Kiwi Olympic 49erFX silver medalist Molly Meech returned to sailing at the 29er New Zealand Nationals in the Bay of Islands.
Meech was back sailing with her Olympic partner Alex Maloney at the championship, having recovered from a fracture to her foot while training for the 49erFX Worlds in Australia back in February.
The pair had finished second in the 49erFX worlds warmup event in Geelong, when Meech fell awkwardly during a tack while training and injured her foot.
They had to withdraw from the Worlds event and return to New Zealand for specialist treatment.
The pair are selected for Tokyo 2020 in the women’s 49erFX event, but with the lack of international events for the Olympic classes due to the Covid-19 restrictions, took the opportunity return to competitve racing at the Kiwi 29er Championship.
Maloney and Meech won the 29er National title together back in 2011, and although they did not win this time round, they finished eighth overall and first female pair.
They won silver in the 49erFX at the Rio 2016 Games and won the 49erFX World Championship in 2013.
Winners of the 2020 New Zealand 29er National Championships were Mattias Coutts and Cailen Rochford from the Manly SC.
Second in the 40 strong fleet were George Lee Rush and Josh Schon, with in third place Brayden Hamilton and Seb Menzies.
“You can’t beat good quality racing in big fleets,” Yachting New Zealand talent development manager Geoff Woolley said. “This was an opportunity to stay race sharp, and the biggest 29er regatta ever in New Zealand. This quality fleet fills the void of not being able to travel.”