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2014 IODA Asian Optimist Champs - Singapore is 'Top Nation'

by Singapore Sailing on 6 Apr 2014
Singapore’s Optimist sailors were crowned the best performing nation at the 2014 IODA Asian Optimist Championships SingaporeSailing
Building on the Team Racing podium performance, Singapore’s Optimist sailors contributed to the podium positions in the overall open fleet racing event with Lu Junrui and Phua Shyn Ee winning Silver and Bronze respectively, with the Overall Open feet racing won by Turkey’s Rasim Yassar. Phua was top Asian girl for 2014.

The team continues a fine run of form at major Optimist events around the world. Apart from Lu and Phua’s medal peformances, another three members in the team went on to achieve impressive top-ten finishes – Koh Yi Nian (5th), Samuel Neo (6th), and Ryan Kwok (7th).

Guided by coaches Fernando Alegre and Javier Figueroa, and team manager Soh Ling Ying, the Singapore team comprising Samuel Neo, Issac Tang, Lu Junrui, Koh Yi Nian, James Koh, Jodie Lai, Ryan Kwok, Raynn Kwok, Phua Shyn Ee, and Marsha Shahrin displayed great determination and fortitude.

Phua Shyn Ee and Koh Yi Nian, in particular, sailed exceptionally well on the last day – they went into the final day of racing in fifth and ninth place respectively, but both were determined to turn things around. Koh Yi Nian nailed excellent finishes for the last three races, which allowed him leap four spots up the leaderboard to fifth overall. Phua Shyn Ee, also sailed remarkably to leap onto the podium and clinch overall girl’s Asian title.

The strong wind conditions were favourable to Singapore’s Optimist sailors, who have trained amply in strong wind conditions to prepare for this event. Despite fierce competition and challenging conditions, Lu Junrui managed to retain his position during the last day of racing to win the Silver medal, proving himself to be the next up and coming Optimist sailor to look out for.

A major shuffle on the leaderboard occurred after China’s Yu Huijia picked up two DSQs in races 9 and 10, relinquishing the sailor from first to 10th overall. This unfortunate incident provided the perfect window of opportunity for Turkey’s Rasim Yasar to catch up, sailing an almost perfect three races to claim the crown.

With two Singaporeans finishing in the top three, and five sailors in total finishing in top ten – the young team stems its presence in the overall standings.

The combined results from both the fleet and team racing events sees Singapore emerge as the top team, defending their Overall Asian Championship from 2013.

Great effort from the new crop of junior sailors as well – Issac Tang (12th), James Koh (17th), Marsha Shahrin (25th), Jodie Lai (30th), and Raynn Kwok (34th) to round off an excellent performance by the whole team.

Although the team features a new wave of junior sailors this year, the ability to achieve commendable results at the 2014 IODA Asian Optimist Championships certainly echoes the depth of the squad, and augurs well for the coming 2014 season.

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