(Singapore, 19 March 2019) – The National Sailing Center in Singapore at the East Coast Park played host to 64 sailors across 15 nations over the past week where the inaugural ILCA Asian Open Laser Championship was held.
At the opening ceremony on 3 March 2019, a minute’s silence was held for the late Jeff Martin who served as the Executive Secretary Emeritus for the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) for 40 years. “Jeff Martin was instrumental in establishing a stand-alone Asian region of the ILCA, carved out from the Asian Pacific Region. Since the inception of ILCA Asian Region in 2018, we had been looking forward to this inaugural continental Laser championship. Jeff would have been our Principal Race Officer for this event, unfortunately, he passed on just before the event in a ski accident. Nonetheless, I believe Jeff will be watching over us from wherever he is right now, making sure our event runs smoothly and safely and that everyone is having fun”, said Aileen Loo, Chairperson of the Asian Region of ILCA.
The first race day was dedicated as a special memorial for Jeff Martin; all official, support and coach boats, all competing Lasers donned a black ribbon as a mark of gratitude and respect to Jeff’s lifelong devotion to the Laser class and to sailing. Three back to back races were completed in an average of 8 knots, with the Laser Standards and Laser 4.7 on Race Area Alpha running a trapezoid course whilst the Laser Radials raced around a windward- leeward course on Race Area Bravo. Team Thailand dominated the senior divisions on Day 1 leading the Laser Standard Men and Laser Radial Women fleets. Singaporean Lee Hao Zhe and Abdulmalik Al Hinai of Oman led the Laser Radial Boy and Laser 4.7 fleets respectively.
Day 2 presented some challenges for the Race Committee as the north easterly wind was flicking east and resulted in a few changes of course. With much blessings, the wind stabilised and another 3 good races were completed as per scheduled. With the forecast of lighter winds later in the week, the race committee made an amendment to have the option to run up to 4 races the following day.
With bright sunshine and 10 knots of wind gusting up to 12 knots, the sailors were sent around the race track 4 times on Day 3. A big day indeed with many tired but satisfied faces when boats came back to shore, both athletes and coaches alike.
A mid-week dinner was hosted by the local Laser dealer, Constant Wind Pte Ltd at their Sea Sports Centre located within walking distance from the race venue. Sailors, coaches and officials were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner featuring an array of local dishes and a generous supply of beer. The relaxed social evening closed with happy rewards for some sailors/ officials as they won prizes such as caps, rashguards, laptop bags and a cabin luggage bag at the lucky draw sponsored by Constant Wind’s Pro Shop.
Race day 4 started calm and light in the morning. The race committee deliberated whether to fly AP on shore; however, by 1130hr, the wind spotter boat reported a consistent 6 knots easterly breeze and sailors were sent out to their courses. With the wind settled at between 110 to 130 degrees, the sailors completed another 3 races in a nice building breeze.
Being one race ahead of schedule, the first warning signal for race day 5 was pushed back to 1300hr to give everyone an additional hour’s rest in the morning. It was a good decision by the Race Committee as the wind filled in just as the races begun. Sailors soaked up the sunshine and fresh Singapore breeze for the final day before gathering back on shore to pack up.
The prize giving ceremony and closing dinner was held at Village Hotel Katong. Dr Ben Tan, Advisor to Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) and an Asian Laser sailing icon himself graced the occasion and gave out some of the prizes. More lucky draw prizes, sponsored by Performance Sailcraft Japan (one of Asia’s Laser builders) were given out to some very happy sailors and coaches.
“The event has shown the depth of Laser sailors in Asia, with the junior, youth and senior classes racing together allows the younger sailors to see what is ahead. Asia has no lack of sailing talents and with better collaboration, sharing of knowledge and healthy rivalry, together we can improve faster and better. We look forward to the 2020 edition, let’s hope we can have at least 100 entries”, said Mr Lim Han Ee, CEO of SSF.
Laser Standard Division
1. Keerati Bualong (Thailand)
2. Nicholas Bezy (Hong Kong)
3. Upamanyu Dutta (India)
Laser Standard Master Division
1. Jangazov Ruslan (Kazakhstan)
2. Shigeki Miyako (Japan)
3. Shigeo Kato (Japan)
Laser Radial Women Division
1. Kamolwan Chanyim (Thailand)
2. Kanapan Pachati Kapanya (Thailand)
3. Sophia Gail Montgomery (Thailand)
Laser Radial Girl (U19) Division
1. Sophia Gail Montgomery (Thailand)
2. Janisara Sasha Romanyk (Thailand)
3. Simone Chen (Singapore)
Laser Radial Boy (U19) Division
1. Arthit Mikhail Romanyk (Thailand)
2. Lee Wonn Kye (Singapore)
3. Lee Hao Zhe (Singapore)
Laser 4.7 Girl Division
1. Patcharee Sringam (Thailand)
2. Joelle Lio (Singapore)
3. Meghan Tan (Singapore)
Laser 4.7 Boy Division
1. Jonathan Lio (Singapore)
2. Abdulmalik Hinai (Oman)
3. Al Moatasem Farsi (Oman)