The event was held at the SAF Yacht Club, Changi and sailed in the SKUD 18. Singapore, Ireland, Malaysia and Phillipines have now qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition two-person discipline.
After the rest day on Wednesday and with the racing already ahead of schedule, organisers obtained permission from all the teams to finish the regatta one day early if the conditions would allow it. With favourable northerly and easterly breezes settling in soon after 11am, the three races needed to complete the program were sailed back to back, seeing competitors ashore by 4pm.
The first race of the day (heat 9) was started in 8 knots from the North. Liang/Huawu (CHN), Loke/Al Mustakim (MAS) and Sollique/Pinpin (PHI) were over early and the Malaysians made contact with the Phillipines boat when trying to dip. The China team did not return, leaving them with an OCS on the important last day.
Several teams vied for the lead throughout this race - Amaral /Silvano (POR) had their usual good start, Tan/Lim (SIN) were first to the top mark, Liang/Huawu (CHN) had a small break by the second leeward mark, but the Australian teams of Ame Barnbrook & Lindsay Mason made the best of some big shifts and came across the line first with Tan/Lim (SIN) second.
Race two started in 6 knots of breeze hat had moved to the east. It built to about 10 knots as the teams made their way around a two-lap trapezoid course. The Singaporeans lead at every mark, with Amaral /Silvano (POR) recovering from mid-fleet to take second.
In the final heat, race officials set a three-lap trapezoid, but there was confusion on some boats and a number of teams put in an extra lap before finishing. Liang/Huawu (CHN) come in first, but it was not enough to give them the championship. They were followed by Barnbrook/Mason (AUS) and Tan/Lim (SIN).
Final results had Hai Liang & Yu Huawu (CHN) along with Jovin Tan & Desiree Lim (SIN) equal on 18 points, but the Singapore team had one additional first place – enough to break the tie. Third was Bento Amaral & Luisa Silvano (POR) just three points adrift, followed by teams from Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Malaysia and the Phillipines.
Presentations will be held Friday night at the Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel.
DAY THREE - March 25, 2008
A hot and sunny Singapore day greeted the teams competing in the IFDS Two Person Keelboat 2008 World Championship today. The event is being held at the SAF Yacht Club, Changi, and sailed in the SKUD 18 by eight crews from as many countries. The Championship is the final nations qualifier for the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition two-person discipline.
At the end of the day, team China moved to the top of the leader board with the home team relegated to third.
With sailors on the water before 11am, race officials were forced to delay the first start until a gentle easterly of 3-4 knots had settled in. Despite the light conditions, the elbows were out at the start. Jia Hai Liang & Yu Huawu (CHN) were forced up the wrong side of the committee boat and had to tack back, while the Malaysian team of Loke Sin Ying & Al Mustakim Matrin were caught to windward of Jovin Tan & Desiree Lim (SIN) and had to take a 360 degree penalty after the start following contact.
It took the first boat almost an hour to complete the windward-leeward course, twice around the top mark with a 1 knot current flowing diagonally across the race track. At the finish, it was Bento Amaral & Luisa Silvano (POR) across first, followed by Tan/Lim (SIN) and Liang/Huawu (CHN).
The second race of the day (heat 7 of the Championship) was started in about 4 knots of easterly, but this built to 5-8 knots and shifted left as the race progressed. The Singapore, Australian and China teams were best at the start, but by the first leeward mark Tan/Lim (SIN) had dropped right back and the Irish team of Amy Kelehan & John Twomey had moved up to third, behind Barnbrook/Mason (AUS) and Liang/Huawu (CHN) in first place. They maintained their positions to the finish, with first-time SKUD sailors Loke/Al Mustakim (MAS) getting their best placing so far in fourth.
A trapezoid was set for the final race of the day and the 5 knots at the start quickly built to a solid 15 knots from the east. Tan/Lim (SIN) were forced over the start line early by Kelehan/Twomey (IRL) while Amaral/Silvano (POR) came in late with plenty of speed to get the advantage leading up the first beat.
At the first mark, Portugal led Australia and Great Britain. The Aussies had overhauled Portugal at the first leeward rounding and China had come from behind. But it all went awry after that for Barnbrook/Mason (AUS) who lost three places upwind when their mainsheet bridle parted. At the finish it was Amaral/Silvano (POR), Liang/Huawu (CHN) and Kelehan/Twomey (IRL).
In the fresh conditions, Loke/Al Mustakim (MAS) collided with a race management boat just before the second windward mark. The International Jury agreed with their request for redress, awarding them points for equal 6th.
Once today’s results were tallied, the 3-1-2 results for Liang/Huawu (CHN) have propelled them to the top of the table, three points clear of Amaral/Silvano (POR). Tan/Lim (SIN) hold on to third.
With sailors on the water for over 5 hours today and having completed 8 of the 11 scheduled races already, organisers have declared a rest day tomorrow. Competition continues on Thursday and Friday.
