The Optimist Asians in Mumbai India, where sailing begins on 28 December will have 63 participants from 13 Asian countries.
First time participants, whose entry is subsidised under the IODA Sailor Participation Programme, are Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. Eight countries are entering a total of 11 girls.
All sailors are using boats supplied by the new Optimist builder in India, Praga Marine Pvt. and are part of nearly 90 produced this year which will then serve to develop the Indian Optimist fleet.
The Optimist philosophy of spreading national selection as widely as possible means that only a handful of competitors have previous experience of major events, but an exception is reigning champion Alvin Yeow of Malaysia. The team-racing event may well see hot competition between Japan, who ranked 4th at the Worlds last July, and reigning Asian champions Singapore.