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Documentary: 2018 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship

by Fiona Kidd 5 Dec 2018 05:20 PST
2018 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship © Icarus Sports

It was a spectacular conclusion to the 2018 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship at the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club and Resort in Myanmar.

Three races were completed in almost perfect sailing conditions in the final series for each of the Gold and Silver Fleets. In total, nine races were completed in the championship.

Panwa Boonak of Thailand, the bronze medalist at the 2018 Optimist World Championship, won all three races in the final series to pull ahead of his teammate Jedtavee Yongyuennarn who was leading the championship after the qualifying series. He was black flagged in the first race of the finals and was second, and third behind Boonak to knock him back to second place overall.

Two sailors from China were able to break through the Thailand stronghold of the top fours places after the Qualifying Series. Gang Siri, finished the series with two seconds and a third to jump into third place overall and top girl at the championship. She was followed by her teammate Zheng Hongyu in fourth and Patihan Vorrasart, from Thailand in fifth. Second and third girl at the championship were Chalisa Krittanai from Thailand in sixth place overall with Faith Hailey Toh from Singapore in ninth.

Boonnak, Siri and Hongyu were the top three sailors from Asia. The top three sailors from Oceania were Sean Sun from New Zealand in 16th place overall followed by teammate Noah Maplot in 25th and Joel Beashel from Australia in 28th. Top sailor from Myanmar was Htet Lin Zaw in 15th place overall.

Although the championship started slowly with only one race in the first two days, the race committee did an excellent job of completing the remaining eight races plus the team racing championship in three days.

The 129 sailors from 16 nations concluded the championship at a spectacular closing ceremony that included cultural entertainment and fireworks.

Kevin Whitcraft, IODA President officially closed the championship followed by the flag ceremony which sees the current host team from Myanmar pass the flag to next year's host nation, Oman.

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