New chief exec for sailing

From left: Ben Tan (SSF president), Andrew Tam (incoming chief executive), Tan Wearn Haw (outgoing CE), Rodney Tan (SSF vice-president). Ben paid tribute to Wearn Haw's contributions, saying he brought "sailing to the forefront of people's consciousn
From left: Ben Tan (SSF president), Andrew Tam (incoming chief executive), Tan Wearn Haw (outgoing CE), Rodney Tan (SSF vice-president). Ben paid tribute to Wearn Haw's contributions, saying he brought "sailing to the forefront of people's consciousness".PHOTO COURTESY OF SINGAPORE SAILING FEDERATION

Old hand Andrew Tam replaces Tan Wearn Haw, who returns to MCCY after 5-year stint

Sailing will have a new "first mate" from next year, following a change of leadership at the top of the Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF).

Chief executive Tan Wearn Haw, 37, will step down on Dec 31, ending his five-year secondment from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, where he will return.

He handles the day-to-day running of the federation, which is helmed by president Ben Tan.

A former Public Service Commission scholar and ex-national sailor who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and America's Cup, Wearn Haw will be replaced by Andrew Tam, the SSF said yesterday.

Tam, 48, has over 20 years of involvement in the sport, including stints at Changi Sailing Club, The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, Raffles Marina and the SAF Yacht Club. He is currently an assistant director with the Singapore Management University's Office of Student Life.

He was instrumental in the SAF Yacht Club's Get Kids Afloat programme, which introduced the sport to many current national sailors, and also developed SMU's sailing programme.

SFF chief Ben paid tribute to Wearn Haw's contributions, saying: "He has consolidated and reinforced our foundation and at the same time, excited Singapore and given a glimpse of the potential of sailing. We have seen fresh new ideas coming to life and he's done the seemingly impossible - bringing sailing to the forefront of people's consciousness."

Under Wearn Haw's watch, sailing witnessed several key milestones as Ben implemented the SFF's The Next Leg, a strategic proposal to develop the sport.

The Republic captured its first Olympic titles last year when Bernie Chin and Samantha Yom triumphed in the Byte CII classes at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. At the recent Singapore SEA Games, the sailors also delivered their best haul at the biennial Games with 10 golds.

For next year's Olympics in Rio, Singapore will be represented in at least four events, equalling its previous record from the 2008 Games.

Said Wearn Haw, who will be co-opted as the SSF executive committee's secretary general next year: "It has been a relentless journey of change... but certainly one that has steadied our ship and lit a spark of optimism in the many people who cherish our sport."

His successor Tam was confident of continuing the progress made. He said: "I am eager to be leading SingaporeSailing to the next phase of development, which will be an exciting and challenging one."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'NEW CHIEF EXEC FOR SAILING'. Print Edition | Subscribe