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20 March 2006, 12:10 pm
Sailors From Across Asia Arrive In Doha
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Asian Sailing Championships 2006
Doha, Qatar

The 12th Asian Sailing Championship got underway yesterday with 10 - 15 knots of wind providing perfect conditions for all 13 classes to complete their scheduled 2 races. Over 300 sailors and officials from 18 Asian nations have gathered in Qatar to contest 14 medals.
After two races for the 13 fleets, eight nations occupy the top spots. The larges fleets are the boys and girls Optimist and Laser Radial. It was a perfect first day for Sean LEE (SIN) in the boys Optimist, and with two bullets he has set himself up with a three point lead from fellow Singaporean Timothy SEET. Over in the girls fleet 18 sailors are competing and it is Rufina TAN HONG MUI (MAS) who made the best of it on day one, taking second in the first race before collecting her first bullet in the second. Singaporean sailors are hot on her heals in second and third.

The Laser Radial fleet is mixed men and women and is currently lead by Sangkyu KIM (KOR). First woman is China's Single-handed dinghy representative from Athens, Shen XIAOYING who lies in seventh overall. The ISAF Grade 3 Laser fleet is lead by Chi QIANG (CHN) and Cai QIUSHUI (CHN) who both have four points but QIANG takes pole position as he has a bullet in the first race. Over in the Laser 4.7 fleet Al Dosari MOHANNA (BRN) is also tied for first. A fourth and a first matches Waleed AL SHARSHANI's (QAT) and Jun HAOL LO's (SIN) scores of five points so this fleet is shaping up for some close competition and exciting racing.

Familiar Names

In the windsurfing events some more familiar names appear with I Gusti Made Oka SULAKSANA (INA) leading from Ho Chi HO (HKG) in the Mistral Heavy division and Wai Kei CHAN (HKG) leading the Women's fleet.

The double-handed events are taking place in 420s, 470s and Hobie 16s. Jangnam KIM and Jonseung KIM (KOR) are leading the 420 Men's fleet with Sarah TAN and Tze Ting LIM (SIN) heading the women's. Over in the 470, Dae Young KIM and Sungahn JUNG (KOR) lead the men and Wen YIMEI and Yu CHUNYAN (CHN) the women.

The Hobie 16 fleet presents another nation at the top of the leaderboard with Damrongsak VONGTIM and Sakda VONGTIM from Thailand leading after scoring second and first on the opening day.

Competing nations - Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Japan , Indonesia, India, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and UAE.

H. E. Sh. Saud Bin Abdul Rahman AL THANI, Secretary General of the Qatar National Olympic Committee inaugurated the 12th Asian Sailing Championships 2006 by handing over the Championships Flag to Hasan AL BAQAR (sailor of Qatar National Sailing Team). H.E. expressed his happiness over the presence of 18 countries.

He specifies that this event is one of many events which are scheduled by all sport Federation for the preparation of the upcoming 15th Asian Games the Doha will host in December this year.

In his welcoming speech Abdullah Y. AL SULAITI President, Asian Sailing Federation and Qatar Sailing & Rowing Federation welcomed the H. E. Sh. Saud bin Abdul Rahman AL THANI, distinguished guests, participants and officials for their presence. He thanked His Highness The Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad AL-THANI, President Qatar National Olympic Committee for his support for Sailing in Qatar and also thanked the sponsors too which include Shell Qatar, QAPCO and QAFCO.
ISAF (source: Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation). Image, Rigging Up Day One © Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation
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