by Clare Murray
Australian Laser National Championship 2012 third day of racing, in Manly, was competitive with a leader change in three of the four fleets in the Laser class.
Day one, Radial Start - Australian Laser Championship 2012
Three races were run today after conditions at the Royal Yacht Squadron proved too difficult yesterday to get a second race in. Today’s conditions were excellent for Laser racing with a southerly blowing 15 to 18knots.
Tom Burton was the only sailor to hold first place overall after two firsts and a third place in the standard fleet. 'It’s good that races were a bit shorter but still a hard day,' Burton said. 'It was a solid day but Ryan (Palk) has been more consistent than me. I’m still in to win it but there are still two more days to go. It will be hard to beat Ryan.'
Palk also had an impressive day with two seconds and a first place. 'Three races in that stuff was quite testing. I was tired during the races but I’m not feeling too bad now. I think there will be some tired people struggling to make it to midnight tonight for new years,' Palk said of tonight’s festivities at the squadron.
Jeremy O'Connell and Tristan Brown both had a strong day in the Radial fleets. O’Connell had three wins in the yellow fleet and Brown had two wins and a first in the blue fleet.
Both sailors look forward to meeting each other on the water at the culmination of the series. 'I had good speed today and I was doing the simple things right. It’s just one point at a time. Tristan had a good day today as well so hopefully we can see each other in the finals,' O’Connell said.
'My consistency is paying. I’m happy with my speed. It’s quite shifty so managing that is important,' Brown said of his performance. 'I’d like to think I can keep going with what I am doing for the rest of the series.'
Jack Felsenthal took the lead in the 4.7 fleet after an impressive day with a second and two firsts. Felsenthal, who placed third last year in Optimist nationals, has been in Lasers nine months.
'It was good to get some good scores on the board early. I was able to hang on upwind and keep the speed up down wind.' Felsenthal said.
New Years Day will be the lay day in the series for the Lasers, with racing continuing Monday.