The Sailing Event in the XIV Asian games got underway yesterday in Busan, Korea.
Held every four years alternately with the Olympic Games, these games bring together 9900 of the very best regional athletes to compete in 38 disciplines. Since the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, this is the largest and most high profile multi disciplined event to be held in Korea.
A vast logistical and organisational structure has been put in place and the games sees competitors from many countries in the region including China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as from some of the middle eastern countries including Kuwait and Qatar.
The sailing event is split into fifteen classes, ranging from the junior Optimist, up to the 470 for men and women, and includes dedicated Mistral and Raceboard windsurfing classes. Alongside the more recognised Olympic Classes there are also other strong international fleets including the OK and Enterprise. All these fleets have traditionally had a strong following in Asia.
Being held from the Busan Yachting Centre, the venue for the Yachting event at the Seoul 1988 Olympics, the venue is located between the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in an area renowned for both strong winds and currents.
International Judge Hal Wagstaff (NZL) has been appointed ISAF Technical Delegate at the event. This is a role his has fulfilled on many occasions, advising on the practical aspects of running the sailing event. Graeme Owens (AUS) chairs the International Jury.
The very best Asian Sailors will be competing at a level second only to the Olympic Games, and for some nations will be a fantastic indicator as to who will be looking to represent their country in Athens 2004.
Eleven races are scheduled for all classes, racing started yesterday and continues until 9 October, with a lay day on 7 October.
Two days have now been completed and full results for each days racing in every class are available on the event website, along with full details of the other disciplines