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:
Chinese Taipei RS:X Men Chang Hao
Hong Kong RS:X Men Leung Ho Tsun RS:X Women Chan Hei Man Hayley Victoria
Japan 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
Korea RS:X Men Lee Tae Hoon Laser Ha Jeemin 470 Men Cho Sung Min, Park Gunwoo
Malaysia Laser Mohd Afendy Khairulnizam
PRC 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
Singapore Laser Colin Cheung Laser Radial Elizabeth Yin
Thailand 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:
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!
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