Singapore’s junior sailors are doing well in this year’s Asian Optimist Championships held in Bahrain, earning a second and fourth place in the Team Racing event that concluded yesterday. The Team Racing event was held on Day 3 of the championships, which have been plagued by strong winds with gusts of up to 20 knots, making it extremely challenging for the light wind specialists.
The 2014 IODA Optimist Championships delivers a mix of world-class racing and nail-biting competition
Singapore, along with Japan and Malaysia fielded two teams in the Team Racing event, making for a total of 16 contesting teams. Non-Asian teams from notable sailing nations Australia, New Zealand, United States of America and Germany are also participating in this year’s event. Asia was well represented by junior sailors from Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and China.
Singapore’s team 1 won several matches against Thailand and Japan to book their finals berth. Great effort from Singapore’s team 2 consisting a handful of young, but extremely hardworking and earnest Optimist sailors who fought hard against the team from Japan in the qualifying round earn a fourth overall place in the Team Racing event.
Although Japan fought hard in the next round they didn’t manage to overcome the obstacle of Singapore’s team 1, but they were happy enough to win the bronze medal.
The final sail-off delivered a mix of nail-biting competition and non-stop excitement as the sailors from Singapore and China vied for the esteemed title. Close battles, moments full of tension and great performances lead to a spectacular outcome with China outfoxing Singapore 2-0 to raise the flag and take victory.
Although the young teams from Singapore did not manage to defend their Team Racing title, they have performed extremely well against several highly competitive teams. Congratulations to all team sailors, and SingaporeSailing would like to wish the team in Bahrain all the very best for the remaining races in the Fleet Racing event.
Singapore Team 1 – second in 2014 IODA Asian Optimist Team Racing Event
Samuel Neo, Lu Junrui, Koh Yi Nian, Issac Tang and Ryan Kwok
Singapore Team 2 – fourth in the 2014 IODA Asian Optimist Team Racing Event
Phua Shyn Ee, Jodie Lai, James Koh, Raynn Kwok and Marsha Shahrin
Singapore's Optimist sailors won Silver in the Team Racing Event
Fleet racing resumes tomorrow, and strong winds are forecast. The current leaders of the fleet racing event are Yu Huijia from China, and Suthon Yampinid and Voravond Rachrattanaruk from Thailand. The Singapore charge is led by Lu Junrui, currently in sixth place. There are four Singaporean sailors in the top 10, all within striking distance of the podium.
The Asian Optimist Championships is a key continental event in the junior sailing development pathway and the depth and quality of the teams represents the vibrant junior and youth sailing ecosystem in Singapore. Team Singapore is represented by 10 sailors, making up the 132 strong fleet.
The Singapore sailing community is proud of our junior sailors’ achievements and wish them the best for the remaining races in Bahrain.
Link to results here:
Singapore's Optimist sailors racing against highly competitive teams at the 2014 IODA Asian Optimist Championships