Singapore sailors win three golds Down Under to give CEO Sanders perfect farewell gift

Singapore has scored a hattrick of sailing golds at the Australian Nationals, thanks to sterling performances from  Justin Liu, Sherman Cheng, Koh Seng Leong and Elizabeth Yin.

Dynamic duo Justin and Sherman stormed to the 420 Men’s and Open title at the Adelaide event on Sunday and retained the titles they won last year.

The two 17-year-olds went into the final races at the head of the 54-strong fleet and kept their composure to finish first on 21 points, three ahead of Australians Matthew Jerwood and Patrick Vos.

Singapore also won a silver in the Women’s 42- but it was one which did not bring a smile to Griselda Khng and Cecilia Low.

The duo, who had a commanding 17-point lead on the last day, suffered a broken kicker which forced them to return to shore to get it repaired.

The setback affected them and in the end, they lost to Australia’s Lucy Shepherd and Amelia Catt by six points.

But Singapore then bounced back on Monday with two more golds.

Two-time Olympian Koh Seng Leong maintained a strong lead throughout the six-day men’s Laser Radial competition to win comfortably. The 26-year-old finished 29 points ahead of runner-up Malaysian Mohd Romzi to clinch his first Radial crown in Australia.

He had missed the gold narrowly in 2003 as he finished second.

Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Yin added another feather to her cap with her triumph in the women’s Laser Radial.

Already a triple world champion at the age of 18, she finished the regatta as the top female sailor and ninth overall. Teammate Victoria Chan (19) clinched a bronze position in the women’s division in overall 14th position.

Said Mark Robinson, SingaporeSailing’s Head of High Performance: “The sailors’ stellar performances have marked a good start to our 2010 campaign and are positive indicators of our preparations for the year.

“The hard work will continue, it will be all hands on deck as we prepare towards achieving our targets at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and Asian Games.”

Meanwhile, SingaporeSailing has announced that chief executive officer Andrew Sanders will be stepping down and leaving the national body. His post will be taken over by Edwin Low, SingaporeSailing’s secretary-general and head of High Participation.

Sanders, who has been with SingaporeSailing since 2002, will be moving on to pursue other opportunities in the sports or the commodities and resources sectors.

SingaporeSailing  president Low Teo Ping praised and thank Sanders for his eight years of yeoman service to the NSA.

“The organisation has never been stronger both in terms of governance and its ability to deliver a wide range of sailing programmes and to this end, Andrew has given his all and we are greatly appreciative of his contributions,” he said.

“We have been planning the long term succession for SingaporeSailing over the last two years and, in specific terms, over the last seven months. Edwin…will progressively take over the helm early this year. His position of Executive Director will take effect from 1 Feb 2010.”

Sanders described his time at SingaporeSailing as ‘a wonderful journey’ filled with ‘many memorable moments’.

“I am very thankful and grateful for the opportunities that were given to me, particularly Teo Ping’s visionary leadership and mentorship,” said the former sailor and sailing coach who used to work as an exploration geologist in his country.

“I am also fortunate that my two areas of relevant interest and experience, sports and the resources sectors, are growing industries of the future.”

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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