School sports activities: SJI’s Kenan Tan overcomes tough start to win B Div boys’ sailing ILCA 4 competition

SINGAPORE – Unfavourable climate circumstances induced a number of disruptions to this 12 months’s B Division boys’ sailing ILCA 4 competition, however these interruptions turned out to be a blessing in disguise for St Joseph’s Institution’s Kenan Tan.

Before the ultimate two races of the three-race closing on the National Sailing Centre on Tuesday (April 26), the Secondary 3 pupil had not been at his greatest.

“Yesterday I wasn’t in my usual zone. I was pretty stressed because I had a lot of pressure. They had high hopes and expectations and I didn’t want to let them down,” he stated, referring to the hopes of his family and friends.

On Monday (April 25), the 14-year-old had completed second and fourth within the first two qualifying races earlier than profitable the third one to make the lower for the 10-strong closing. He then completed third within the first of the three races within the closing.

When competition resumed on Tuesday morning, he was nonetheless feeling the load of these expectations.

But because the sailors endured one other wait with the morning’s races unable to go on due to the climate, Kenan lastly managed to calm himself down. When racing resumed, he completed first in each races to clinch the title.

He stated: “It was fairly lengthy and we had to await race officers to set the course correctly. That time helped me to relax much more and put to follow the recommendation of family and friends.

“I’m pretty surprised and proud of myself. During qualifiers yesterday I wasn’t doing well and I barely qualified for final.”

Completing the rostrum have been Raffles Institution’s Isaac Goh and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)’s Jarrod Toh, who completed second and third respectively.

Isaac, who had been aiming for the gold medal, felt that he might have sailed higher, particularly in areas resembling his race begins and reducing down on errors in the course of the race. He had received the primary race, however completed third and fifth after that.

But the 15-year-old was glad to be again racing once more after the National School Games sailing competition was placed on maintain for the previous two years owing to the pandemic.

This 12 months, it returned with a brand new format.

Instead of 5 or seven 40-minute races to determine the winner, sailors took half in a qualifying spherical comprising three seven- to 10-minute races, with the highest two to 4 sailors – relying on the variety of teams for every class – qualifying straight for the ultimate.

Those who didn’t qualify for the ultimate competed within the repechage spherical, with the highest two qualifying for the ultimate. The closing was then contested over three races.

Isaac stated: “For me, this year’s competition was fun. It’s very short and there are very few contestants in each group, which makes it hard. With the course being shorter, there’s also no room for any mistakes.”

For Jarrod, the competitiveness of this 12 months’s NSG was one thing he loved.

The 15-year-old stated: “It’s actually enjoyable. I managed to meet my previous opponents and race towards them, however earlier than we launch on shore, we will chit chat and that’s one thing I’d always remember about NSG.

“It also becomes really competitive. It’s more of schools fighting against other schools instead of us sailing our own races, which builds that team spirit.”

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