Singapore leads at FESPIC Games

Three races of the FESPIC Games Sailing Competition were completed in Port Dickson, Malaysia, today. The regular afternoon tropical storm passed to the south, allowing race Officer Jennie Lee (MAS) to start one more race after the lunch break and put the regatta a race ahead of the schedule.

Singapore finished the day leading both women’s divisions. In the Mens, Australia and Malaysia are top of the table. Five races have now been completed of the nine race program.

Young Australian Access 2.3 sailor Duncan MacGregor scored a 1-2-3 today to remain 2 points clear of Jovin Tan (SIN) who is another 2 points ahead of Al Mustakin Matrin (MAS). Race 4 saw these three dueling from the final leeward mark to the finish line, with the Singaporean forcing the Malaysian into an infringement and penalty. The Australian was able to sneak through unscathed to capture 2nd place.

In the Women’s 2.3, Joanne Toh (SIN) only has one blemish on her otherwise perfect scorecard – a 2nd place in race 5. She holds a comfortable 6 point lead. Rachael Cox (AUS) and Sabrina Safri (MAS) have 5 points separating their 2nd and 3rd positions. Safri has improved steadily throughout the regatta and clearly intends to challenge for the silver medal.

Liberty sailor Mustafa Junell (MAS) scored 5-1-1 in today’s races to hold a 6 point gap over Karim Abdul (SIN). Alson Tumbagahan (PHI) is only one point adrift in 3rd, so things may change once a race can be dropped. Junell has sailed a very clean regatta, avoiding congestion at the mark roundings and maintaining good boat speed in a range of wind strengths.

Desiree Lim (SIN) took over the lead in the Women’s Liberty division today after Ding Zhi Yun (CHN) was OCS in Race 3. Ding bounced back with a 3-1 in the last 2 races to trail by 4 in 2nd place, but is on equal points with Pamela Murray (AUS) who scored a 2-1-3. The complexion of this division will change once the drop comes into effect.

Racing has become intense at the top of all divisions with little separating the leaders, but the FESPIC Games regatta has also enabled sailors with a disability from the emerging sailing nations of Vietnam, and Cambodia to experience competition at an international event.

Racing continues until Wednesday November 29. Results are available from the FESPIC Games Website: http://www.fespickl06.com.my/rs2006/bm/sa/schedule.aspx

The FESPIC Games are a Regional Games for athletes with a disability. Ten nations are represented in the sailing competition organized by the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) in conjunction with the International Association for Disabled sailing (IFDS). This is the first time that sailing has been included as a sport in the FESPIC Games and the first IFDS Event to have been conducted in Asia.
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