Singapore Rules The Waters And Retains Team Title, While India Settles For Bronze
Nail biting finishes, hair-raising manoeuvres marked the last day of the team event at the Dockendale IODA Asian Sailing Championship 2003.
7 Asian countries went into Round 2 to decide who would be the Asian Team Champion.
Race one was sailed between Hong Kong and Singapore wherein Singapore proved their superiority and won the Race. Race two was sailed between India "A" and Korea. India "A" beat Korea to enter the last four.
The most exciting race was sailed between India"B" team consisting of Xerxes BAMBOAT, Krish MAKHIJA, Chaitanya CHOWGULE (the present Indian National Optimist Champion) and Kabir TOMBAT. They sailed against one of the favorites Malaysia, consisting of Alvin YEOW (the current reigning Asian Optimist Champion and presently lying 3rd overall in the individual event) Rufina TAN , Faizani BIN and Khairunnisa . This very closely contested race ended in a tie. However as per the rules in such a situation the team that has had a gun (first position) in the race looses the tie. It was a very sad exit for the young Indian foursome.
Finishing positions for India were- 1st, 2nd, 7th, and 8th, Malaysia finished 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th, both at 18 points.
The last race to decide the final four was sailed between Japan and China and was won by Japan. The final four Singapore vs. India "A", Malaysia vs. Japan. Singapore outclassed India "A" and Malaysia dominated their race against Japan. The stage was set for the finals to decide the Asian Optimist Team Champions. Singapore showed their tactical supremacy on the waters of Mumbai Harbour and totally out sailed their opponents, and retained their position as Team Champions. They had won the title at Quingdao, China in the year 2002.
In the fight for the bronze the hosts India "A" sailed a well planned and tactical race to beat Japan and win the bronze medal for the first time in an Optimist Asian event.