Leaderboard Shake Up at the Asians & Oceanians on Day 2
A new slate of sailors pushed their way into the top ten overall after two races under beautiful blue skies today at the 2021
Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship. The last race of the day was the fifth of the regatta and by evening scores had been updated to reflect not only today’s results but the discarding of each participant’s worst score as well, resulting in a true shake up of the leaderboard.
American Wylder Smith got in two 5th place finishes in preliminary results today and was able to drop a 13th place finish, taking the top spot overall from Thailand’s Weka Bhanubandh. With only one point separating them, the two are likely to offer some exciting duels to watch when fleet racing resumes on Thursday offshore of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in Pattaya, Thailand. Another five races are planned before the championship ends on Friday evening.
While Weka and Wylder have yet to win a single race at the event, Turkey’s Ege Erdemli won both races on Tuesday and is now ranked fourth overall in preliminary results just behind teammate and namesake Ege Ayyildizbayraktar who has consistently finished in the top ten but for one race since discarded.
Singaporean Ethan Chia laid claim to 5th place overall with a win on the first day of racing strengthened with a 3rd place finish in one today.
Thailand’s Chanatip Tongglum scored a second 2nd place finish in today’s racing and now sits sixth overall, showing potential to perform even better in the days ahead.
Japan’s Soshi Fujita, the USA’s Finnegan Grainger, Turkey’s Medine Havva Tatlican (the only female in the top ten) and Sweden’s Malcome Dahlberg filled out the new top ten list. Halfway through the fleet racing championship, this is no time for them to relax however. There are three Thai sailors, including one female, queued up in 11th to 13th place overall, ready to take their slots should they make any mistakes in the second half of the regatta.
Today’s guest narrator of the event’s live Facebook feed, UAE country representative Alan Ruigrok credited race officials for getting racing going at noon with a quick repositioning of marks after a wind shift briefly delayed the start of the first race. It was the second race of the day that had hearts racing however as the fleet saw very close racing at the top of the pack. At the gates before the finish, he said sailors had to make a choice between going left or right.
“Sailors had to choose whether to go to the breeze faster or go a shorter distance to the finish,” he said. Who made the right choice was hard to tell as the finish was too close to call from a distance.
“It was probably the best race of the series so far with nice, stable conditions and a good length of race. The wind held steady compared to previous races,” added Alan who got wind readings of 7-8 knots but believes it was possibly closer to 11 knots, with sailors forced to hike out. “Some of them must like the chance to stretch their legs,” he added, also noting that “the short chop in the waves made it difficult for sailors, who really have to use their bodies to get boats over the waves.”
Wind is expected to average a stronger 13-15 knots over the next three days of racing, with the 2021 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Team Racing Championship to take place on Wednesday before Fleet Racing resumes on Thursday.
For more information, please visit https://2021asianoceanians.optiworld.org/en/default/races/race
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