Liberty start at the FESPIC Games Regatta in Malaysia
FESPIC Games Regatta Completed
The final races in the FESPIC Games Sailing Competition were completed today in Port Dickson, Malaysia, in perfect conditions. Principal Race Officer, Jennie Lee (MAS), kept the sailors ashore until a steady breeze settled in around noon. With boats back at the dock around 3pm and no protests lodged, it was soon clear that Singapore had won two Gold Medals, with the other Gold going to Malaysia and China.
“This event has been highly successful at a number of levels”, stated IFDS Technical Delegate, Pauline Harrison.
“The FESPIC Games Sailing Competition has involved ten Asian countries, many of which are new to international competition. The sailors range from one past and a promising number of emerging Paralympians, to one who sailed on the sea for the first time here on the Strait of Malacca. All have gained from the experience. The rising standard of sailing reflected the growing support of their national sailing authorities”.
“The venue at Port Dickson is magnificent. All the competitors have enjoyed themselves ashore and delivered some outstanding performances on the water”, she said.
The Mens’ Access 2.3 division was won by the most disabled sailor entered in the event – 20 year old Singaporean Jovin Tan. Consistent light weather boat speed, good tactics and great starts were the hallmarks of his success. Matrin Al Mustakin (MAS) improved throughout the regatta and finished the event with three 1st placings to elevate him to the Silver Medal position in a tie-break with Duncan MacGregor (AUS) who had led the results table for the first three days.
In a clean sweep of the Access 2.3 divisions another Singaporean, Joanne Toh, claimed the Womens’ Gold Medal. Rachael Cox (AUS) finished strongly with two 1st places today but Toh had built a significant lead early in the regatta. A consistent Sabrina Safri (MAS) won the Bronze.
The Mens’ Liberty Gold Medal was won by the host country’s Mustafa Junell, who scored five 1st placings out of the nine races to see him finish 4 points clear. Alson Tumbagahan (PHI) claimed Silver and Karim Abdul (SIN) the Bronze.
In the Womens’ Liberty division, Ding Zhi Yun (CHN) extended the narrow lead she held after day three to ensure she would take home the Gold. Australia’s Pamela Murray made a late charge with wins in both of today’s races, but it was not enough to overcome Desiree Lim (SIN) who secured the Silver Medal.
Full results are available from the FESPIC Games Website.
For the team prizes, Singapore were clear winners in the Access 2.3 Combined tally, followed by Australia and Malaysia. China claimed the Liberty team prize with Singapore 2nd and Philippines 3rd.
The formal Medal Presentation Ceremony will be held at Port Dickson tomorrow night ahead of the FESPIC Games Closing Ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Pauline Harrison went on to say that, “Sailing is the newest sport to be included in the FESPIC Games and the KL’06 Organising Committee, the Malaysian Yachting Association and all the enthusiastic volunteers have done a marvelous job of conducting this regatta”.
“I sincerely hope that the high standards set in Port Dickson will, in the future, secure a place for Sailing in the Asian Paralympic Games”, said Mrs Harrison.
The FESPIC (Far East & South Pacific) Games are a Regional Games for athletes with a disability. This is the 9th and last FESPIC Games and will be succeeded by the Asian Paralympic Games. Sailing was included for the first time and was conducted by the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) on behalf of KL’06, in conjunction with the International Association for Disabled sailing (IFDS). This is first IFDS Event in Asia and is seen as a very exciting step forward in developing sailing opportunities for people with disabilities in this region.
FESPIC Games Regatta - Day Three Report
Once the rain cleared leaving an overcast day, another two races of the FESPIC Games Sailing Competition were sailed today in Port Dickson. Light breezes and a sloppy sea remaining after the morning’s strong wind made for very challenging conditions.
With seven races now completed, sailors discard their worst result. Scores have become very close in three of the four divisions being sailed.
Jovin Tan (SIN) has closed within 1 point Duncan MacGregor (AUS) in the Access 2.3 division thanks to consistent 2-2 placings today and being able to drop a 4th place from the first race of the series. MacGregor went 1-3 today, but the final two races will be crucial for the young Australian. Al Mustakin Matrin (MAS) holds 3rd overall and is another 3 points behind Tan.
Joanne Toh (SIN) scored 2-1 today and remains 5 points clear of Rachael Cox (AUS) who sailed to an impressive win in the first race of the day. Cox seems to have consolidated her 2nd position with Sabrina Safri (MAS) only managing a 3-4 in today’s difficult conditions to be a further 5 points behind.
In the Mens Liberty division, the lead of Mustafa Junell (MAS) has been cut to just 2 points. The combination of Junell’s 5th place in the first race of the day with Alson Tumbagahan (PHI) going 2-2 and discarding his DSQ from the first race of the series, has closed the gap considerably. Karim Abdul (SIN) took a win in the first of the day and could well have consolidated his second place position from yesterday but was OCS in Race 7. He now has 4 points to make up with only 2 races yet to sail.
Ding Zhi Yun (CHN) regained a slim lead in the Womens Liberty division today after discarding her OCS from Day 2. Ding is tied on points with Desiree Lim (SIN) but has 2 more 1st places. The experienced Lim also had the opportunity to build a gap on the Chinese girl, but was OCS in the first race of the day. Pamela Murray (AUS) is 6 points behind the leading pair, but has a 4 point buffer over Cherrie Pinpin (PHI) in 4th.
