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Day two of Mussanah Open Championship

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Olympic hopefuls battle for the lead on day two of Mussanah Open Championship
Olympic hopefuls battle for the lead on day two of Mussanah Open Championship

It was all-change at the top of the rankings after a pulsating second day of sailing in Mussanah with the early leaders in the 49er, Laser Radial and Laser unable to maintain their advantage. Consistency was key over the three rounds of racing, and in good conditions with clear skies, temperatures between 31c and 35c, and wind between 15-16 knots throughout the day, several sailors were able to put their disappointing starts behind them and surge up the rankings heading into a crucial third day.

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In the 49er class, Omani duo of Musab Al Hadi and Waleed Al Kindi notched two victories and a second place to end the day in top spot with yesterday’s second placed team, the Chinese crew of Hong Wei and Chao Xiang retaining second and the Indian team of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar finishing third.  

Hashim Al Rashdi, coach of the Oman 49er team, said “Today was a very good day for us, after a difficult day yesterday, and the performance puts us back in contention. There are still four more days to go and we are looking forward to racing again tomorrow.”

Musab Al Hadi, Oman’s 49er team Helmsman, said, “Our goal is to remain competitive until the last second of the last race on the last day. It will be test of mental strength and tough for all teams and close right to the end with a lot of racing still to take place and we must stay calm and safe, on and off the water.”

The 49er FX class saw China’s Ye Jin and Chen Shasha remain in first position with the team of Molly Highfield and Sandy Wing Chi Choi from Hong Kong taking second and the Thai pair of Kamonchanok Klahan and Nichapa Waiwai claiming third.

The Laser class has seen four different round winners so far as Singapore’s Ryan Lo Jun Han leads Keerati Bualong of Thailand and India’s Vishnu Saravanan at the end of racing today.

Laser Radial has been dominated by the Indian sailors, who occupy three of the top four spots. Nethra Kumanan leads Dutch sailor Emma Savelon with Indian teammates Ramya Saravanan and Harshita Tomar in third and fourth respectively. 

Tomasz Januszewski, Chief National Coach of Indian Sailing, said, “Our team is improving day by day, and I am very proud of the sailors. We have prepared well for this event; individually, as a team, and some members were sailing with a larger fleet in Mumbai before coming to Oman, and we have spent the time between events preparing as best we can and we are showing a good sailing performance so far. We have definitely improved since last year and I am confident that we have not finished showing our ability on the water.”
In the RS:X Class, the men’s competition is currently led by Thai sailor Natthapong Phonoppharat from Yancy Kaibigan in second and Geylord Coveta in third, both representing the Philippines. In the women’s competition, Charizanne Napa of the Philippines maintained her excellent form from day one to stay top of the rankings ahead of Amanda Ng Ling Kai from Singapore and Ishwariya Ganesh of India.

The first two days of racing have been an excellent exhibition of sailing as the competitors in all five classes battle to secure their place at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Day three of the Mussanah Open Championship starts at 12:55pm tomorrow.

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