It's only four years since we were anxiously looking out of the window at Qingdao, wondering if the weed was about to come back, and wondering if there was going to be any breeze. Weymouth seemed a long way away – so far away, in fact, that the President of one of the Asian sailing federations told me at the time –“it's much too soon to be thinking about Weymouth...”
Well, it's here now. There are 31 Asian Competitors in the Weymouth regatta:
RS:X Men Chang Hao
RS:X Men Leung Ho Tsun
RS:X Women Chan Hei Man Hayley Victoria
RS:X Men Takahashi Makoto
RS:X Women Sunaga Yuki
Laser Radial Doi Manami
470 Men Harada Ryunosuke, Yoshida Yungo
470 Women Kondo Ai, Tabata Wakako
49er Takahashi Kenji, Yukio Makino
RS:X Men Lee Tae Hoon
Laser Ha Jeemin
470 Men Cho Sung Min, Park Gunwoo
Laser Mohd Afendy Khairulnizam
RS:X Men Wang Aichen
RS:X Women Li Ling
Laser Shi Jian
Laser Radial Xu Lijia
Finn Gong Lei
470 Men Deng Daokun, Wang Weidong
470 Women Huang Xufeng, Wang Xaoli
Laser Colin Cheung
Laser Radial Elizabeth Yin
RS:X Men Boonsawad Ek
RS:X Women Bualong Napalai
Laser Bualong Keerati
Not all classes have raced yet, but here are the current Asian competitors' standings:
Finn, 24 boats
Gong Li (CHN) 25 OCS, 17, 20, 22 (23)
Laser, 49 boats
Bualong Keerati (THA) 47, 48 (48)
Colin Cheung (SIN) 4, 25 (15)
Shi Jian (PRC) 27, 39 (33)
Ha Jeemin (KOR) 8, 9 (6)
Laser Radial, 41 boats
Doi Manami (JPN) 29, 32 (32)
XuLijia (CHN) 5, 8 (6)
Elizabethe Yin (SIN) 34, 27 (31)
49er, 20 boats
Takahashi Kenji/Yukio Makine 16, 13 (16)
All the Olympic classes are scheduled for a 10-race series (except the energetic 49ers who race 15 times), with the top ten scorers then going forward to the double-scoring Medal Race.
If your local tv provider just isn't up to the job, try this:
Go to www.expatshield.com and get yourself a VPN (Virtual Private Network) – it's free. That will give you an IP address in the UK, and then you can log on to the BBC's iPlayer (also free) and tune in to whichever channel you want – the Sailing channel for example. Or the Beach Volleyball.
Watching the 49ers, the Finns and the Lasers haring around in 16-18kts of breeze yesterday was nothing short of awesome. The 49ers were reported to be hitting 30+ kts of boatspeed off the wind, the Lasers were operating in max-spray mode, and even the Finns were tearing around like over-excited puppies. It's too good to miss, so sign in, sign on, and stay up late!
Guy Nowell, Editor
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