CSF teams visit Jakarta for 2018 Asiad prep

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The 2018 Indonesia Asian Games sailing venue at Ancol, where a Cambodian windsurfer will be making a historic debut in the RSX Class in August. AFP

As part of ongoing hectic preparations for Cambodia’s debut in 2018 Asian Games sailing in less than two months, the Cambodian Sailing Federation (CSF) assigned an advance team of officials to help organise logistics by recently visiting the competition venue in Ancol, Jakarta.

A second party also went to Guangdong in China, where the country’s windsurfers have been training since May.

CSF secretary-general Som Sothirithypong, along with advisors Lemmy Teo and Meng Wang, made the trip to Ancol, which is in the coastal lowlands in northern Jakarta where the sailing events will be held, to become familiarised with the environment and deal with boat chartering issues and coordination with their Indonesian partners.

“It was vital for the CSF to take a closer look at the well equipped National Sailing Center the Indonesians have set up in time to stage the Asian Games so that we could mentally prepare our windsurfers, who will be competing there, with what to expect and get a clear picture of the facilities available,” said Meng Wang of Singapore, who has been an advisor to the federation since its inception nearly three years ago.

Days after the Ancol visit, the CSF sent another three-member team, this time led by vice president Thong Rathasak in the company of Som and Meng Wang, to the Haimen Water Training Base in the Shantou region of China’s Guangdong province to keep abreast of the progress made by young windsurfers Soth Mesa and Heang Sunheng.

“We are very happy with the progress being made by our competitors at the training camp. We have also been invited to train for three more weeks with the elite Chinese national sailors at Guangdong Ocean Sports Training Centre in Shanwei,’’ said Rathasak, son of National Olympic Committee of Cambodia president Thong Khon.

“Our young sailors are fortunate to train with some of the best sailors from Guangdong and the Chinese national team. The feedback from my officials is very encouraging, and I am looking forward to a spectacular debut by a Cambodian sailor at the Asian Games,” said CSF president Gordon Tang, who is also a vice president of the NOCC.

Along with Sunheng and Mesa, promising windsurfer Pal Seyla, as a future prospect, has also been training in China to improve his fitness and skills.

“It is indeed heartening to see the sailing federation and its president Gordon Tang strive so hard to ensure that their windsurfers get the best of training and care. The NOCC is keen that one of the two teenagers, either Mesa or Sunheng, who will be competing, brings us a medal from Jakarta,” said NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun, who is also a vice president of the CSF.