The Asian Optimist Championship 2012, hosted by the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka, gathers 74 sailors from 12 countries: China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka, plus Australia, Czech Republic, New Zealand and USA from outside of Asia.
Photo: Yolanda Cortés Mares - IODA Asian Optimist Championship
After a week with an average wind speed of 28 knots the weather settled and sailing conditions today were back to 'normal', allowing the sailors and the Race Committee to run a practice race on flat waters and a gentle breeze. We've been told that the temperature is rising and today was seriously hot, especially for the measurement team ashore.
With the late entry of Malaysia (welcome MAS, we are glad that you've made your way to Trinco) the number of sailors has reached 78 and the number of countries to 13.
The Opening Ceremony was held at 1730 on the hotel beach. The event has officially begun and everybody is very anxious. Tomorrow the real challenge begins!!
Day 2: June 4, 2012
The morning saw 26 to 30 knots and, while the strength decreased towards the start of the races, sailors still had to endure three races in 18 to 24 knots of wind, steady in strength but with 15 degree shifts in direction. The sea, however was flat, making life easier (or at least not so difficult and tiring) for the younger and smaller sailors.
After these three races Jack Johansson (USA) led the fleet (5,1,2). Jia Yi Loh from Singapore was in second place (3,3,6) and in third position was Jack Parking from the USA. Other countries with sailors in the top ten Japan, China, New Zealand and Thailand.
Day 3: June 5, 2012
Many of the top sailors scored their worse result so far in today's races, which they dropped when the single discard became effective with the completion of the sixth race. The leading positions varied from race to race and there was still no clear candidate for the title. Jia Yi Loh from Singapore held a five point advantage over Jack Johansson (USA), who was three points ahead of Shuang Shuang Li from China, third overall.
Among the girls, Singapore sailors Elisa Yokohama and Jessica Goh were fifth and sixth overall respectively, with just a single point between them.
Apart from China, USA and Singapore, the top ten was shared by two sailors from Thailand and one from Japan.
Day 4: June 6, 2012
The team races were conducted in perfect wind conditions. Last year, Asian and non Asian teams had sailed separate events but this year due to the smaller number of teams from Asia and at the request of participants, all ten Asian and three non Asian teams sailed together, on the condition that the title was going to be awarded to the best Asian team, as stated in the IODA Conditions.
A total of 26 matches were conducted and arch rivals Thailand and Singapore met in the finals, a best of three contest.
The first race saw a clean sweep of the Thai Team, who captured all top four positions and won the race. The second race was for Singapore, who swept Thailand the same way Thailand had done on the previous race. The third race was crucial and both teams showed agressive manoeuvres at the start line. The match was not defined till mark 3 where Singapore, displaying better team tactics, grabbed the top three positions and got hold of the Asian Team Race title.
Day 5: June 8, 2012
Today's wind was no exception to the +16-knot-speed rule, except for he beginning of race 3, which saw a decrease in speed. However, 'the calm' lasted till the middle of the race, when the breeze picked up again. The Race Committee managed to set the course so that all three races lasted the desired target time of 50 minutes.
Speaking about the finishing positions, races were totally dominated by the Singaporean sailors. Shuang Shuang Li from China won race 7 but the rest of the positions were for the members of team SIN.
After 9 races the top 5 positions are as follows:
Jia Yi Loh (SIN),1st, 24 points net
Elisa Yukie Yokoyama (SIN), second, 35 points
Jessica Goh (SIN), third, 42 points
Shuang Shuang Li (CHN), fourth, 43 points
Jack Parkin (USA), fifth, 43 points
Last three races will be sailed Saturday ninth of June.