420 Worlds - another title for Singapore

Rachel Lee, Cecilia Low and Coach Yong Qiang
Mervyn Kwok
The Singapore 420 team competing at the 2012 World Championships in Neusiedler See, Austria from 27th July to 5th August brought home another world title after a week of close racing.

The event welcomed sailors from 25 countries competed for the world titles in both Open and Ladies categories. The field also included 2011 Optimist world champion Kimberly Lim, who has moved onto the 420 class and 2010 YOG Gold medallist Ian Barrows from US Virgin Islands. The event also featured Spain's gold medallists in the 420 Boys event at the recently concluded 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds, David and Alex Charles and France's silver medallists Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan. The Ladies event also saw gold medallists in the 420 girls at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds, Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta Disalle from Italy and bronze medallists Great Britain's Annabel Vose/Kirstie Urwin vying for the podium.

Going into the final day of racing yesterday, the Singapore team featured prominently in the Ladies standings, in second, third and fifth positions. Rachel Lee and Cecilia Low snatched victory from Chilean pair of Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton who had been leading the event throughout the week, by finishing ahead in the final race and securing victory by a single point.

Griselda Khng, sailing with new partner Lee Shu Xian stepped onto the podium in bronze medal position, ending the series with a win in the final race.

2012 Ladies World 420 Champions Rachel Lee and Cecilia Low


The young team of Kimberly Lim and Savannah Siew also steadily improved throughout the series to finish fourth overall, and also wins the William Sanchez Trophy for the top Under-16 team. Kimberly and Savannah adds on to an impressive regatta resumé after just 6 months of sailing together in the 420.

Together with Jillian Lee and Samantha Neubronner in 33rd position, our girls’ team turned in an impressive showing in the 71 boat Ladies fleet.

In the Open category, Nathan Tang and Jonathan Yeo placed 16th overall, just one position ahead of Darran Choy and Andrew Tang. The pairs briefly broke into the top 10 placings during the week, and showed glimpses of their potential. They will no doubt build on their experiences for their future Olympic campaigns.

Singapore had also previously won the 420 world title in 2010 when Justin Liu and Sherman Cheng clinched victory in Haifa, Israel. Coach Yong Qiang was also the architect of that 2010 success.

Said Mr Chung Pei Ming, Head for High Performance, from London where he is currently with the Olympic team, 'This is a good showing by our team, as it is never easy to win world titles in such Olympic pathway classes. We have a mix of experienced and new sailors in this year’s team, and it is good that the team has done well collectively. Much credit to coach Yong Qiang for bringing up batches and batches of sailors in the double-handed pathway.'

'Its fantastic to see the breadth and depth in our teams from Junior, to Youth, to Senior and now Olympic. Coming off the back of the Optimist world titles, and our Laser sailors’ good showing at the Olympics, this is very encouraging news for the sailing community. It is important to continue to build the fleets, and our pool of sailors in a dynamic environment with healthy competition. It certainly bodes well as we dig in and work towards 2016, 2020 and beyond!' said Tan Wearn Haw, CEO of SingaporeSailing.

Rachel Lee and Cecilia Low sailing to victory