The Busan International Women’s Match Race Begins
Haeundae is hosting Busan's 3rd Annual Women's Sailing Competition this week. Grab a spot on the shore and watch as 12 teams from 11 countries compete for $100,000 in prizes.
Last night, the opening ceremony took place at the Grand Hotel in Haeundae attended by about 250 people, including Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik and other local dignitaries. The one-hour-long ceremony had a traditional Korean atmosphere, complete with a fan dance performance and a violinist with singers, followed by a dinner for all the attendees.
Women’s match racing is one of the newest inducted sports at the 2012 London Olympic Games, and this event promises to showcase the sport on the waters around Haeundae. The race consists of a round-robin, followed by a knockout stage which progresses through the week until two teams are left.
Included in the field are world number one skipper and two-time winner Lucy Macgregor of the United Kingdom. She was very positive about the conditions and how Busan compares to other courses around the world.
“The actual sailing is beautiful. It’s a great area I think. We’re aiming to win this year, that’s for sure,” she said.
Busan Expat Sailing Association President and the International Director for the race Mark Chi is very optimistic for a great event.
“We changed the location from Haeundae Beach to Dongbaek Island to make it easier logistically. We like the new location a lot and I have high hopes it will be very successful,” he said.
As for the sailing itself, he said the weather conditions were looking very good this weekend, which will lead to a more entertaining race.
“There’s a limit to what kind of conditions to sail in. The winds should be at a range of 12 to 22 knots, so it will make for more exciting sailing,” he added.
For those looking to check out the action, the event is free of charge, and will run daily from approximately 10 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. There is a “spedtator” boat, which offers spectators a view of the race from the water, as well as canoes to get the best vantage point.
Chris Hennessey from the United Kingdom who has attended the event for the past two years, is also an avid sailor who recommends to come out and support the event.
“Sailing is a young sport in Korea. It’s fantastic to see world class events helping to promote the sport,” he said.
For more information, you can check out www.busanmatch.com
Read more from Jeff Liebsch