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31 December 2005, 06:34 pm
CASEY In Command
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Laser Australian Championship 2005
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Brisbane, Australia

Gold Coast based Olympic Laser class helmsman Brendan CASEY continued to show his ability to sail smart in light winds to retain a 1 point lead in the ISAF Grade 2 Australian Championship on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay today.
CASEY forced to read the best advantages from a variable 6-8 knot sea breeze consolidated the defence of his Australian championship trophy with a perfect 1-1-1-1 score to lead by 1 point overall from his arch rival Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) of Gosford.

SLINGSBY like CASEY won both of his fleet section races on day one but failed to match the tactics, technique and speed off New Zealander Michael BULLOT when both skippers became involved in a personal dog fight in the important fourth race today.

The skilled BULLOT black flagged in heat 1 has started a fight back and is still considered to be a strong contender after his impressive win.

However Brendan CASEY showing the tactical class that gained him a sixth in the World championship in Fortaleza Brazil has been the master performer in a completely contrasting wind velocity.

He has knuckled down to the task at hand utilizing his personal knowledge of sailing in the tricky winds and swift flowing current to have a perfect score after four demanding races.

CASEY leads his fleet by 5pts from New Zealander's Andrew MURDOCK 9pts and David WEAVER on 17pts while SLINGSBY on 5pts holds a six point buffer over Canadian Michael Leigh 11 points and Marc DE HAS from Holland on 20pts in his fleet.

The consistent score compiled by Mathieu FREI (1-1-1-4) of France has allowed him to hold a narrow one point overall lead in the 123 competitor Laser Radial fleet championship which featured a host of general recalls and number of black flags today.

FREI is being pursued by the experienced and talented Australian helmswomen Krystal WEIR 3-3-1-1 8pts and Sarah Blanck 2-6-2-2 12pts.

Queenslander Jacqueline VAN SOEST has capitalized on her 2-4-9-3 in frustrating light winds to be the overall leader in the very competitive 4.7 class series.

She has called the right tactical strategy to currently lead the New South Wales skipper David CHAPMAN 3-2-11-5 while Victoria's Claire HUNTING remains in contact with her 6-7-5-4.

However all three will be under a threat when the championship racing resumes on Monday because the clever 16 year old Noosa River skipper Klade HAUSCHILDT the class Gold Medalist from the Ronstan Sail Brisbane Regatta has moved into tenth overall counting his first race OCS with a 1-4-6.

Ian Grant (As Amended By ISAF)
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