Windless day wipes out racing on Day 1 of sailing championship


Contributed by Darrelle Eng

Singapore National 420 & Byte Championship & Singapore Laser Trophy - Day 1

With no winds, all the boats and sailors stayed on shore. (Photo courtesy of Fulford PR)

It’s going to be an exciting week ahead with the Singapore National Championships for 420, Byte, and Laser kicking off today.

With 159 sailors on water, including international competitors from Asian powerhouses Thailand and Malaysia as well as guests from Australia, New Zealand, and Russia, were certainly expecting some excitement in the racing.

Among the 420s, reigning national champions Justin Liu and Sherman Cheng will be looking to defend their title. However their competitors may be close on their heels. “We’ll try to beat them,” said Asian Games aspirants Ko Chuan Yang and Andrew Paul Chan.

The action in the Laser fleet is likely to be in the tussle for the top three, where Asian Games medalists Colin Cheng and Maximilian Soh may battle it out, along with Malaysias Mohd Romzi.

In the Byte CII rig fleet, the fight for a spot at the Byte World Championships in Kingston, Canada, is on. Of the 22-strong fleet, 10 sailors, all part of Singapores Youth Olympic Training Squad, have already earned their seats to the worlds, leaving four more slots open for contest.

Furthermore, with the Asian Youth Games looming, Singapore’s representatives to the games, Darren Choy and Najwa Jumali, will be angling to show their prowess during this lead-up to their big competition.

Before the start of a major regatta, we Singaporeans, competitors and organizers alike, are apt to glance nervously at weather forecasts and say a quick prayer to the wind gods to bless us with wind come race day. Unfortunately fortune was not with us this time, with the first day of the championship dawning bright, clear and calm.

Start time saw the various sailors lounging about under shelter, taking care to stay out of the sun, chatting, napping, and even transferring their pent-up energy into the excitement of group card games – a favourite no-wind past-time for Singapores local sailors!

Five hours of waiting later, the wind still proved elusive, the late afternoon breezes of the past week failing to come in today. By half past four, it was obvious that getting any races in was going to be a futile hope, so the race committee decided to call it a day.

With AP over A flag (postponement, no more racing for the day) now flying overhead, we can only hope (and pray a little harder) that the wind deities will look more favourably upon us tomorrow!

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