The boat park was buzzing with activity this morning as teams prepared for race day 1, but at first the shoreside action didn’t transfer to the race track’s light and shifty breeze as light intermittent rains played spoilsport.

Opening day of racing at the ASAF Asian Championships 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE was initially dogged by light wind. Race 1 for the 49er and 49erFX got underway soon after midday, but twenty minutes in was abandoned at the first mark due to a significant change of wind direction. After being postponed on the water for just over two hours, racing resumed in a building easterly breeze.

Unfortunately, on the Laser and RS;X course, the conditions did not permit any racing today.

Getting on the scoresheet early on is important, sets the tone and gives some margin of safety net. For some the opening day couldn’t have been better, for others the game plan didn’t quite unfold as intended. In a light and shifty breeze and a hard to read race course, teamwork and finesse makes all the difference. The silt from the delta turns the water brown, making it very hard to physically see the breeze on the water.

There is nowhere on the race course where teams feel safe, as it is hard to see where the breeze will come next and it has a history of swinging quite dramatically.

Being an Olympic qualification all the sailors are up against each other from the outset and every single point counts.

 “It was a good way to kick off the event,” said Peter Conway, the Indian Chief Coach. “We are happy with the race win, because ultimately that is going to mean fewer points at the end of the week. But ultimately we are looking to have a consistent series and try to put our best foot forward this week.”

 “It was a challenging day,” commented the Oman team. “We didn’t have perfect starts today, but we did some good catch up racing and it was quite OK for the first day. We kept searching for opportunities and I think it worked quite well.”

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