Sharks force Lee to look overseas

HONG KONG'S leading windsurfers may be forced to seek shark-free foreign shores for training purposes.

The territory's world-ranked female sailor Lee Lai-shan said she and her male teammate Sam Wong Tak-sum have been forced to stop training off Tai Po because of the current shark scare.

The pair are building up to one of the most important competitions of the year, next month's Olympic Regatta in Savannah, Atlanta - the venue of next year's Olympic Games.

'We changed our training venue from Stanley Beach to Tai Po because the winds are stronger in the summer off Tai Po,' said Lee.

'But the Government put up shark warnings and we have not been able to train for some time.' Lee said that they have been told the warnings are likely to come down on June 28.

'But if they are still up by then, we may have to look at training elsewhere, probably out of Hong Kong.

'We are now only doing some strength training.' Lee and Wong are also spending a lot of time studying for a degree in sports management at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

Hong Kong has been gripped with shark fear for the last few weeks and three swimmers have already been killed by sharks.

The attacks have also forced the Windsurfing Association of Hong Kong (WAHK) to suspend all sea-water activities temporarily, on advice from the Government.

'The Hong Kong Circuit Tolo Championship and the Youth Windsurfing Development Scheme will be suspended until further notice,' the WAHK said in a statement.