m happy with our second place; hot on the heels of British Tidey and Dobson.”

Sam Clark wins the C2C

Meech: “Despite all the changes in circumstance while away from home, we were glad to have Radix meals – ensuring finding nutritious food just when we wanted it was never a concern.”

Maloney: “It was my first time travelling and eating Radix meals instead of in-flight meals and the difference in how I felt was incredible. Normally, I feel rough after eating plane food or convenience food on the road. Even after flying long-haul half way around the world, I stepped off the plane feeling relatively fresh. Quite the revelation!”

The pair are now focussed on their Olympic campaign – analysing where improvements can be made. Their next goal is the 49er FX World Championship in Porto, Portugal, from August 28th to September 2nd.

Meech: “We have work to do, but we put in good performances recently and will build on those in the coming months before Worlds.”

Maloney: “I’m happy to be back doing what I love and the drive is there to knuckle down and fight now. With the World Championship around the corner, motivation is strong. Molly and I arrived back in Auckland last week. It’s been a busy week of admin and getting prepared to get back on the water. Ideally, we sail three to four times per week while in New Zealand and mix that with cross training and the gym.”

Sam Clark wins the C2C

Meech: “We hit the gym often – it is all about making ourselves strong for the boat. For me, weight training is very important – I must be strong enough to pull the kite up and down often. We do core work for stability, which is vital when you are in a boat like the 49er. We alternate between whole body and upper body workouts; the latter I am less keen on… they are brutal!”

Follow the Radix Bulletin as Meech and Maloney prepare for the World Championship later this year.

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