Hayama, Japan, Thursday, August 29, 2013 – Ryan Teo of Singapore finished as the top sailor as his compatriots rounded out the top five spots in the fleet racing event at the 2013 Asian Optimist Championships.
Singapore also successfully defending their team racing title earlier in the championships to continue a fine run at major Optimist events around the world.
Guided by coaches Fernando Alegre and Javier Figueroa, and team manager Soh Ling Ying, the Singapore team comprising Loh Jia Yi, Bertha Han, Sarah Chua, Fathin Rasyiqin, Ryan Teo, Samuel Neo, Koh Yi Kun, Ryan Kwok, Issac Tang, Raynn Kwok, Edward Tan and Alexander Lim, displayed determination to round off the championships strongly.
Bertha Han and Edward Tan, in particular, sailed exceptionally well on the last day. They went into the final day of racing in fourth and sevent place respectively, but surged ahead with good performances in the final stretch.
Bertha Han nailed an impressive 2,1,1 for the last three races, which put her comfortably in second overall, ahead of Thailand’s Pumyam Pongsapat and Yampinid Suthon. Edward Tan, on the other hand, collected a 3,3,4 to leap four spots into third overall.
With a strong six-point lead going into the final day of racing, Ryan Teo finished strongly to claim the crown, proving himself to be a deserving successor to the outgoing champion, Loh Jia Yi, who has reached the Optimist age limit of 15 years old.
With five Singaporeans finishing in the top five – Samuel Neo in fourth and Loh Jia Yi in fifth – the team made its presence felt in the overall standings.
There was also notable effort from the younger sailors as well – Issac Tang (8th), Koh Yi Kun (10th), Ryan Kwok (11th), Raynn Kwok (13th), Fathin Rasyiqin (22nd), Alexander Lim (27th) and Sarah Chua (75th) – to round off a strong performance by the whole team.
Although the team features a new wave of junior sailors this year, the ability to successfully defend all their titles at the 2013 Asian Optimist Championships speaks to the depth of the squad.