Bernie's golden touch brings junior world title in Canada

Bernie's golden touch brings junior world title in Canada
Sailors Samantha Yom and Bernie Chin, representatives at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Singapore’s Bernie Chin won the Under-17 Laser Radial title at the World Championships in Kingston, Canada on Thursday.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The honours just keep rolling in for up-and-coming sailor Bernie Chin.

The 16-year-old, who won golds in last year's Youth Olympic Games and June's SEA Games, can now add a junior world title to his name.

On Thursday, he clinched the Under-17 world title in the Laser Radial World Championships in Kingston, Canada.

Amid a fleet of 142 sailors of different age groups, he finished eighth overall to win the title.

It was also a vast improvement on his previous showing in the same event last year, when he finished 34th.

His compatriot Justin Chew finished 15th in the same competition.

Said Chung Pei Ming, general manager of the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF): "Bernie works very hard and his results show him moving up very steadily in the single-handed pathway.

"We hope to see him rise up to challenge his seniors at the Olympic level soon."

Bernie, who has been sailing since Primary 2, stepped out of the Optimist class two years ago and has progressed rapidly into the youth sailing classes.

Together with Samantha Yom, he became Singapore's first gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing last year, winning in the boys' Byte CII single-handed dinghy class.

His feat was recognised by The Straits Times, which picked him and Samantha as co-Athletes of the Month for August 2014.

The duo were also nominated for ST's Athlete of the Year award, which was eventually won by swimmer Joseph Schooling.

The SSF honoured his achievements by naming him Sailor of the Year last year.

This year, Bernie has continued his winning ways.

During June's SEA Games, he won the boys' Laser Radial gold in dominant fashion, winning seven out of 10 races at the East Coast.

This article was first published on August 22, 2015.
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