Today was the first day of racing for the 2010 Asian RS:X Windsurfing Championships. 32 sailors from 9 countries gathered on the windswept islands of Penghu - located between the Taiwan Mainland and China. The fleet consisted of 16 RSX 9.5 windsurfers, 8 Youth Men and 8 women, of those were 2 Men from Iran who had had to jump through hoops for 4 days to eventually arrive on the islands (bravo).
After three days of warm up in 20knts + wind, the fleet was met with a light but steady 5 knot breeze. The heavy weights were frustrated knowing that the forecast for the day was 20 knots in the afternoon - as predicted the wind kicked in only minutes after the finish of the last race.
Although with the new format of 16 scheduled races, due to the non planing conditions only two races were completed with the competitors released for some needed rest in preparation for the windy conditions ahead ( 25 - 30 knots for the next 5 days is expected)
1st Ho Chi Ho
2nd Ma Yik Kau
3rd Cheng Kwok Fai
4th Leung Ho Tsun
5th Chang Hao
Jannicke Staalstroem ( Norway ) and Chan Wai Kei are separated by only one point. with Thailand's Sarocha Prumrai , Youth Olympic gold medalist Siriporn Raewduana and Yuki Sanaga or Japan on equal points for third. The battles will continue in the heavier conditions in the coming days
The youth Men's fleet is comprised of 5 competitors from HK and 2 from Chinese Taipei. HK hold 1st and 2nd place with a Chinese Taipei sailor sharing 3rd with Hong Kong's Tang Wing Ho .With the light stuff out of the way, it will be interesting to see the standings after a possible 3 races in strong winds tomorrow. MOST of the youth guys are looking forward to the heavier conditions and are also hoping for the chance to step on to some slalom and wave gear after racing in the morning.