J-Asia sailor secures 3rd Place in the Laser 4.7 at Kiel Week

Gerald Williams at Kiel Week 2013
Marek Nostitz-Jackowski
Hong Kong sailing club J-Asia scored its first big win at this year's Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) 2013 with a third-place win in the Laser 4.7 by sailor Gerald Williams. The races wrapped up late Sunday as Kieler-Woche 2013 drew to a close.

Williams, 17, is the first Hong Kong sailor to place in the top 3 at the international event, which attracts sailors from all over the world each year. Among the sailors who took part in Kieler-Woche 2013 was Brazil's Robert Scheidt, who has won two Olympic golds and two silver medals in different sailing classes (Scheidt bagged second place at his Kiel Week campaign this year). Other J-Asia sailors who took part in the event were Thailand's Chusitt Punjamala who came in ninth, India's top Laser 4.7 sailor Vir Menon who placed 10th, and Hong Kong's Riley Cameron, who won second in the Laser 4.7 division at the Hong Kong Nationals last year. Kieler-Woche was established in 1882 and is the largest sailing event in the world. It can draw as many as 5,000 sailors.

'Kiel Week is as significant to sailing as Wimbledon is to tennis, and Gerald is a good sailor who trains hard and studies hard as well,' Nostitz-Jackowski said. 'It is great to see that his hard work reaps rewards. I'm looking forward to seeing Gerald go from strength to strength as he works toward his dream of qualifying for the Olympics.'

Hong Kong-born Williams began sailing at age 10 off Port Shelter in Sai Kung, and won distinction as Hong Kong's top Optimist class dinghy sailor in 2009 under Nostitz-Jackowski. In 2011 Williams placed fourth at his first International Laser 4.7 event at Warnemunde-Woche, and rounded out his first Laser 4.7 Worlds Campaign in San Francisco by placing ninth in the U16 division. Williams also represented Hong Kong at the Asian Sailing Championships in 2012.