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11 December 2005, 01:07 pm
CASEY And SLINGSBY Rule The Waves Of Waterloo
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Sail Brisbane 2005
Brisbane, Australia

Leading Australian Olympic Laser dinghy skippers Brendan CASEY and Tom SLINGSBY have predictably become engaged in a match race on their home waters for the 2005 ISAF Grade 3 Sail Brisbane title on the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron course.
CASEY, exercising his enormous experience of sailing on the tricky Waterloo Bay course, read the variable wind direction changes when the breeze swung from south east through to east north east to leave his impression on the opening heat.

Sailing One-Design never makes allowances for the tactician who makes mistakes and it was very easy to write off a dumb tack when the breeze left a number of skippers with the wrong race plan.

However CASEY, who is using this series as a warm up trial for the Open Australian title later this month, made sure he was on the correct side of the changes to win the first heat over SLINGSBY. New Zealand skipper Michael BULLOT claimed third place points just ahead of Sweden's Henrik BOQUIST.

The tense tactical duel continued in heat two but this time it was SLINGSBY's turn to inflict some grief on the older CASEY giving him a blanket type wind shadow at every possible opportunity.

SLINGSBY relentlessly retained the pressure on his rival and made sure he had the upper hand when it counted most eventually claiming and equally impressive win to tie the series on 2,1 compared with CASEY 1,2.

A consistent 3,3 by Kiwi BULLOT allowed him to clearly lead the battle for the bronze medal.

Former Queensland Champion Moth skipper Greg ADAMS has entered into what promises to be a very close and tight tactical battle to decide the Laser Radial winner.

ADAMS has a 2,3 while New South Wales helmsman Mark LANGFORD who shared the first place points in heat one with Queensland's Nick FLUTTER heads the point score with a 1,3 while young Noosa River sailor Ryan PALK remains in contention with a 4,1.

Sure there was an element of doubt with some skippers becoming a little hesitant on which side of the course to 'play'.

But Queensland's Jacqeline VAN SOEST had a good handle on the conditions scoring two wins in her dinghy Just Cruisin to lead the Laser 4.7 class from former National Sabot silver medallist Klade HAUSCHILDT who steered Predator into a 2,2 score while New South Wales' Keirin SEARLE holds third with a 3,3.

Matthew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS hold a perfect score to lead the 470 class, while Nathan OUTTERIDGE, showing little signs of the serious motor vehicle accident which almost ended a brilliant career late last year, has skillfully skippered Harken to a 1,1,1 in the 49er.

The regatta continues on Waterloo Bay tomorrow with the fleet expected to face continuing uncertain winds as the summer temps soar before the finals decide the winners at the 2005 Ronstan Sail Brisbane on Wednesday.

Ian Grant (As Amended By ISAF)
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