Appel focuses on task ahead

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 August, 1999, 12:00am

It is business as usual for Hong Kong head coach Rene Appel despite the disappointing performances of reigning International Sailing Federation world junior champion Ho Chi-ho at the International Mistral Class Organisation World Junior Championships last week.

Ho and Chan Wai-kei, who came 14th and seventh in the boys' and girls' event respectively in France last week, this week take on another challenge - the European junior championships in Poland. Appel, who has been coaching his athletes in Holland, was unperturbed by Ho's performance in France just five weeks after winning the world junior title in Finland.

He said his main target during the summer training would be to improve the all-round ability of his windsurfers.

He said it was unfair to expect Ho to win every event after his success in Finland as each event was raced in different conditions and venues, which often favoured other sailors.

'Ho was the best athlete in Finland. In France, the wind-strengths were much stronger, which favours the heavier and stronger sailors. Hence, the others were putting down better performances,' said the Dutchman, referring to the fact that Ho excels in light and medium winds.

'Ho was peaking for Finland [while most of the sailors in France didn't compete in Finland].

'It is very difficult with the limited time in between to properly execute a tapered training programme for every competition,' he said.

Appel added that his group, which includes Chan Wai-kei, Lee Sheung-yin and Chan King-yin, were still in the process of developing and lacked the experience to race consistently well in varied conditions.

'To reach a high level in all conditions requires a number of years of dedication to training,' said Appel.

He said he had plans to increase the size of his squad for the summer training camp in the next few years.