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9 January 2006, 11:57 am
POREE Posts Important Points
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Optimist Australian Championship 2006
Brisbane, Australia

Nicholas POREE sailing under the famed French national flag skilfully helmed his Noumea registered Optimist dinghy into a narrow two point lead in the 2006 Open Australian Championship on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay today.
POREE failed to be daunted with the tactical task of mastering an unusually soft and variable south east breeze to become the star performer in the exciting short course format which featured close finishes in all four heats.

He failed to win a heat but his consistency in making the right decisions allowed him to record a 2,4,2,3 in what is proving to be an exciting tactical duel for the Wallace Bishop Jewelers trophy between the best Optimist sailors from New Caledonia, American Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.

His team mate Maxime MAZARD made the early break for clean wind in heat one and that was ultimately turned into a eleven second winning margin when he held on to beat POREE while West Australia's Mark WHITTINGTON filled third another eight seconds off the pace.

A slight increase in wind velocity and a tactically clever first windward allowed WHITTINGTON to win the second heat over South Australian Tahali KIKUCHI,MILLE by 19 seconds with Etiene LE PEN proving the strength of Noumea's Optimist squad by filling third just one second in advance of POREE.

After three heats WHITTINGTON 3,1,3 held a temporary grip on progressive points when LE PEN became the third different heat winner in another excitingly tight finish that remained up for grabs before he claimed his three second margin over team mate POREE.

Unfortunately the moment of glory for WHITTINGTON stumbled when he could only finish twelfth in the fourth heat, which was convincingly won by New Zealand's Queen Charlotte Yacht Club skipper Declan BURN while POREE's team mate MAZARD forced him to accept third place by another three second margin.

Those critical six seconds proved the difference between POREE leading the championship by a four point margin.

However he shows the promise to be the pace setter when another four heats of the twelve race championship are decided in possibly stronger winds tomorrow.

Ian GRANT. Image, Action from day one:© Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron
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