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Singapore Open Asian Windsurfing Champs - Intensity ramps up on day 3

by Chua Hsin Ee on 26 Jan 2014
2014 Singapore Open Asian Windsurfing Championships day 3 Howie Choo
At the Singapore Open Asian Windsurfing Championships, following two days of strong winds, competitors sailed in more manageable wind conditions which saw winds easing off slightly and averaging at 15 knots, with gusts hitting a high of 20 knots. A total of three races were held at each race course.

In the RS:X Men’s division, Ek Boonsawad, remained untouchable with three bullets in all three races. The Olympian who represented Thailand in the 2012 and 2008 Olympic Games and enjoys racing in strong winds currently tops the Men’s leaderboard with eight points after nine races while Taipei’s Chang Hao extended his lead over Singapore’s Leonard Ong to maintain his second-placed position.

The competition was more intense in the RS:X Women’s fleet where there was an interesting shuffling of the leaderboard. Hong Kong’s Lo Sin Lam who finished in third position with 12 points the day before had climbed to the top of the leaderboard with two straight wins in Race 8 and Race 9, leaving her compatriot, Ngai Wai Yan, to second position with 18 points after two disappointing fourth-placed finishes. Thailand’s Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam ended the day with 25 points, putting her just three points ahead of Hong Kong’s Ma Kwan Ching, who had dropped from second to fourth position. Siripon, who was the 2010 YOG gold medallist, looks determined to claim a spot on the podium and going by the way the competition is heating up in the RS:X Women’s division, anything can happen.

In the Mistral One Design Open class, the seemingly unbeatable Cheng Kwok Fai, who took 2013 Mistral Asian Champion and is looking to retain his title stayed at the top of the leaderboard with 10 points despite faltering in Race 8 with a third-placed finish. Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat moved into third position after two second-placed finishes, putting him two points ahead of his closest rival Ma Yik Kau from Hong Kong.

Over in the Techno Girl’s fleet, Thailand’s Phongern Duangkamon scored three bullets, pulling away from her closest rival, Hong Kong’s Choi Wing Chi. Phongern ended the day with five points ahead of Choi who herself extended her lead over third-placed Nijima Rina from Japan.

Racing for the Formula and Raceboard classes started today with competitors racing on a windward/leeward course. It was an all England affair with UK's Chris Newman taking the top spot in the Formula class with two straight wins and Paul Leone leading the Raceboard class with a perfect score of three points.

Day three of racing also saw the start of the fifth edition of the SIM Windsurfing Championship which sees windsurf novices from the tertiary windsurf clubs competing for top honours. A total of three races were held in the 4.0m Novice Men, 4.0m Novice Women, 4.7m Intermediate Women, 5.6m Intermediate Men and 6.2m Intermediate Mixed categories. The Singapore Management University (SMU) took top spots in all but the 4.7 Intermediate Women and 6.2m Intermediate Mixed categories.

Racing will continue on the final day tomorrow with the first possible start of racing scheduled for 11h00.

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