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13 January 2006, 11:23 am
MAZARD Wins Optimist Nationals
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Optimist Australian Championship 2006
Brisbane, Australia

Maxime MAZARD (FRA) showed the tactical skills of a Waterloo Bay veteran when he mastered the moderate twelve to 14 knot sea breeze to score a runaway 15 point win in the Australian Optimist Championship in Brisbane earlier today.
The exceptionally talented twelve year old, who only had a geographical knowledge of Brisbane and less of Waterloo Bay before the Championship series began, certainly showed his class as a future champion in senior racing with his personal ability to make the most use of the available wind that blew over the cockpit of his snub nose dinghy.

All of his 42 other rivals representing clubs from American Samoa, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia had the same chance to win the strict one design championship.

However it was the applied race strategy and boat handling skills consistently produced with limited errors that sorted the best from the rest.

In fact MAZARD always seemed to have that extra edge and produced his best results when the pressure was on.

He sailed onto the course today only requiring a placing above seventh in either of the two final heats to win the Wallace Bishop trophy.

There was absolutely no hint of a relaxed attitude when MAZARD slipped into racing mode well before the start signal as he evaluated the wind flow over the course and selected where he wanted to be when the start signal was fired.

All of this pre race preparation was converted onto the course with MAZARD wining the Championship with a race to spare after he left his major rivals back in the pack.

MAZARD was in a class of his own winning the 27 minute and 18 second race eleven by 46 seconds over Tasmania's Thomas KENNEDY with Nicolas POREE (FRA) another four seconds astern while the next six were more tightly grouped finishing seconds apart.

There was another near faultless repeat when MAZARD won heat twelve to record a deserved championship win claiming the title with the remarkably consistent 1,5,2,1,2,1,3,2,1,1 from his best ten races.

His club mate POREE completed the major medal double for the New Caledonia Optimist racing team when he answered the challenge with a 3,9 to force Fremantle skipper Mark WHITTINGTON (AUS) to accept the bronze medal when he struggled in disturbed wind and water back in the pack to finish with a 6,13.

Ian GRANT (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Brisbane:© Marine Photography
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