Sailing: Singapore keelboat team win regional qualifier to earn Monsoon Cup berth

Sailors (from left) Russell Kan, Justin Wong, Malaysian Mohd Saifullah, Maximilian Soh and Christopher Lim. The Singapore flag will fly for the first time at the Monsoon Cup when it is held next February, after keelboat side Team Red Dot won the
Sailors (from left) Russell Kan, Justin Wong, Malaysian Mohd Saifullah, Maximilian Soh and Christopher Lim. The Singapore flag will fly for the first time at the Monsoon Cup when it is held next February, after keelboat side Team Red Dot won the regional qualifiers to earn a berth at the regatta. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAXIMILIAN SOH

The Singapore flag will fly for the first time at the Monsoon Cup when it is held next February, after keelboat side Team Red Dot won the regional qualifiers to earn a berth at the regatta.

The same side that won keelboat gold at the Asian Games in September, the team is skippered by Maximilian Soh, and includes Justin Wong, Russell Kan, Christopher Lim. Andrew Paul Chan did not race due to illness, but the sailors teamed up with Malaysian Mohd Saifullah yesterday.

The team had a rough start, second last (7th) after the first round-robin, before boucning back to top the second round-robin on Friday. They beat the team led by Australia's Matt Jerwood 3-2 in the semi-finals, before winning the final against Frenchman Arthur Herreman 2-0 yesterday.

Said Soh: "We beat two higher ranked teams with the French having qualified and participated in two tour events already. We are glad to have won and to show that we are carrying on our form from Asian Games. We hope to fly Singapore's flag high on the World Match Racing Tour."

The Monsoon Cup is the season-ending event of the World Match Racing Tour, a US$1.75 million (S$2.27 million) sailing series that features eight races across North America, Europe and Asia. Previous winners include Briton Ben Ainslie and New Zealander Dean Barker.