DAY TWO - March 24, 2008
After a challenging day offshore the SAF Yacht Club at the eastern tip of Singapore, local sailors Jovin Tan & Desiree Lim maintain their lead by tie-break in the IFDS Two Person Keelboat 2008 World Championship. A retirement in the second race of the day cost the Singapore team dearly and they are now on equal points with Bento Amaral & Luisa Silvano (POR).
Racing commenced just after 11am with heat three of the championship started in an easterly breeze varying from 4 to 8 knots. Tan/Lim (SIN) did not make the best of starts, but had built a 2 minute lead half-way through the hour long race. Jia Hai Liang & Yu Huawu (CHN) overhauled Amaral/Silvano (POR) in the latter part of the race, finally cutting the Singaporean’s finishing margin to 40 seconds.
Before the race committee could get the second race away, a spectacular electrical storm moved in from the north forcing a temporary abandonment to racing and sending the fleet scurrying back to the club. Once the skies had cleared and the easterly breeze had settled back in to a steady 10-11 knots, the AP flag was lowered and racing was underway by 3.45pm.
Tan & Lim were once again fast off the line and held a good lead at the top mark but everything went wrong when they attempted to hoist the asymmetric spinnaker. They sailed the entire reaching leg to the outer windward mark of the trapezoid course unable to complete the hoist and did not get the spinnaker set until about 100 metres along the downwind leg. The Singapore team did well to only allow three boats to get past, but there were more problems to come at the leeward mark when the kite proved difficult to retrieve. After dropping to second last on the next upwind, they elected to retire and spend more time with their coaches’ help sorting out the problems ahead of the next race.
Back at the top of the fleet, Bento Amaral & Luisa Silvano (POR), Jia Hai Liang & Yu Huawu (CHN) and Ame Barnbrook & Lindsay Mason (AUS) maintained their 1-2-3 positions from the second mark to the finish.
The final race of the day (heat five of the championship) was sailed in a consistent 10 knots from 60 degrees. At the gun, Amaral/Silvano (POR) came in with speed but ran out of room at the committee boat end and made contact with Loke/Al Mustakim (MAS), seeing the Portugese completing their 360 degree turn while the fleet sailed away from the line.
At the top mark, Tan/Lim (SIN) lead from Kelehan/Twomey (IRL) and Liang/Huawu (CHN), but the Singapore team’s spinnaker problems were not all resolved. They were very slow to hoist and had to deal with an unshakable wineglass during the next leg. The Singaporeans dropped to fourth behind Liang/Huawu (CHN), Kelehan/Twomey (IRL) and Barnbrook/Mason (AUS) at the first leeward.
Next time around the bottom mark on the two-lap outer trapezoid, Tan/Lim had clawed back second place, a minute behind Liang/Huawu. Third place was a real tussle between Ireland, Portugal and Australia with these three rounding less than a boat length apart. At the finish it was China, Singapore and Australia taking the top spots.
Principal race Office Khoo Boo Sun (SIN) is aiming for another three races tomorrow to put the regatta one race ahead of schedule and provide the competitors with their scheduled rest day on Wednesday. The Championship concludes on Friday.
DAY ONE - March 23, 2008
Jovin Tan & Desiree Lim (SIN) have dominated day one of official racing in the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) Two Person Keelboat 2008 World Championship at the SAF Yacht Club, Changi, today. The Singapore team used their local knowledge and light wind experience to post two clear wins.
In race one, Tan/Lim were the only boat to choose a pin end start, sailing clear of the fleet from the gun and finishing almost a minute ahead of Jia Hai Liang & Yu Huawu (CHN). Third place was a photo finish, with Ame Barnbrook & Lindsay Mason (AUS) crossing just one second ahead of Bento Amaral & Luisa Silvano (POR).
The start of racing was delayed four hours as Principal Race Officer Khoo Boo Sun (SIN) waited while the breeze came and went and moved around the compass. Both heats were finally held in a southerly of 5 to 7 knots with an increasing tidal flow from the west.
The 2 knot plus current got the better of the Australian crew in the start of race two. They hooked the pin end mark and were unable to disentangle themselves from the ground tackle, forcing an early and unwelcome retirement.
While this start was more evenly contested, Tan/Lim (SIN) had clear air and good light wind speed to establish a break. By the finish of the longer race two, the Singapore pair had stretched their lead to a massive 6 minutes.
Liang/Huawu (CHN) were second across the line, followed by Amaral/Silvano (POR), Figgures/Milward (GBR) and Kelehan/Twomey (IRL). The GBR team retired after finishing, in acknowledgement of having not sailed the correct course. With a protest still pending, the day one results have been withheld.
Racing finished just before 6pm today. The race management team are hoping to run three more heats tomorrow, however the forecast is for more light winds.