Published: Monday, 07 March 2016

The opening ceremony of the ASAF Asian Championships 2016 (Mar 7-12), held at the Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi, formally welcomed teams from 21 nations.

Asaf Asian Championships 2016 Kicks Off In Abu Dhabi 2

(Photo: Opening Ceremony/ASAF)

President of the UAE Sailing and Rowing Federation Sheikh Khaled Zayed Saqr Al-Nehayan greeted sailors, coaches, race officials, friends and family.

Asian Sailing Federation President Dr. Malav Shroff thanked the Organising Committee, sponsors and volunteers, before paying tribute to the teams competing in Abu Dhabi.

“For 2016 Olympic campaigners, we recognize that this Championship is an important milestone for you all to qualify your nations to the Rio Olympics,” says Shroff. “Fair winds to all teams and I wish you all every success."

The Championship was formally declared open by the hoisting of the event flag.

Earlier in the afternoon, the members of the ASAF family met to elect the new Executive Committee for the term 2016-2020. Dr Malav Shroff and Aileen Loo were declared elected unopposed as the President and Vice President (Woman).

The voting for the remaining three Vice Presidents was conducted through secret ballot. Abdur Rehman Arshad, Rashid Ibrahim Alkindi and Pilsung Lee were declared elected after counting of votes.

Asaf Asian Championships 2016 Kicks Off In Abu Dhabi 1

The new Executive Committee appointed Jason Lim as Secretary General and Hj Lukman bin Hj Abu Bakar as the Treasurer for the period 2016-2020.

Captain Ajay Narang was appointed as Chairman Events Committee and Takao Otani was appointed Chairman of the Technical Committee. Abdur Rehman Arshad will head the Development and Training Committee of the ASAF.

The Championship is a crucial event in the run up to the Rio Olympics qualification. Nine places on the starting line in Rio in six Olympic classes will be decided over the next week.

While the biggest focus in the ASAF Asian Championship is undoubtedly the Olympic qualification, success at the Championships and securing a podium finish in this event is equally key. To win teams need superior talent across all wind and sea conditions and they will be looking to assert their authority at this last Olympic qualifier.