San San sails on to win as rival retires

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2001, 12:00am

Hong Kong's golden girl Lee Lai-shan received some good news and some bad news at the conclusion of Sail Auckland yesterday. The good news is that she's still competitive, winning the women's Mistral class ahead of Japanese rival Masako Imai.

The bad news is that she found out that friend and rival Barbara Kendall has retired from windsurfing and is now taking up Hobie Cat sailing for fun. New Zealander Kendall, who won the 1992 Barcelona Olympic gold medal, finished fourth in the mixed class Hobie Cat, teaming up with Grant Beck.

Kendall was expected to give San San good competition in the Mistral class in Auckland and Kendall's retirement came as a surprise to Hong Kong's 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games champion. 'I was expecting her to compete in the Mistral class but she has now retired which is a pity. I wish her well,' said Lee, who finished 11th overall in the mixed competition. San San finished ninth, 11th and 12th in her final three races.

Imai fared slightly better yesterday, notching an eighth, ninth and 13th place, but San San had long been out in front and won by 25 penalty points from the Japanese. The SAR's other woman sailor, Chan Wai-kei, finished third.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's top male sailor, Ho Chi-ho, finished second overall behind Japan's Kenjo Motokazu after finishing fourth, second and fourth in his final three races.

Hong Kong also did well in the men's youth competition where Chan King-yin finished second overall.