Welcome to the cosmopolitan city of Singapore – a state of the art capital bursting with energy and a fascinating mix of culture, art and architecture. From 5th to 16th June, Singapore is hosting the 28th edition of the Southeast Asian Games – building on the strong sports heritage of this beautiful city.
The biennial SEA Games has grown in strength in recent years, with more sports on the programme and increasing participation levels. Sailing is firmly in the line-up of 35 sports, with 20 different sailing events for men and women.
Singapore’s National Sailing Center is hosting the sailing. The venue was alive with activity, as teams got ready for day 1. Racing is staggered over 9 days. Featuring on the opening day were the RSX windsurfers, Laser and Laser Radial dinghies and team racing for the Optimist class. Pre-race concentration was intense.
There were epic clashes in the Optimist team racing, as nations pitched their best under 16 sailors up against each other. The aim of Team Racing is for a nation’s 4-boat team to cross the finish line in a winning combination of results. Sailing skill and rules knowledge, as well as cunning strategies and tactics are used to gain the upper hand.
Thailand, the defending title holders, were determined to make an early impression on the fleet and gain valuable results during the opening round robin stage. But, they met their match, as Singapore’s young sailors, runners up in 2013, put the pressure on. In a battle of the titans, Singapore put in a superior performance to claim the win.
Singapore held their form in the next face-off against Malaysia. The score combination of the two nations was a matched 18 points each. A narrow win to Singapore, as the tiebreak decider handed the win to them, with Malaysia losing out. Teamwork is critical; it is not about one boat’s result, but the combined results of the entire 4-boat team. Each sailor has to look after their teammates, help them to dodge from their opponents, and cover rivals. When deciding a tiebreak, it is the team whose boat was in first place that ends up losing out!
All smiles for Singapore’s team who started strong. Not such happy faces for the Race Committee though, who contended with inconsistent wind, big shifts and storm threats – which interfered with the day’s racing schedule.
Fortunately, the forecast storm did not materialize, but neither did the breeze arrive! So the final races to decide the prestigious SEA Games Optimist Team Racing title will wait until tomorrow.
by Icarus Sailing Media