Optimist sailors Shawn Goh and Bettina Chuang represented Singapore at the annual International Friendship All Japan Junior Yacht Club Regatta, held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Wakasu Yacht Training Centre from 4th to 7th August 2016 where they delivered good accounts of themselves and our country in the invitational.
14-year-old Shawn from Raffles Institution finished in 2nd place overall while Bettina, who was competing in her first overseas regatta, displayed great character and fighting spirit in the summer heat and tricky conditions in Japan, finishing 52nd place overall out of 56 competitors.
This regatta was co-organized by Japan Junior Yachting Club Union (JJYU) and three others which comprised of Yumenoshima Yacht Club, Koto Junior Yacht Club and The Koto Ward Sailing Club. Beside the local clubs participating, JJYU also invited teams from New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia and Korea.
Under the summer heat and tricky conditions in Japan, the optimist fleet of 56 sailors from 8 countries showcased high standards of racing throughout the four days. The competitiveness among the fleet was evident as race officials had to do general recall several times due to premature starts.
Despite the high level of competition, Shawn, who has been sailing since he was 7 years old, demonstrated his prowess by putting in solid and consistent races to place high up the standings. He finished the regatta with 18 points after 5 races, 1 point behind Pathan Vorrasart, a Thai sailor in the overall positions.
For 10-year-old Bettina of Saint Anthony Canossian Primary School, this maiden event was an eye-opener for her to sail in foreign waters and against foreign competitors. Guided by Coach Wanti during her weekend tranings, she showcased the qualities of a true sailor in this regatta.
Kelvin Tan, team manager and coach for the invitational, was proud of Singapore’s performance and was glad to have this opportunity compete in Japan.
“Our sailors did well in the challenging conditions,” said Kelvin. “I am satisfied with their performance and they are very happy to have this chance to be exposed to international racing, and most importantly to have made new friends which will come in handy when they grow up, be it for sailing, work or play.”