“We both did not know it was already the end of the boat until I fell in” – sailor Priscilla Low

priscilla low 470 sea games

Priscilla Low, 24, will head for her first SEA Games in December. (Photo courtesy of SingaporeSailing)

Priscilla Low, 24, will sail for Singapore at the upcoming 2013 South-east Asian (SEA) Games. She will be at the helm for the 470 women’s class in what will be her first SEA Games.

Priscilla’s partner for the SEA Games is her younger sister, Cecilia, 22.

We caught up with Priscilla to find out more about her sailing adventures.

Les Tan: How did you get started with sailing?
Priscilla: My younger sister and I started sailing together. I was 9 and she was 7. It was by chance that my mum saw an advertisement in a brochure about sailing. She thought it was an interesting and an unusual sport at that time as sailing was not a very popular sport and signed us up for the course.

Also because my sister was a very hyperactive child and my mum thought that sailing would make her a more focused person as she had no where else to run on the small boat.

What is it about sailing that you enjoy? Has that changed over the years?
Priscilla: What I enjoy most about sailing is the thrill I get when the boat cuts the waves and the speed moving through the water, like how some people like driving fast cars. And the competitions with other boats, like thinking of strategies or manoeuvres to defeat your opponents. I don’t think it has changed over the years.

What are your memorable moments in sailing?
Priscilla: One memorable moment in sailing for me was winning the team award for my first international regatta (2004 Asian Sailing Championship – Optimist silver). It made me very proud to represent Singapore and the sailing team.

A funny moment will be when I was sailing the 29er, a double-handed boat. My sister, who was my crew, unintentionally kept moving and moving me to the back of the boat and I just slipped out and into the water. We both did not know it was already the end of the boat until I fell in. In the water, I started laughing as I watched the boat capsize in front of me, with my sister clueless as to what had happened.

What are the misconceptions people have about sailing?
Priscilla: The misconceptions about sailing is that many people think it is canoeing or kayaking where we have to have paddles to row the boat. Or if they know a little about sailing they think is like those in the movies where there are big yachts drinking wine and relaxing in the sun.

What do you wish someone had told you before you started sailing?
Priscilla: I wished someone had told me that sailing is a very competitive sport. The competition between the sailors is great and everyone wants to win. Though it’s really competitive and everyone is an enemy on water, we’re good friends on land, which is what I love.

How do you feel about going for your first SEA Games?
Priscilla: Yes this is my first SEA Games and I am very excited by the hype from the public and other sailors, as well as proud to be able to represent Singapore.

What’s your training programme like lately?
Priscilla: These few months, we have been training very hard to prepare ourselves. We were in France for training and racing in October.

Currently we are having a training camp with our Israeli coach for two weeks and during the weeks leading up to the SEA Games we train whenever our schedules permit as all of our schedules are different and we have to train with the boys in 470.

Which schools did you represent in sailing? What was a memorable inter-school race for you?
Priscilla: I have been a CHIJ girl all the way. For primary and secondary, Katong Convent. I was in Temasek Polytechnic but did not sail in the inter-schools.

The most memorable inter-school race for me was in 2003. It was when I was in Secondary 1, I was the only sailor in Katong Convent then so the inter-schools were never a priority for me. Back then we sailed a boat called the topper. It was very fun boat as the boats were made of plastic and very durable so we could bump into others boats like bumper cars.

Being from Katong Convent was a disadvantage because other schools in the east were the biggest competitors at that time and they were always gunning for us. The most memorable race was when a few of my friends and I spotted the last-minute wind shift just before the race started and gained a huge lead to finish second, which made my competitors a little taken aback and confused after the race.

After completing that race I felt super happy and proud of myself because I managed to beat most of the top-level sailors at that time in a boat that I have only sailed in just for that inter-schools.

What are you doing currently?
Priscilla: I’m currently sailing full time in preparation for the SEA Games and coaching younger kids in sailing when I have breaks from training or free time.

Priscilla Low Bio
Class: 470 women (Helm)
Date of birth: Dec 29, 1989
Age: 24
Height: 161cm
Weight: 53kg
Hobbies: Sports
Major Sporting Achievements:
2007 Singapore National Youth Championship – 420 silver
2006 Asian Sailing Championship – 420 silver
2004 Asian Sailing Championship – Optimist silver

The Red Crew wish Priscilla Low all the best at the 2013 SEA Games! Do drop Priscilla a note of support in the comments section if you can. We’re sure she’ll appreciate it. Upload photos showing your support of Priscilla on Instagram using #ourteamsg, or on the Team Singapore campaign’s website: www.ourteamsg.com

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