The 10 - 15 knot southerly produced a magnificent sailing spectacle on the final day of racing at the XXI SEA Games
All sailors where out on the course including the run away winners with most of the interest focusing on the 470, 420 and men's Mistral classes, where the final result hinged on today's placings. The heavier crews were keen to get on with the job whilst a little nervousness was evident at the start as some sailors had difficulty setting up their boats for the freshening breeze.
Eventually it was Singapore's Tan Wearn Haw / Chung Pei Ming in the men's 470 and Malaysia's Kelly Yin / Hasikin in the 470 women's to finish with 2 first places each to rap up the series.
The final day surprise came from Myanmar in the 420 men's with brothers Phone Kyaw Moe Myint / Sithu Moe Myint taking one first and a second to break free from the tied second place that existed with Singapore. Series leader Malaysia's Jeremy Koo / Looi Sing Yew only managed 5th in race 9 and suffered a further disqualification in the last race leaving the way clear for the Myint brothers to snatch victory.
Myanmar's Su Myat Soe / Nan Kham Say followed suite with 2 wins in the 420 women to break the overnight deadlock with Malaysia's Nurul Ain/Nor Balquis to earn their first victory at international competition for this small emerging team.
Aung Myin Thu / Kaung Myat Htut made it a hat-trick for Myanmar in the Laser II on their first outing in this class despite adding 2 fourths today, they have done enough scoring 6 wins in the earlier races.
In the Lasers run away winners Kevin Lim and Tiffany Koo kept their score sheets clear and easily added 2 more gold medals to Malaysia's record haul of 82 presently at these games.
Bali's board sailing legend Gusti Made Oka added 2 more firsts to his tally to break the tie with Thailands Phanuthat Ruamsap by 2 points and add another title to his large collection. The 2 other Mistral board classes where dominated by Thailand's Arun Homraruen and Napalai Tansai who have almost a clear score sheet of firsts.
The Optimist class saw Malaysia's Abdul Rahim and Singapore's Sarah Tan easily clinch the boys and girls titles in this popular dinghy class. The traditional battle between these two countries has widened to make it a four way battle including Thailand and new comers Myanmar.
The medal tally ended with host nation Malaysia winning 5 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. Followed by Myanmar with 3 gold and 1 bronze. Singapore with 2 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze edged out Thailand with 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals. Indonesia took 1 gold and 2 bronze with the Philippines taking 1 solitary silver medal home with them.
The bringing together of these sailing nations in competition has brought new life and expectations to the sport in the region. Discussions have been underway during the games on how to improve the sport and the possibility of introducing a annual sailing competition between the South East Asian nations in Optimists, 470, 420 and laser dinghy's has emerged. Regional financial woe's have restricted the growth and development of most National Authorities thereby hampering the sailors attempts to get better. Hopefully the leap forward Malaysia has made during these games in boats and equipment will be put to good use and to their advantage in the future