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4 August 2006, 11:52 am
Singapore Take Top Honours
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Optimist Asian Championships 2006
Fulong, Chinese Taipei

Sean LEE (SIN), defending champion and 2006 North American Open Champion, made no slip in the failing winds of the final race in Fulong, Chinese Taipei and finished seven points clear of his compatriot Griselda KHNG (SIN) to win the Optimist Asian Championships. KHNG won her ongoing battle with Rufina TAN (MAS) to take the girls prize for Singapore as well.
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Sailors from 13 Asian Countries, as well as New Zealand, raced in initial excellent conditions of 14 to 21 knots. On Tuesday, the 25 to 40 knots of a near gale deemed too strong to commence any starts, thus the competitors had to forgo the scheduled rest day on Wednesday for the Team Racing event. Up to ten knots of shifty breezes persisted throughout the regatta however it came to a halt today resulting in the cancellation of the last race.

But while the globe trotting Singaporeans took the top spots China showed their strength in depth by placing all five team members in the top ten and, with gold in the Team Racing Championship, showed a big improvement on their 2005 results.

Solid Performances Elsewhere

Japan and New Zealand anticipated proposals by the IODA Executive and sent lower ranked sailors and while Scott BARNES (NZL) could not maintain his early form, he should be well please with his 14th place. Thailand performed solidly and, looking to the smaller fleets it was good to see sailors from Korea, Qatar, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and hosts Chinese Taipei engaged in their own private battle for places in the top half of the fleet.

Fulong proved an excellent venue with plenty of wind on most days. Tidal currents are a feature of sailing and are expected to be a factor at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao. Reports of shore life are very positive and the hosts are to be congratulated on a fine championship.

Robert WILKES/Shu Fen HO (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The fleet in action:© Optimist Asian Championships
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