Hervey Bay’s Joe Cassell puts his Nacra 16Sq “Hold Fast” through its paces on day two of the Australian Nacra Championships off Torquay Beach yesterday afternoon.
Hervey Bay’s Joe Cassell puts his Nacra 16Sq “Hold Fast” through its paces on day two of the Australian Nacra Championships off Torquay Beach yesterday afternoon. Karleila Thomsen

Neeskens sails into damage control

ALL WAS not ship shape or so it seems for Paul Neeskens on the opening day of the 31st Australian Nacra Championships off Torquay.

Neeskens, a member of the club hosting the week-long titles, the Hervey Bay Sailing Club, was forced to borrow some gear from another catamaran because of structural damage on “Duck, Duck, Goose” so he could stay in the hunt to win the Nacra 5.0s class title.

The damage meant he only finished in one of the two opening races on the day, a major setback when you consider Neeskens had finished second in the first race.

However, Neeskens did manage to find the gear he needed in time to hit the water and race yesterday but he admitted it hadn’t been the ideal way to start the championships.

“It was disappointing but I guess that’s sailing for you,” he said.

Neeskens wife Clare is also contesting the championships in the same class as her husband on “Ruby” and she has made a promising start to the campaign.

She finished third in one race.

The third and final local sailor in action is Joe Cassell on “Hold Fast” in the Nacra 16sq class.

The 43-year-old is making his debut at national level but he’s showed no signs of being nervous.

“I’ve finished all three races so that’s a great feeling,” he said.

“I said before the titles started that my aim was to get as much experience as I could and I certainly am getting what I wanted.”

Sixty crews from throughout Australia are contesting the championships in five divisions, F18s, Nacra 5.8s, Nacra 5.0s, Nacra 16sq and Nacra 4.5s.



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