RI sailors rule the waves in A Division

RI sailors rule the waves in A Division
Jillian Lee, 18 (left, pink cap) and Katrina Yeo, 16, in the final race of the National Schools Sailing Championships. They were the only A division competitors from their schools in the championships.

SINGAPORE - Raffles Institution (RI) sailed away with both A Division team titles at the Schools National Sailing Championships yesterday.

They retained the boys' title ahead of second-placed Meridian Junior College with first-, second- and fourth-place finishes by Ryan Lo, Amos Lim and Ryan See respectively.

Said Ryan Lo, 17: "Inter-school competitions come only once a year. You can win individual titles in other competitions but this is the only school title you can get. To us, winning it is more special."

In the girls' competition, RI took the title with three sailors - Kimberly Lim, Savannah Siew and Jessica Goh - finishing in the top four.

However, first-placed Jillian Lee of Victoria Junior College (VJC) prevented them from sweeping the individual titles.

The championships, held at the National Sailing Centre, saw 203 sailors and 26 schools from the A, B and C divisions, as well as 131 primary-school competitors.

The team titles were awarded to schools with the least points accumulated by their top three sailors.

For Jillian, a team title was impossible as the 18-year-old was the only one in her junior college taking part, after the departure of her two team-mates, with whom she won last year's team title.

"Practices get a bit more complicated. I usually call a friend to go and sail every week," she said.

The A Division competition has been plagued with attrition and is rumoured to be discontinued next year. Already, the double-handed 420 class, which the A Division boys competed in last year, was left out of the championships.

Serangoon Junior College's Katrina Yeo, 16, who is part of the national squad, said it was a challenge to juggle school work with the training sessions, especially when she is the only sailor in her junior college.

"I love sailing a lot and I've been doing it since I was nine, so I don't see why I should stop just because my school doesn't offer it," said Katrina who finished seventh.

chingyl@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 12 in The Straits Times.

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