- Published: 10 March 2016
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The RS:X Men and Women racing got underway first just before 1600 hours on Course A, followed by the Laser and Laser Radial on Course B. The original schedule of three races was scuppered by the earlier postponement ashore with 2 races completed for the RS:X Men, RS:X Women, Laser, laser Radial and three for the 49er and 49erFX.
Five races down in the RS:X Men and RS:X Women, and four races each for the Laser, Laser Radial, 49er and 49er FX puts the fleet way behind schedule of the Championship.
Watching the race unfold is intriguing, as the sailors analyse each section of the race track, try to anticipate how a threat can be dealt with, how they can catch the boat in front and work through the fleet. Perfecting that today with a superb tactical move were Thailand’s Whitcraft brothers. They executed a text book gybe set to pass India’s Ganapathy / Varun and win race 4, and with it, they jump to second place with Japan’s Yukio Makino / Kenji Takahashi, leading the 49er fleet.
Saki Matsunae / Sayoko Harada (jpn) lead the 49erfx closely followed by Chika Hatae / Hlroka Itakura (JPN) in the second place with fellow country mates inoccupying the third and fourth positions.
In the Laser, Afendy (MAS) continued to display his superb skills to retain his name on the leader board, closely followed by Keerati Bualong (THA) in the second place.
Kamolwan Chanyim (THA), maintains the pole position in the Laser Radial, followed by Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif (MAS).
The light winds and current made the racing extremely difficult, as Cho Wonwoo (KOR), who leads the RS X Men, explained, “It is really complicated conditions, really tricky and it is very chaotic as well, so you have to keep looking for the next opportunity and stay alive. I am delighted.”
Looking ahead, Cho continued, “I have quite a bit to go before the weekend. I am just trying to keep going one race at a time and hope to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. That would be a dream.”
Holding firm in third Natthaphong Phonoppharat (THA), with the Chun Ting Lee (HKG) in the third place, just 4 points behind in from his 3,3,3 scores today.
Thailand’s Siripon Kaewduangngam is leading the RS:X Women, followed closely Sin Lam Lo (HKG) and has to be on her toes for the nest races as one mistake and the tables can turn easily.
Growing familiarity with the conditions contributed to her win, as Sripion explained, “My start to the Championship was pretty tough, with really light wind and hot conditions, but I am getting more and more used to this area and am trying to figure out how it works. Today I got it almost right!”
The Race Committee has done a brilliant job, making the call to race to optimise weather conditions. Add to the mix, the challenge of a racing area which is incredibly hard to read, as the winds remained light and incredibly difficult to pinpoint weather patterns.
A win at the ASAF Asian Championship 2016 is a pretty special achievement, as it marks their qualification to Rio 2016.
Racing starts at 1300 hrs tomorrow and we do hope to have more races on the scoreboard before the medal races scheduled for 12 march 2016.