|An Amazing Event Draws to a Close
The championship medals have been awarded and the places confirmed for the Youth Olympic Games in China. HKG having already qualified, the Boys fleet qualifiers are Japan, Thailand and, for the first time, Myanmar and in the Girls Thailand, Japan and Singapore have qualified. Congratulations to all!
There was a lot of close action on the Techno 293 course during their two last races as competitors played their final cards. In the Youth Boys fleet the bullets were taken by Cheng Ho Yin HKG-36 but it was Chan Tsz Kit HKG-17 who claimed the title of Asian Champion. Hong Kong dominated the final podium with Cheng Ho Yin finishing in second place and Wong Chun Yan in the third spot.
Chan Tsz Kit said, "I am excited about the Youth Olympic games because it is a big event worldwide and I can compete with top sailors from different countries. It will be a great experience for me."
Duangkamon Phongern THA-51 was the undisputed champion of the Youth Girls Division, with Hong Kong's Choi Wing Chi finishing second overall. In third place Lim Si Ying Ynez SIN-98 had her best race of the championship coming first over the line in the penultimate race.
About her ticket to China, Duangkamon Phongern said, "I am happy but it will be really stressful at Nanjing because all the competitors this time round will be tougher and more competitive."
Competition was tight between the top three in the Open Division but Sandakov Dmitry RUS-154 held on to the top spot with Ikeda Takumi JPN-223 finishing the championship in second place and Ikeda Kazushi JPN-221 taking third.
In the RS:X Men's division, Thailand's Ek Boonsawad cemented his position on the top of the leaderboard winning the 2014 RS:X Men Asian Champion title with an almost perfect score of 11 points, while Taipei's Chang Hao took second spot and Singapore's Leong Ong settled for a third-placed finish despite a bullet in Race 11.
In the RS:X Youth Men fleet, Hong Kong's Kikabhoy Rafeek won the 2014 RS:X Youth Men Asian Champion title after beating Thailand's Chinain Pattharadnai and Hong Kong's Hui Kwan Nok finished in second and third positions respectively.
Over in the RS:X Women's division, the 2013 RS:X Youth Girls Asian Champion, Ngai Wai Yan from Hong Kong scored two bullets to regain her lead over fellow team-mate Lo Sin Lam. Ngai edged out Lo by a mere one point difference to take home the 2014 RS:X Women Asian Champion title while Thailand's Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam finished third.
The Hong Kong team continued its dominance in the Mistral One Design Open class where 2013 Asian Champion Cheng Kwok Fai retained his title while his compatriot Lee Chun Ting took second spot.
The event also saw some of the region's top windsurfers compete in the RS:One, Raceboard and Formula classes as well as varsity windsurfers contesting the annual SIM University Windsurfing Championships.
In the RS:One class, Sri Lanka's Chameera Gunawardena claimed the top spot after winning the tie-breaker with Thailand's Ruamsap Phanuthat based on the number of best discards.
The close fight between the top three competitors in day two of the Formula Open class saw Singapore's Lo Jun Hao winning the Open class after securing two wins over close rivals Chris Newman from Britain and Joshua Choo from Singapore. There were less surprises in the Raceboard class with Paul Leone finishing first on a perfect score.
The two-day of intense racing amongst windsurf novices in the 5th SIM Windsurfing Championship ended with SMU walking away with the most number of medals.
All involved in staging the 33 SIM Singapore Windsurfing Championships are to be congratulated for the slick operation both on and off the water and for their wonderful hospitality.
The National Sailing Centre in Singapore has a long tradition in sailing and windsurfing and in the 90's had one of the biggest clubs in the world. However, this is the first time that a major windsurfing-only event has been held at the National Sailing Centre. Co-organised by Singapore Sailing Federation and Windsurfing Association of Singapore, and with SIM as the title sponsor, this most successful edition of the Singapore Open Windsurfing Championship welcomed windsurfers from all over Asia and the world with 136 participants from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Argentina, and Russia.
"It has been good to see all these countries coming to Singapore, good to see windsurfing being revived. Sport is important in people's lives, these kids are our future, and we are bringing people together."
The tricky conditions not only proved challenging to the race committee but also to the competitors as tactics came into play. In the end, it was the ones who could best read the wind conditions who triumphed.