Sailing: Pink power enough to beat the catamaran

They have beaten cancer, and now the Breast Cancer Foundation's (BCF) Paddlers in the Pink team can add a victory over an Extreme 40 catamaran to their list of triumphs.

The 18-strong dragonboat team used strength, endurance and some help from a lack of windy conditions to overcome the fancied Team Aberdeen Singapore on the sidelines of the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) at Marina Bay on last Saturday.

It was the first race of its kind on Singapore waters and aimed to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Captain Irene Chui said she was delighted with the victory.

"It was a great win because it was the 18 of us in a manual, primitive boat against a high-tech sail boat," said the 48-year-old.

"What was great about our team was that we are made up of all ages, and we are all (cancer) survivors."

Last Saturday was the third day of the Singapore leg of the ESS, and there were several events were put on for fans at the race village at the Promontory@Marina Bay.

Children were handed balloons, several sported swirls of face paint and some had also purchased the BCF's glittery pink-ribbon tattoos.

Spectators enjoyed an exhibition dragonboat race featuring the Singapore Management University team, the BCF team, a supporters' boat and eventual winners British Dragons, who hail from the UK.

In the evening, ESS skippers Dean Barker and Franck Cammas spent time with 80 young sailors from SingaporeSailing in a "Chat with the Champions" session.

Last Saturday's actual ESS races saw a dramatic crash near the finish line, as Team Aberdeen Singapore ploughed into the back of the Groupama Sailing Team.

The French team's Tanguy Cariou suffered minor facial injuries - and was treated at the scene by an on-site medical team.

After the penultimate day of racing, Team Alinghi rest in first place with 163 points, 31 ahead of defending champions The Wave, Muscat (132). Realstone are third with 130 points. Team Aberdeen Singapore prop up the 12-team table with 47 points.

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