Sailing: Jia Yi cruises at world champs in Italy

SINGAPORE - Singapore's young sailors stormed ahead on Wednesday at the Optimist World Championships in Italy, where a thunderstorm and light winds shortened the programme for the day.

The Republic's Loh Jia Yi remained on course for the overall individual title after winning Race 8 in the yellow fleet.

His nearest competitor, Germany's Nils Sternbeck, kept pace with the 15-year-old Raffles Institution student after winning the blue fleet race.

Koh Yi Kun and compatriot Fathin Rasyiqin Mohd Firdaus finished second and third, respectively, in the red fleet race. Edward Tan won the green fleet race, while Bertha Han finished sixth in the same race.

With the results, all five Singaporeans are in the top eight of the 259-strong individual fleet racing field at the Fraglia Vela Riva in Lake Garda.

Edward moved up one position to third after Wednesday's results, while Yi Kun is just a place behind in fourth, an improvement of two places.

Bertha remains in fifth place and on course to take the girls' title, with Fathin the next nearest challenger in eighth place, up from 11th the day before.

Jia Yi won Race 9 in the yellow fleet and the blue fleet was under way when the boats were called back to shore because of a thunderstorm.

All will be carried over to Thursday, the last day of the regatta.

Sailors are able to discard their worst result among the races.

Jia Yi is in the running to be the third successive Singaporean to claim the overall individual title, after Kimberly Lim in 2011 and Yukie Yokoyama last year.

The Singaporean quintet this year have already retained the team title - Singapore's third straight victory - after beating Italy 2-1 in the best-of-three final on Sunday.

Get The New Paper for more stories.