After a challenging day offshore at the SAF Yacht Club at the eastern tip of Singapore, local sailors Jovin Tan and Desiree Lim maintained their lead by 'tie-break' in the IFDS Two Person Keelboat 2008 World Championship. A retirement in the second race of the day cost the Singapore team dearly and they are now on equal points with Bento Amaral and Luisa Silvano (POR).
Racing commenced just after 11am with heat three of the championship starting in an easterly breeze varying from four to eight knots. Tan/Lim (SIN) did not make the best of starts, but had built a two minute lead half-way through the hour long race. Jia Hai Liang and Yu Huawu (CHN) overhauled Amaral/Silvano (POR) in the latter part of the race, finally cutting Team Singapore' s finishing margin to 40 seconds.
Before the race committee could get the second race away, a spectacular electrical storm moved in from the north forcing a temporary abandonment to racing and sent the fleet scurrying back to the club. Once the skies had cleared and the easterly breeze had settled back in to a steady 10-11 knots, the AP flag was lowered and racing was underway by 3.45pm.
Tan and Lim were once again fast off the line and held a good lead at the top mark but everything went wrong when they attempted to hoist the asymmetric spinnaker. They sailed the entire reaching leg to the outer windward mark of the trapezoid course unable to complete the hoist and did not get the spinnaker set until about 100 metres along the downwind leg. The Singapore team did well to only allow three boats to get past, but there were more problems to come at the leeward mark when the kite proved difficult to retrieve. After dropping to second last on the next upwind, they elected to retire and spend more time with their coaches' help sorting out the problems ahead of the next race.
Back at the top of the fleet, Bento Amaral and Luisa Silvano (POR), Jia Hai Liang and Yu Huawu (CHN) and Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason (AUS) maintained their 1-2-3 positions from the second mark to the finish.
The final race of the day (heat five of the championship) was sailed in a consistent 10 knots from 60 degrees. At the gun, Amaral/Silvano (POR) came in with speed but ran out of room at the committee boat end and made contact with Loke/Al Mustakim (MAS), seeing the Portuguese completing their 360 degree turn while the fleet sailed away from the line.
At the top mark, Tan/Lim (SIN) lead from Kelehan/Twomey (IRL) and Liang/Huawu (CHN), but the Singapore team's spinnaker problems were not all resolved. They were very slow to hoist and had to deal with an unshakable wineglass during the next leg. The Singaporeans dropped to fourth behind Liang/Huawu (CHN), Kelehan/Twomey (IRL) and Barnbrook/Mason (AUS) at the first leeward.
Next time around the bottom mark on the two-lap outer trapezoid, Tan/Lim had clawed back to second place, a minute behind Liang/Huawu. Third place was a real tussle between Ireland, Portugal and Australia with these three rounding less than a boat length apart. At the finish it was China, Singapore and Australia taking the top spots.
Principal race Office Khoo Boo Sun (SIN) is aiming for another three races tomorrow to put the regatta one race ahead of schedule and provide the competitors with their scheduled rest day on Wednesday. The Championship concludes on Friday. SKUD 18 Provisional Results pending protest (24 March 2008)
No Sail No Sailor Country Class Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Best 5 of 5
1 SIN023 Tan Wei Qiang Jovin / Lim Kok Liang SIN SKUD18 1 1 1 RTD,9 2 14.00 1
2 POR028 Bento Amaral / Luisa Silvano POR SKUD18 4 2 3 1 4 14.00 2
3 CHN017 Jia Hailiang/ Yu Huawu CHN SKUD18 2 RAF,9 2 2 1 16.00 3
4 AUS020 Barnbrook Amethyst / Mason Lindsay AUS SKUD18 3 RTD,9 5 3 3 23.00 4
5 IRL027 Kelehan Amy / Twomey John IRL SKUD18 6 3 4 5 5 23.00 5
6 GBR011 Figgures Judi /Millward Valerie GBR SKUD18 5 RTD,9 6 4 6 30.00 6
7 MAS037 Al Mustakim Matrin / Loke Sin Ying MAS SKUD18 7 4 7 7 8 33.00 7
8 PHI024 Sollique Pedro / Pinpin Cherrie S PHI SKUD18 8 5 8 6 7 34.00 8
For more information about the IFDS SKUD 18 World Championship Singapore, visit: : www.sdsc.org.sg
IFDS Website: www.sailing.org/disabled
SKUD 18 Class Webpage: www.skud.org
Sailability Singapore: www.sailabilitysingapore.org The Skud 18 class of boat was selected in 2005 as the boat for Two-Person Paralympics competition in Beijing in 2008. Due to its design and ease of use for severely disabled athletes, the Skud18 is an exciting addition to the realm of disabled sailing.
At the recently concluded IFDS Disabled Sailing Combined World Championships held in Rochester in September 2007, the following nations have qualified for the Two-Person Keel boat Competition: USA, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Portugal, and China.
This leaves a total of five coveted spots for the Paralympics next year. More importantly, these five qualification spots shall be decided at the IFDS Two-Person Keelboat 2008 SKUD18 World Championship, in Singapore, from 20 to 28 March 2008.