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Trio of ‘bullets’ wind up Laser Championship for world champion    
Sat, 5 Jan 2013

Three straight bullets yesterday wound up a near perfect Laser Radial Australian championship series on Hobart’s windy River Derwent for world champion Tristian Brown.

The 23-year-old Western Australian won nine of the 11 races, finishing with the river again swept by strong northerly winds, gusting to 35 knots and bringing 40 degrees of extreme heat.

Brown, a member of Perth’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club and the Fremantle Sailing Club, dominated the 71 boat Laser Radial throughout the regatta, run by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

In the qualifying series, in which the fleet was split, he had six wins and two seconds and yesterday he won all three gold fleet races to decide the final placegetters.

'It was a very hard regatta, the winds were quite strong at times and very shifty and it was the same today,' he said after the final gold fleet race.'We had heaps of wind for the final race.

Brown has just completed his university studies in WA, graduating as a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Sports Management.

Second overall in the Laser Radial class went to Victorian Tom Vincent and third and fourth to two other West Australians Mark Spearman, also a member of RFBYC and FSC, and Benjamin Walkemeyer, from FSC. Vincent, Spearman and Walkemyer were the three top youth sailors.

For Spearman it was another good result in his bid to again qualify to represent Australia at the ISAF world youth sailing championships in Cyprus.

'I won the Laser Radial gold meal at the previous youth worlds in Ireland and hope to do well in next week’s Australian Youth Sailing Championships, also in Hobart. 'I got third in the open nationals and I aim to win at the youth nationals next week,' Spearman said.

Best placed of the Tasmanian sailors in Laser Radials were Rohan Langford in 14th place while Emma Barton placed 25th and Jock Calvert 27th.

World No 1 ranked Laser sailor Tom Burton, from Gosford Sailing Club in NSW, won the first two races today and with the Standard Rig title in his grasp, did not finish the final race as winds strengthened again to 30 knots and more.

Burton finished with a net 13 points with second place overall going to another NSW sailor, Ashley Brunning on 19 points with Queenslander Ran Palk third on 31 points. First youth sailor was West Australian Matthew Wearn who has moved up the Olympic class Standard Rigs this season.

In the Laser 4.7 class Victorian Jack Felsenthal continued the winning form he has shown at the Audi Showdown, Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney, winning six of the 11 races for a net 14 points, 18 points clear of WA sailors Conor Nicholas and Christopher Charwood.

Of the Tasmanian contenders, Ed Hargreaves placed 14th overall with Gabriel Morrison 15th.

by Peter Campbell

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