Asian Champs

Wednesday 16 December
Daily reports and results are being posted on the IODA website.
Teams racing is scheduled for today following 2 days of fleet racing. The team who will be racing are Markus, Ellie, Liam Closey and Michael. William is recovering from the exhaustion of yesterday’s epic day and Jamie is looking forward to keeping her head cool and feet dry. 

The competition here is as hot as the weather. All sailors are the top ranked from their respective countries and many have competed at the Worlds. The Thailand sailor Nappakao Poompat, who finished 4th at the 2009 Worlds and first female, continues to dominate. The Kiwis are getting fantastic results given the level of competition!

Two races were completed on the first day with winds light and shifty. Liam Closey had a great first day on the water with a 12th & 15th.

Today marked the official start of the regatta for measuring and registration. Having arrived on Wednesday we were well set up with the boats and ready. The kids have been on the water now for 3 days and are learning each day about the conditions. Today, there was a good 15-20 knots when they hit the water at 11:00–this was the most breeze there has been, although the pattern seems to repeat each day where it builds in the morning till about 12:00 then slowly drops during the afternoon.  The heat is intense!
When we arrived on Wednesday, the Malaysian Nationals were being sailed so there was much buzz and activity at the club. Yesterday was very quiet, with only our team and the AUS sailors on the water and around the club. The boats are all brand new, Far East or Extreme, and all measured in OK today.

Our hotel, which is away from the main tourist area of the island, has a very local flavour to it. The hot 10 minute walk to the club is through sleepy back streets of open air ‘restaurants’, fairly rickety houses and unkept buidings. The air is heavy with wonderful spicey aromas and breath-stopping open sewers!  We’ve been fairly conservative with the food so far, chosing the safety of the hotel food over the local offerings. KFC is a big sponsor of sailing in Malaysia and this regatta. The kids have mixed feelings about the prospect of KFC & rice for lunch on the water every day!

Last night, we all ventured to Chenang beach — the main tourist area of Langkawi. It is ‘picuture postcard’ stunning!  The kids wandered through the shops finding a few treasures while the ‘officials’ took shelter from the scorching sun under the roof of a beach bar till the sun went down. We all ate at one of the restaurants along the beach.  

Tomorrow there’s a practice race scheduled and the opening ceremony. Racing starts on Monday.

The NZIODA Optimist team to compete at the Asian Champs in Langkawi, Malaysia this month, will be warming up in Auckland this weekend at the Sir Peter Blake Regatta. The Asian Champs are being sailed at the venue for next year’s Optimist World Champs, from 12 – 20 December. 
The team is William Linkhorn, Liam Banks, Markus Somerville, Liam Closey, Michael Hayton, Jamie Middleton and Ellie Copeland. We hope to bring reports and photos to you from Langkawi during the regatta. Good luck everyone! 
Regatta website 

Yesterday four races were planned to try and get back on schedule. The sailors took to the course in a steady 10 knot wind for the first race.  Markus had a flier in the first race – finishing 2nd! As the temperature soared (to 42 degrees) the wind eased – to a mere 4 knots. The winner of the first flight managed to get across the finish line against the outgoing tide but many sailors failed to finish within the time limit. The second flight was abandoned and all the sailors were sent ashore. The second flight sailors went back on the water and waited for the breeze to fill in – not starting the race until around 5:30pm. It was a very long and hot day for Liam B, Ellie and William who were all in the second flight. 
Tomorrow is a scheduled spare day so we’ll all embark on an island adventure!

Saturday 12th December

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