Thailand and Hong Kong dominate RS:One Asian Championships

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Held in collaboration with the Top of the Gulf Regatta and the Windsurfing Association of Thailand (WATH), the RS:One Asian Championships took place in Thailand for the first time ever last weekend.  Twenty-one racers from seven countries (including the promising new windsurfing countries of Myanmar and Sri Lanka) took part in three days of intense competition off Ocean Marina Yacht Club from May 3-5.

The technical conditions and shifty winds provided some challenging competition over the three days with racing taking place in four divisions: Men, Espoir Men, Women, and Espoir Women.

21 racers from 7 nations took part in the RS:One Asian Championships, held for the first time in Thailand at the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)21 racers from 7 nations took part in the RS:One Asian Championships, held for the first time in Thailand at the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)

RS:One is an exciting, ISAF-approved one-design racing class by NeilPryde.  One sail, one board – everyone competing on the same equipment.  And it was evident at the 2014 RS:One Asian Championships how close the racing is with the top male and top female windsurfers just metres apart throughout.

RS:One comes from the same racing pedigree as the Olympic RS:X and the NeilPryde RS:Racing.  The universal one-design class allows male and female racers of all ages to compete on the same equipment.

Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat on his way to winning the Men’s division. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat on his way to winning the Men’s division. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)

Leading Thai racer in the Men’s division was Natthaphong Phonoppharat who started the first day with a run of first places that continued through the competition, winning seven out of eight races overall – the last race being a fourth place finish and his drop race for the series.

Second place went to fellow Thai sailor Pattaradanai Jinin who also won the Espoir Men crown, holding off the challenge from the sole Sri Lankan competitor Chameera Gunawardena, who was third in the Men’s division and second in Espoir Men.  Third place in the Men’s Espoir went to Suttiphong Krowparkobkit from Thailand.

Sin Lam Sonia Lo from Hong Kong was crowned RS:One Asian Women Champion after  remaining unbeaten in eight races. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)Sin Lam Sonia Lo from Hong Kong was crowned RS:One Asian Women Champion after  remaining unbeaten in eight races. (Photo by Kah Soon Ho)

In the Women’s division, an unbeaten run of eight races secured the Asian crown for Hong Kong’s Sin Lam Sonia Lo, ahead of Thai Sarocha Prumprai (who also won Espoir Women) in second, and Wai Yan Ngai (also second in Espoir Women) from Hong Kong in third.

Third place in Espoir Women went to a racer from upcoming windsurfing nation, Myanmar, July Hmwe.

Hong Kong and Thailand dominated this year’s RS:One Asian Championships and as the class grows in popularity the RS:One class will continue its 2014 journey with the European Championships in Cesme (Turkey), the Asian Sailing Championships and Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea), the Asian Beach Games in Phuket (Thailand) and at the end of the year the 2014 World Championships, which will be held in Bintan (Indonesia).

Note: A full review of the 10th sailing of the Top of the Gulf Regatta will be featured in next week’s Pattaya Mail.

(Source:- Infinity Communications)