Cambodian windsurfers Soth Mesa and Heang Sunheng finished a distant third and fourth respectively among four competitors in the Techno Boys U19 Class in the Thailand Windsurfing Championship for the Pattaya Cup
The tournament concluded on Sunday as the local pair of Tiwa Wongyanghang and Patchara Mangmeephol took the top honours.
The strong and skilful Thai sailors put daylight between themselves and the pursuing Cambodians in the six-race event, with net scores of six and eight, but despite recording scores of 15 and 17, the rivalry between the two talented teenagers for the minor placing was of great significance to the Cambodian camp watching from the shores.
Mesa, who had finished third behind Sunheng’s silver medal finish at the Johor Regatta in Malaysia two weeks ago, managed to finish ahead of his teammate for the first time ever, prompting the President of the Cambodian Sailing Federation Gordon Tang to remark that this healthy rivalry could inspire both these promising sailors to keep getting stronger together.
The CSF chief also noted that the Cambodians this time had managed to finish much closer to the Thai sailors compared to their performances in January this year at the Singapore Championship.
Thailand picked up both the men’s and women’s windsurfing gold medals at last year’s SEA Games in Malaysia.
According to team leader and secretary-general of the CSF, Som Sothrithypong, the most significant takeaway for the federation was the improvement shown by Mesa, who finished ahead of Sunheng for the first time in a competition with both using the same set of equipment.
The only other Cambodian sailor to compete, Pal Seyla, finished down the field in the RS 1 class.
Team member Nhov Chan will be taking part in the Laser 4.7 sailing event next week.
The Cambodian squad will stay in Pattaya to take part in this weekend’s Asian Sailing Federation Championship.
Apart from hosts Thailand and Cambodia, sailors from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea and Pakistan took part in the Pattaya Cup as part of their build-ups for the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Jakarta-Palembang in August.