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24 January 2005, 09:40 am
World Champion Leads
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Formula Windsurfing Oceanic Championship
Elwood Beach, Australia

The cream of Australia's windsurfing talent and a handful of top internationals are at Elwood beach for the Oceanic and Australian Formula Windsurfing Championships.
Day One of the four-day regatta had 49 riders (46 male, 3 female) complete four races in southerly winds that built from a light 7-8 knots for Race 1 to 15 knots by Race 2.

Leading the Aussie charge was Sean O'BRIEN from Brisbane. The 21-year-old made the most of fluky conditions in Race 1 and lead from start to finish. He finished 20 seconds ahead of Denmark's Jesper VESTERSTROM with Jonathan SQUIRES (NZL) third.

Dual world champion, Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI, from Poland, had a slow start to the day. He was late to the start of Race 1 and finished fifth, but the 28-year-old soon redeemed himself, winning the following three races.

Brzozowski has made the unscheduled trip Down Under to get a handle on the conditions at Elwood - the venue for December's Formula Windsurfing World Championships. So far, so good, he says.

'It's steady wind, perfect conditions and once I nailed the start (of Race 2), I raced really well,' Brzozowski said.

'The standard race strategy seems to work here: there is wind close in to the beach, then in the Bay it is dying off. But in generally, these are very steady, stable winds and it's hard to find such a place on the planet so I believe it will be great in December.'

Brzozowski finished Race 2 in 12.46mins, almost a minute ahead of Vesterstrom (13.42mins) with New Zealand's JP TOBIN third (14.02mins) and O'Brien fourth. Race 3 and Brzozowski beat home Perth-based Dane Jesper ORTH and Vesterstrom. The Danes switched places in Race 4, but it was still Brzozowski in first (10.24mins). After four of the 15 scheduled races, Brzozowski leads from Vesterstrom and Orth. Sam Parker (NSW) is well placed after two fourth places.

Of the three women racing alongside the men, Allison SHREEVE (NSW) leads from Anna DAVIS (VIC) and Kiwi Hayley THOM despite a nightmare start to the regatta. Shreeve's sail ripped two minutes before the start of race one and she had to be towed in. She made it to the start line for race two in the nick of time with a new sail - Sean O'BRIEN's spare.
Michelle Ainley (As Amended by ISAF)
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