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27 October 2005, 02:28 pm
FRIDMAN In Charge
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Hong Kong Windsurfing Championship 2005
Hong Kong

With three races scheduled for the first day of racing of the Hong Kong Open all the competitors were down at the beach early to rig up and take to the water to find the best wind shifts on the race course. Gal FRIDMAN showed why he is hot favourite taking two bullets to hold the overall lead.
October is one of Hong Kong's best sailing months and with the north easterly Monsoon in force, the wind averaged 15 knots gusting to 18 giving the Principle Race Officer a relatively easy day to set the course. The RS:X division for the event is sailing the same course and start with the Mistral One Design fleet. Race one saw the RS:X sailors starting Formula style coming up to the line with pace and attitude so that they were off at maximum speed. FRIDMAN from Israel led from start to finish but was under constant pressure from Hong Kong sailor, HO Chi Ho who finished only a second behind. The remainder of the men's fleet was widely spread apart with the next local sailor CHAN King Yin finishing two minutes later. In the women's fleet local sailor CHAN Wai Man dominated the race to take line honours with Japan's Yasuko KOSUGE taking second place, with time spent on the water seemingly paying off in the new Olympic windsurfing equipment.

Race two start saw the RS:X sailors favouring the pin end while the Mistral fleet favoured the Committee Boat. RS:X Korean KIM Kyung Yong starting on port mistook the length of the anchor line of the Committee Boat and got tangled thereby loosing valuable time which is essential in a one design race. FRIDMAN showed all the sailors and spectators why he is the current Olympic gold medallist in windsurfing by commanding the fleet from start to finish with local sailor HO again taking second place. In the women's fleet CHAN Wai Man again showed dominance with second place a close fought battle between Hong Kong's CHAN Wai Kei and Japan's KOSUGE, with the Hong Kong sailor just taking the spot.

As per the Sailing Instructions, all the sailors set off to the beach for a rest before the start of race three. With the wind starting to drop race three was light and shifty. The RS:X sailors who managed to get planing early at the start gained a large advantage while the remainder of the fleet tried to sail high but slower. With the wind continuing to drop the Race Committee wisely shortened the race. Hong Kong sailors obviously relishing in the lighter conditions took first to third places with CHENG Kwok Fai taking the gun followed by MA Kwok Po and CHAN King Yin. FRIDMAN, who is used to sailing in heavier conditions, took fourth place to stay in the lead overall. With wind conditions due to strengthen the Israeli sailor will be hoping that it fills in earlier than the expected Saturday.

Ailsa Angus (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Hong Kong:© Neil Pryde Ltd.
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