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16ft Skiff Nationals 2013 - Knapton still focus on cusp of victory

'Brydens Compensation Lawyers - Australian 16ft Skiff Champsionship'    Michael Chittenden    Click Here to view large photo

The Australian 16ft Skiff Championships has been a witness to the dominant performance of Brydens Compensation Lawyers throughout the week. Yet, skipper Lee Knapton isn’t taking things lightly going into the last two races in Manly.

Brydens continued its almost unblemished campaign with a fourth win from five starts in Thursday's fifth race and only needs to stay upright over the next two days for Knapton to claim his fifth national crown.

Brydens easily leads the overall pointscore from Hubble Chemicals (Nathan Wilmot) and Fluid Building Services (Clint Bowen)

But the ultra cautious Knapton is keeping the bubbly stuff on ice until the end.

Asked when he would finally relax and declare Brydens the 2012/13 Australian 16ft Skiff champions, the Manly skipper replied: 'On Saturday night at the presentation dinner.

'There are two races to go and anything could happen.

'There could be breakages and the next two forecasts are iffy...westerlies and a sou' easter.

'We're not taking anything for granted.'

Brydens didn't get off to the best of starts in race five, with Hubble Chemicals (Nathan Wilmot) clearing out to an early lead from ATB Morton (Danny Anderson), Brydens and Fluid Building Services (Clint Bowen).

Brydens compensation lawyers - Australian 16ft Skiff Champsionship -  Michael Chittenden   Click Here to view large photo

But by the second lap Brydens was back in its familiar position out front and from there Knapton was not going to be beaten.

They held on for a 30-second win with Fluid and Hubble filling up the minor places.

'It was a bit tricky and we just stayed in there and waited until someone made a mistake and capitalised on it,' Knapton explained.

'We were sixth or seven around the top mark but managed to stay out of trouble and go from there.'

Defending champion Fluid is waiting to hand the baton onto Brydens but not before having a red-hot go at overtaking Hubble and moving into second spot.

Thursday's result won't harm their cause.

Brydens compensation lawyers - Australian 16ft Skiff Champsionship -  Michael Chittenden   Click Here to view large photo

'We didn't get the greatest start but we got back to second so we're pretty happy,' Fluid crewman Anthony King said after race five.

'The horse has bolted as far as the title is concerned so we're just having some fun out there.

'They've (Brydens) got it in the bag barring a major disaster.

'Second is our goal now and we'll go all out for that over the next two races.'

by Adam Lucius


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6:54 AM Fri 18 Jan 2013GMT

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