Asia-Pacific Championships 2003
Event Homepage: www.kingofwind.com.
1 - 5 October
by Robert Deaves
The first ever OK Dinghy Asia-Pacific Championship is currenty being staged as part of the 2003 Corona King of Wind Regatta in Penghu, Taiwan. Sailors from six nations are competing for the title with sailors from New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, Belgium, Spain and Taiwan and including current European Champion Bart Bomans (BEL).
Racing started today (1 October) with two races sailed in light winds in the waters off Makong City. As expected Bart Bomans dominated the racing, winning both races with ease. The first race saw Russell Page-Wood (NZL) and Alex Scoles (GBR) chasing Bomans down the first offwind leg. Robert Deaves (GBR) overtook Russell to hold third place until the finish.
The second race of the day was slightly longer and saw Bart round the first mark just ahead of Robert and Alex. Bart and Robert moved away on the offwind leg, but a good tactical decision by Russell on the second beat saw him round the windward mark right on Robert's transom. However the postions remained unchanged until the finish. John Ball (GBR) also got past Alex to finish fourth.
Bart takes command
Day two of the inaugaural OK Dinghy Asia Pacific Championships was sailed in a healthy 20 knot breeze around trapezoid courses that tested all the competitors.
The first race saw Russell Page-Wood (NZL) leading around the first mark from Bart Bomans (BEL) and Robert Deaves (GBR). The first outer loop saw no position changes, but Russel's capzise on the second downwind let Bart through to the lead, which he never relinquished, showing good offwind speed. Robert finished third just ahead of John Ball (GBR).
The second race followed a similar format with Bart leading throughout chased by Russell and Robert. The two leaders pulled away offwind to leave Robert a comfortable third and John Ball again fourth.
With four wins under his belt, current European Champion Bart Bomans is going to be hard to beat, but with the forecast of more wind later in the week, it should result in some exciting racing.
Windy day takes its toll on sailors
Day three of the Corona King of Wind OK Dinghy Asia Pacific Championships saw an increased wind with gusts of 35 knots recorded further out in the bay. With the 49er class cancelling racing for the day, the OK sailed a windward-leeward course in testing conditions and put on a great show for the spectators, with the course area situated just off the beach.
Race one saw Robert Deaves (GBR) win the start and head off to the right. Bart Bomans (BEL) and Russell Page Wood (NZL) started further down the line and headed left and crossed ahead just before the first mark, with Russell leading round the mark. He kept the lead until the second beat when Bart went slightly further left and picked a shift to lead round the top mark and back to the finish.
The second race was started very quickly and again Bart led round the top mark just ahead of Russell and Robert. With Russell having a problem with his mainsheet on the second beat, Bart had an easy win with Robert just holding off Alex Scoles (GBR) and top local sailor Pan Wei Hua (HIN) for third place.
With more wind forecast for tomorrow, racing is scheduled to start at the rather early hour of 09.00, which should limit the amount of the free beer - generously provided by main sponsor Corona - from being consumed tonight.
Results after 6 races (1 discard)
- Bart Bomans (BEL) 5 points
- Russell Page-Wood (NZL) 11 points
- Robert Deaves (GBR) 14 points
- John Ball (GBR) 23 points
- Pan Wei Hua (HIN) 27 points
- Alex Scoles (GBR) 31 points