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26 October 2005, 09:52 am
FRIDMAN Makes Second RS:X Outing In Hong Kong
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Hong Kong Windsurfing Championship 2005
Hong Kong

Day one of the Hong Kong Open started with conditions that all of the competitors hope will continue throughout the event; clear sunny skies and a strong north easterly greeted the windsurfers as they arrived at Stanley Beach, with Olympic gold medallist Gal FRIDMAN (ISR) amongst their ranks. With registration, a rigging clinic, the official Opening Ceremony and a practice race all of the Hong Kong team were down early to prepare.
The Hong Kong Open includes an RS:X division with a total of 17 competitors from seven nations taking part. The morning kicked off with registration at 1100 hours local time followed by a rigging clinic at 1130 by Neil Pryde's Technical Liaison, Mike GEBHARDT (USA), to assist all sailors to acclimatize to the new equipment in the shortest possible time. GEBHARDT has been in Hong Kong since the beginning of the week to help coach the Hong Kong team while continuing his usual work of coaching FRIDMAN.

The Opening Ceremony started promptly at 1300 at the Stanley Hong Kong Sea School. The Chairman of the Hong Kong Windsurfing Association and Patron of Stanley Sea School, Cowen CHIU, welcomed all the overseas and local competitors to the event and Hong Kong. The Ceremony included a full procession of the Sea School Marching Band followed by a local tradition Baisan which is an offering to the Gods for good luck and prosperity for the Hong Kong Open event.

The Hong Kong Open and RS:X is honoured to have Athens's Olympic gold medallist FRIDMAN at the event. Whilst he had some free time at Stanley Beach Neil Pryde correspondent, Will BUDDEN, took the chance to catch up with him to find out his thoughts on the new RS:X equipment. FRIDMAN has been racing on the RS:X equipment since September this year and has competed in one event so far, the Pacific Coast Championship held at St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, USA.

As an Olympic gold medallist FRIDMAN is excited about the new Olympic equipment, 'the RS:X will bring a new spirit into Olympic windsurfing which has been missing for a while,' he commented. FRIDMAN went on to explain that the RS:X is very similar in high wind conditions to formula windsurfing, 'when the wind reaches above twelve knots you can really get the best performance out of the RS:X.' After the Hong Kong Open FRIDMAN will travel to Shenzhen, China to take part in the Shenzhen Open which commences early next week and is looking forward to getting involved in more events listed on the RS:X calendar.

Ailsa Angus. Image, Action from the RS:X Pacific Coast Championship back in September:© David Bell
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