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5 January 2006, 11:05 am
CASEY Retains His Title
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Laser Australian Championship 2005
Brisbane, Australia

Southport's Brendan CASEY (AUS) survived a tactical dogfight with Gosford's Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) before he successfully defended his ISAF Grade 2 Laser Australian Olympic Championship Trophy over the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron course earlier today.
The overall medal places are yet to be officially confirmed but CASEY, with a consistent score of 1,1,1,1,2,1,1,1,1,3 and discarding a 3,21 as allowed under the racing rules, has finished the twelve race series with 13 points and a six point winning margin over SLINGSBY.

As expected a real war on the waters of Waterloo Bay erupted when SLINGSBY, who needed to bury his older and more experienced rival CASEY back in the pack to have any chances of winning, started his aggressive attack in the starting area during the first race today.

He was successful in pushing CASEY back in the pack but the big Queenslander never let his rival off the hook forcing him to apply a tight cover on both the upwind and downwind legs with SLINGSBY and CASEY using the result as their gold medal round discards.

The tactical contest between the two master tacticians was even with CASEY holding the advantage with a more consistent score. All he needed to do was stay in contact and not allow SLINGSBY to escape to reduce the points lead before the title deciding final heat.

CASEY, a former Laser Radial World Champion, had survived other close encounters before and was in control to eventually win the title by finishing third in the twelfth heat.

This was his third Australian title win in 14 years of Laser racing at the national level and easily his most convincing, finishing six points clear of SLINGSBY, who now has a collection of silver medals after he and CASEY finished with the same results on Lake Macquarie in 2005.

Ian GRANT (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Action from the Laser 4.7 fleet:© Marine Photography
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