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30 December 2005, 01:00 pm
The Heat Is On
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Laser Australian Championship 2005
Brisbane, Australia

A sweaty 83% humidity combined with a typically hot day failed to cool down when the mixed fleet of 250 Laser skippers representing 15 nations prepared for battle on Brisbane's Waterloo Bay today, to contest the ISAF Grade 2 Australian Laser Championship.
As expected there were the tests of character with the usual list of general recalls, individual protests and applications for redress when the high performance fleet braced the hot conditions for the points in what will prove to be a very close and interesting battle to decide the open 2005 Laser, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 Australian Champions.

The jury were forced to revise their dinner appointment before a provisional list of results were released at 2100 hours local time following an intense day of exciting one design racing in a breeze which fell six knots short of the 20 knot north east sea breeze forecast.

Predictably the championship favourites Brendan CASEY (AUS) and the younger Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) are squaring off for a title dogfight after recording perfect 1,1 scores to lead their respective fleets at the end of day one.

Both skippers looked sharp starting in clear wind and electing to squeeze the most from the breeze that blew over the deck.

This careful tactical attitude paved the way for CASEY and SLINGSBY to show why they are closely ranked as Australia's best.

CASEY who has raced a lot of hard miles on Waterloo Bay valued this experience to lead New Zealand's Andrew MURDOCH 2,2 while Canadian Michael LEIGH raced consistently on an unfamiliar course to hold third with a 2,4.

However SLINGSBY holds a more comfortable four point lead in his fleet from the Netherland's Marc DE HAS 4,2 and Australia's Marc TONNER-JOYCE 3,4.

French skipper Mathieu FREI was too classy winning both heats in the Radial class to be the overall leader from RQYS skipper and Ronstan Sail Brisbane gold medallist Greg ADAMS 2,4 while Krystal WEIR (AUS) expressed her gifted skills to record a 3,3 to claim third overall and top end the first day as top women.

Title favourite Klade HAUSCHILDT blew out his point score with an OCS in the first race of the highly competitive 4.7 Nationals, however he showed his class as a tactical fighter by recording an important win in heat two.

After two races, David CHAPMAN 3,2 leads Jacqueline VAN SOEST 2,4 and Jonathon DAWES 4,6, into what promises to become a very interesting struggle for overall title honours between the Laser class 'flyweights'.

Ian Grant. Image, Krystal WEIR is showing her class in the Laser Radial:© Jeff Crow at Sport the Library
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