Pakistan sailors have dominated in Enterprise class ever since 1978 when they won the first Gold medal. Later our sailors also excelled in other classes too.
It is interesting to note that 5 major international classes are extensively sailed in Pakistan and these are Enterprise, 470, Laser, Mistral and Optimist, Each boat is different from other and although basics are same, however, while racing each boat requires different expertise and handling. A brief detail is enumerated below.
a) ENTERPRISE It is a British design boat which is famous for having Blue sails. Two persons are required to sail the boat. In Pakistan since our sailors have won 4 Gold and 2 Silver Medals in last 6 consecutive Asian Games, the class is very popular and has attained a status of National class.
b) 470A French boat which is 470CM long. It has 3 sails and require 2 persons to sail it. It is an Olympic class as well and come in the category of High performance dinghy. In Pakistan many clubs are Using this boat for experienced sailors.
c) LASER Laser is a single handed boat, It is also a British boat and requires a strong person to as it is very tough to handle during in strong breeze. Laser is also an Olympic class and in Pakistan it is very popular class. Pakistani sailors have participated in this class in many Asian Championships.
d) MISTRAL Yet another Olympic class which is extremely difficult to handle. The boat comes under the category of surfing boards. In Pakistan this class is quite popular and competed at National and International level.
e) OPTIMIST A pram of sailing which is an international boat and the most popular class amongst children. The class was started as early as 1988 by Pakistan Sailing Federation and soon due to its popularity it has gained a Status that no club is complete without Optimist. This is a boat for children under 15 years of age. In addition to Asian, Games Optimist boat is also sailed in regional and World Championships.
In Pakistan, Asian Championship is being held from 24 - 30 September at Beach View Club, Karachi. This is the 9th issue of Asian event which is the biggest sailing event in the history of Pakistan. The previous history is as under.
1st - 1981 - India
2nd - 1983 - Japan
3rd - 1985 - South Korea
4th - 1987 - Indonesia
5th - 1989 - China
6th - 1991 - Hong Kong
7th - 1983 - Japan
8th - 1995 - Singapore
9th - 1999 - Pakistan
The 9th issue was originally scheduled in 1997 in Thailand, which could not be held it.
Therefore now Pakistan is hosting this mega sailing event. Pakistan made this bid in 1996 during AYF meeting held and was formally confirmed last year on 11 Dec 98 during AYF meeting at Thailand.
Courtesy: Pakistan Sailing Federation.
To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post Office is issuing a set of 5 commemorative postage stamps of Rs 2 denomination each on September 28,1999.