Chairman of the International Jury, Noel Allen (AUS), commented, “Competitors in this event have quite varied levels of sailing skills, but the leaders in each division are very competent”.
“All the sailors have been very well behaved, taking alternative penalties on the water and there have been very few protests”, he said.
“The venue, and the Malaysian hospitality for sailors and officials, has been wonderful”, said Allen.
It is expected that racing will be completed on Wednesday November 29, although a reserve day is available on the 30th in case of poor weather.
FESPIC Games Regatta - Day Two Report
Three races of the FESPIC Games Sailing Competition were completed in Port Dickson, Malaysia, today. The regular afternoon tropical storm passed to the south, allowing race Officer Jennie Lee (MAS) to start one more race after the lunch break and put the regatta a race ahead of the schedule.
Singapore finished the day leading both womens divisions. In the mens, Australia and Malaysia are top of the table. Five races have now been completed of the nine race program.
Young Australian Access 2.3 sailor Duncan MacGregor scored a 1-2-3 today to remain 2 points clear of Jovin Tan (SIN) who is another 2 points ahead of Al Mustakin Matrin (MAS). Race 4 saw these three dueling from the final leeward mark to the finish line, with the Singaporean forcing the Malaysian into an infringement and penalty. The Australian was able to sneak through unscathed to capture 2nd place.
In the Womens 2.3, Joanne Toh (SIN) only has one blemish on her otherwise perfect scorecard – a 2nd place in race 5. She holds a comfortable 6 point lead. Rachael Cox (AUS) and Sabrina Safri (MAS) have 5 points separating their 2nd and 3rd positions. Safri has improved steadily throughout the regatta and clearly intends to challenge for the silver medal.
Liberty sailor Mustafa Junell (MAS) scored 5-1-1 in today’s races to hold a 6 point gap over Karim Abdul (SIN). Alson Tumbagahan (PHI) is only one point adrift in 3rd, so things may change once a race can be dropped. Junell has sailed a very clean regatta, avoiding congestion at the mark roundings and maintaining good boat speed in a range of wind strengths.
Desiree Lim (SIN) took over the lead in the Womens Liberty division today after Ding Zhi Yun (CHN) was OCS in Race 3. Ding bounced back with a 3-1 in the last 2 races to trail by 4 in 2nd place, but is on equal points with Pamela Murray (AUS) who scored a 2-1-3. The complexion of this division will change once the drop comes into effect.
Racing has become intense at the top of all divisions with little separating the leaders, but the FESPIC Games regatta has also enabled sailors with a disability from the emerging sailing nations of Vietnam, and Cambodia to experience competition at an international event.
Racing continues until Wednesday November 29.
FESPIC Games Regatta - Day One Report
Day one of racing for the FESPIC Games Sailing Competition got underway today in Port Dickson, Malaysia. The expected light breezes enabled two races to be started, but the second was finished amid a tropical storm bringing stronger winds and lightning with competitors and officials heading ashore in torrential rain.
The FESPIC Games are a Regional Games for athletes with a disability. Ten nations are represented in the sailing competition organized by the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) in conjunction with the International Association for Disabled sailing (IFDS). This is the first time that sailing has been included as a sport in the FESPIC Games and the first IFDS Event to have been conducted in Asia.
Sailing is being conducted from the Admiral Marina & Leisure Club at Port Dickson, 2 hours south of Kuala Lumpur where the majority of other sports are being contested. Race Officer Jennie Lee leads a strong group of local volunteers from the Royal Port Dickson Yacht Club and the MYA with support from FESPIC and the Malaysian Army and Emergency Services. IFDS Officials are from Great Britain, France and Australia, and the International Jury is comprised from Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Equipment for the FESPIC Sailing Competition is the International Access 2.3 and Access Liberty, (ISAF Recognised Class). Both are becoming increasingly popular within the Asian region and are very easy for new sailors to adapt to. The regatta is a supplied equipment event, with the Liberty fleet provided by the Access Dinghy Foundation thanks to the support of Maersk Lines and Maersk Logistics who transported the boats from Australia. The Access 2.3 fleet has been provided by the MYA and Sailability Singapore.
Five nations took wins today and different nations head each division after day one based on provisional results.
In his first overseas event, Duncan MacGregor (AUS) dropped one place at the finish of the second race of the Access 2.3 Mens to finish with a 1-2 and is two points ahead of Jovin Tan (SIN) and Al Mustakim Matrin (MAS). In the Womens Access 2.3 Division, Joanne Toh (SIN) took two wins to lead Rachael Cox (AUS) and Ji Qian Qian (CHN).
Malaysian sailor Mustafah Junell has a two point lead over Alson Tumbagahan (PHI) and Yang Xiu Jie (CHN) in the Mens Liberty Division, whilst Ding Zhi Yun (CHN) took two wins to lead Lim Kok Liang (SIN) and Cheerie Pinpin (PHI) in the Womens Liberty fleet.
The nine race program continues until Wednesday November 29.