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12 January 2006, 11:23 am
MAZARD Continues To Shine
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Optimist Australian Championship 2006
Brisbane, Australia

Polite teenage Optimist dinghy helmsman Maxime MAZARD (FRA) has the chance to return to his home town of Noumea in New Caledonia with an impressive trophy in his sail bag. During the past week MAZARD has shown the tactical sailing talent to lead a predominate light wind regatta to decide the 2006 Optimist Australian Championship and the winner of Wallace Bishop Trophy generously donated by former RQYS Commodore Wallace BISHOP.
He enters the final two races on a tricky Waterloo Bay course with a commanding six point lead built from consistent sailing in a breeze which was spiced with unpredictable swings in direction and velocity.

The good sailors have the skill to sort the best from the rest and MAZARD, who was a front runner from the start sharing the points lead with his New Caledonia team mate Nicholas POREE and West Australian Mark WHITTINGTON, deserved his opportunity the lead into the final day after completing ten races with a 1,5,5,2,1,2,1,3,8,2.

Furthermore he has the points on the board and only needs to avoid any rule infringements and gear failure to win the event with a race to spare.

However the gifted young sailor who has adapted to sailing fast in the Waterloo slop has the task of sailing clean and finishing in the top seven to win the championship before lunch tomorrow.

His score in all previous ten races suggests he has the capability but there is a strong chance that both second placed WHITTINGTON, on 23 points, and the other major medal contender POREE, on 25 points, are not going to allow MAZARD a trouble free sail to claim the Australian title trophy.

There will surely be a tactical showdown with MAZARD being targeted from both sides as WHITTINGTON and POREE express their individual technique and tactical skills in a bid to claim an upset win.

Consistency combined with the fact that MAZARD has beaten both WHITTINGTON and POREE in seven of the ten races so far suggests the likeable young skipper will survive to win what has proved to be an exciting series.

The battle for the minor medals is close with POREE holding a 6,4 advantage while WHITTINGTON takes a two point lead with his 12,13 discards compared with POREE's 6,8. They are even closer when the elapsed margins are taken into account with WHITTINGTON's best eight races averaging just four seconds faster than POREE.

This situation sets the stage for an exciting final day on Waterloo Bay tomorrow.

Ian GRANT (As Amended By ISAF)
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