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23 March 2006, 09:32 am
Six Races Completed
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Asian Sailing Championships 2006

On day three of the 12 Asian Sailing Championship in Qatar, the sailors were kept waiting until midday before the breeze kicked in. Six races have now been completed for all 13 events.
Rufina TAN HONG MUI (MAS) continues her domination of the Optimist girls fleet by claiming two more bullets on Tuesday and extends her lead to five points from Singapore's Rachel LEE. It is a similar story in the boys fleet where Sean LEE (SIN) is outclassing the oposition to lead by eight points from his nearest rival Ni WEI (CHN). LEE made his first major major mistakes, finishing fourth in race six to blemish his previously perfect results. WEI was quick to take advantage and is now the only other sailor to have taken the bullet in this fleet.

Wen Chun LOW and Yuan SHEN TANG (SIN) hold onto their lead in the men's 420 fleet but there is still everything to play for at the top of this competitive fleet. Jangnam KIM and Jonseung KIM (KOR) are snapping at their heels just two points behind in second with Hojin HAN and Changmin NAM (KOR) a further three points back in third. Fourth placed Yang SHUAI and Zhou BOLIN (CHN) are suffering badly from two DSQs so if another discard comes in to play they could be serious challengers for the medal positions.

In the women's 420 fleet Sarah TAN and Tze Ting LIM (SIN) are stretching away from the rest of the fleet after posting another two bullets yesterday to bring their total to four from six races. It was also another good day on the water for Li XUE and Yu YANLI (CHN) in the women's 470 fleet as they add a first and a second to their points and hold onto their lead from Wen YIMEI and Yu CHUNYAN (CHN).

There has been a shuffle in the men's 470 fleet where Dae Young KIM and Sunghan JUNG (KOR) have retaken the lead from Roy TAY and Pei Ming CHUNG (SIN). A first and a second from KIM and JUNG was too much for TAY and CHUNG who finished fifth and first yesterday. Only three points separate the top three teams in this fleet and with KIM and JUNG and TAY and CHUNG both carrying three first places the importance of consistency is clearly evident.

Sangkyu KIM (KOR) continues to lead the Laser Radial fleet after taking two more bullets but behind him is where the action is. Olympian Shen XIAOYING (CHN) who looked like she would challenge for the lead had an awful day and her two tenth places see her sliding back down the leaderboard to seventh. Keen to take her place is Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 silver medallist Xu LIJIA (CHN) who has displayed consistent performance throughout and is now able to discard her OCS from race two. With five more races scheduled, there is plenty of time for more changes in this high action fleet.

Going into the day tied on eight points each, Chi QIANG (CHN) and Cai QIUSHUI (CHN) continued their battle for the top of the leaderboard. With a discard now coming into play, QIANG has made a break for it and his two second place finishes compared to two thirds from QIUSHUI sees him creep ahead by two points. Hokon KIM (KOR) took both the bullets and is just one point behind QIUSHUI in third.

Despite an OCS in race five, Waleed AL SHARSHANI (QAT) coninues to lead the Laser 4.7 fleet and Jun Hao LO (SIN) moves into second place ahead of previous leader Al Dosari MOHANNA (BRN). There is no stopping Damrongsak VONGTIM and Sakda VONGTIM (THA) in the Hobie 16 fleet and two more bullets for them gives them a perfect score of five points.

Wai Kei CHAN (HKG) had her worst race of the championship in race five when she finished third, a result she discards, but returned to form to take the bullet in race six. Her place at the top of the leaderboard is secure and she is seven points ahead of Wang SHENGMEI (CHN) in second. Ho Chi HO (HKG) and I Gusti Made Oka SULAKSANA (INA) continue their tustle in the Mistral heavy fleet with just one point separating them.

Racing concludes on Saturday with a total of eleven races scheduled for all fleets.

ISAF, Image: Laser action © Event Media
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