Olympic qualifiers still undecided at Mussanah Open Championship

Sports Tuesday 06/April/2021 13:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Olympic qualifiers still undecided at Mussanah Open Championship

Muscat: Competition is heating up at the Mussanah Open Championship where, at the midway point of the event, all classes remain incredibly close.  

Conditions were perfect once again, with winds up to 15 knots and clear blue skies ensuring racing went down to the wire with no interruptions.

The 49er class is wide open, with yet another new leader on top of the rankings at the close of Day Three. Indian duo KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar ended the day in first place from Benjamin Talbot and Alex Burger of South Africa and the Chinese pairing of Hong Wei and Chao Xiang.

KC Ganapathy, leader of the 49er class representing India, said, “We started off the event a bit shaky, we hadn’t raced for a year and a half coming into this, but my coach and I have been working each day to correct the previous day’s mistakes. So, overall, we are happy with how the event is progressing and we want to stay focused and keep improving each day.”

The top two in the 49er FX class switched places with the team of Molly Highfield and Sandy Wing Chi Choi from Hong Kong taking over at the top from China’s Ye Jin and Chen Shasha. Thai pair of Kamonchanok Klahan and Nichapa Waiwai stay in third place.

After a full day of racing, the Laser class and Laser Radial class rankings remain unchanged. In the Laser, Singapore’s Ryan Lo Jun Han leads Keerati Bualong of Thailand and India’s Vishnu Saravanan and in the Laser Radial, Indian sailor Nethra Kumanan leads Dutch sailor Emma Savelon with Indian teammate Ramya Saravanan in third.

In the RS:X class, Thai windsurfer Natthapong Phonoppharat continues out in front in the men’s race with Filipino duo Yancy Kaibigan and Geylord Coveta following closely behind in second and third respectively.

 In the female class, Charizanne Napa from the Philippines still holds a narrow from Singapore’s Amanda Ng Ling Kai and India’s Ishwariya Ganesh.

Yancy Kaibigan, RS:X windsurfer representing the Philippines, said, “The weather was good today, with a strong wind for the first two races but it suddenly dropped in the third race which made the conditions challenging, but I managed three second placed finishes today. We had to prepare at home for this event because of the cancellation of scheduled events, so I am pleased with my performance. I hope for good wind tomorrow and to continue performing well.”

With Olympic qualification up for grabs, the Mussanah Open Championship is being held under strict regulations to ensure all equipment adheres to World Sailing specifications and the rules of each class. Prior to the event, all the boats and equipment were inspected and recorded by an International Measurer appointed by World Sailing to make sure sailors do not change the equipment and continue to use the approved equipment.

Ajit Diaz, Chief of the Technical Committee, said, “It is important to ensure that all the classes of boats are complying with the class rules. We must also check for the mandatory safety equipment and be sure that all competitors use legal equipment for every day of the championship. The integrity of the competition is of utmost importance.”

Racing in Mussanah continues tomorrow with three full days remaining. The Mussanah Open Championship is supported by host venue Millennium Resort Mussanah with addition sponsorship from the International Maritime College Oman (IMCO), Salsabeel water from National mineral water company, Carrefour Oman and OHI Telecommunications.