Racing started yesterday for the five classes competing in Doha Bay. For all concerned it was a big day following the two days of registration and the opening ceremony on Sunday night in the Qatar capital.
A moderate breeze kicked off racing at the scheduled start time of 11.00 local time it was already blowing a steady and warm 15-knots. As the day progressed and by the time of the final scheduled race for the day, gusts of over 30-knots and a steady 30-35 led to some capsizes and tough conditions, but buy the end of the day everyone was safely ashore.
The Laser Radial and Standard fleets are showing the best number of entries at the regatta, and in the big rig it is South African Gareth BLANKENBERG who has taken an early lead. Ranked fifth in the latest ISAF World Sailing Rankings, Blankenberg took the difficult conditions by storm and currently leads the ISAF Grade 3 event by two-points from.
The 470 class is also and ISAF Grade 3 event and the gold fleet is currently being led by Chung Pei MING and Toy Junhoo ROY (SIN), who have a comfortable lead of three points from Xerxes AVARI and Rafiq MEHBOB (PAK), who are second with six points.
In the non-graded classes, Kalid ADEL (UAE) leads the Laser 4.7 from Al KANDRI (KUW) is in second. In the ever-popular Laser Radial fleet Muhammed ROMZI (MAS) leads from Abdul Ghammy KARIM (EGY) who lies on ten points.
The Qatar International Regatta is organised by sail the Gulf and all equipment, except for sails on Lasers are supplied by the organising authority. 10 races are scheduled with the final racing taking place on Friday 27 February.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.