Sailors battle the elements at Musannah Open

Musannah: Unpredictable winds on the fourth day of competition at the Musannah Open Championships posed a new challenge to competitors across all classes with many struggling in the conditions. The day started well with clear skies and light winds but as the day progressed, the winds dropped completely before changing direction throwing many off course.
In the 49er class, the Indian pair of KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar retain top spot with Benjamin Talbot and Alex Burger of South Africa and the Chinese pairing of Hong Wei and Chao Xiang switching places from yesterday, ending the day with the Chinese team in second and the South African duo in third. Thai pairing Don and Dylan Whitcraft are fourth and the Omani team of Musab al Hadi and Waleed al Kindi in fifth. Just a single point separates third to fifth leaving all to play for in tomorrow’s races.
The top two in the 49er FX class switched places yesterday and switched back today. After today’s races, China’s Ye Jin and Chen Shasha return to the top with the team of Molly Highfield and Sandy Wing Chi Choi from Hong Kong in second. Thailand’s Kamonchanok Klahan and Nichapa Waiwai stay in third place.
In the Laser class, Ryan Lo Jun Han took top spot with a second place and first place, repeating his form from yesterday. India’s Vishnu Saravanan gained a place from yesterday to finish the day in second while Keerati Bualong of Thailand is in third place.
Singapore’s Ryan Lo Jun Han, leader in the Laser standard Class, said, “It was a very nice day for sailing today with light winds to begin with but difficult later on as we tried to find the wind from the sea breeze. It was also mentally a very tough day, but it is important to stay consistent and not have any major faults. I was excited to finish with a second and a first place, and I hope that by the event of the competition I will be able to represent my country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
Nethra Kumaman of India retained her position at the top of the leaderboard today, as she and her team-mates once more hold three of the top four places. Dutch sailor Emma Savelon is second, Harshita Tomar is third and Ramya Saravanan is fourth. Stephanie Norton from Hong Kong is currently fifth, level on points with fourth place, and Kim Jia of South Korea is sixth with just four points separating third place and sixth place.
Nethra Kumaman, current leader in the Laser Radial class, said, “My aim is to be consistent and keep the points low so that I have an advantage going into the final days. Today was difficult because the wind suddenly died then came back during the race and I made some mistakes, but there are still two days to go so we’ll see what happens.”