The home team of Jovin TAN and Desiree LIM from Singapore won the 2008 IFDS Two-Person Keelboat World Championship by the narrowest of margins, qualifying their nation for the Paralympic Games in the process.
After finishing on equal points with the Chinese team of Jia Hai LIANG and Yu HUAWU, it was just one additional first place finish that earned the Singapore team their top spot.
The event was held at the SAF Yacht Club, Changi and sailed in the SKUD18.
After the rest day on Wednesday and with the racing already ahead of schedule, organizers obtained permission from all the teams to finish the regatta one day early if the conditions would allow it. With favourable northerly and easterly breezes settling in soon after 11:00, the three races needed to complete the program were sailed back to back, seeing competitors ashore by 16:00.
The first race of the day (heat 9) was started in 8 knots from the north. LIANG and HUAWU, Loke Sin YING and Al Mustakim MATRIN (MAS) and Pedro SOLLIQUE and Cherrie PINPIN (PHI) were over early and the Malaysians made contact with the Philippines boat when trying to dip. The China team did not return, leaving them with an OCS on the important last day.
Several teams vied for the lead throughout this race - Bento AMARAL and Luisa SILVANO (POR) had their usual good start, TAN and LIM were first to the top mark, LIANG and HUAWU had a small break by the second leeward mark, but the Australian teams of Ame BARNBROOK and Lindsay MASON made the best of some big shifts and came across the line first with TAN and LIM second.
Race 2 started in 6 knots of breeze that had moved to the east. It built to about 10 knots as the teams made their way around a two-lap trapezoid course. The Singaporeans led at every mark, with AMARAL and SILVANO recovering from mid-fleet to take second.
In the final heat, race officials set a three-lap trapezoid, but there was confusion on some boats and a number of teams put in an extra lap before finishing. LIANG and HUAWU came in first, but it was not enough to give them the championship. They were followed by BARNBROOK and MASON and TAN and LIM.
Final results had LIANG and HUAWU along with TAN and LIM equal on 18 points, but the Singapore team had one additional first place - enough to break the tie. Third was AMARAL and SILVANO just three points adrift, followed by Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Presentations will be held tonight at the Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel.
IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship - Two-Person Keelboat - www.sdsc.org.sg
ISAF Disabled Sailing microsite - www.sailing.org/disabled