7th spot makes Lim and Low top Asians in 49erFX

Singapore's Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low finished seventh at the Sailing World Cup (SWC) on Saturday in their first appearance in the event.

Their performance in the 15-boat final also made them the top Asian pair in the 49erFX class, after Japan's Chika Hatae and Hiroka Itakura could only manage a ninth-place finish.

More significantly, it is a timely boost ahead of their campaign at the Aug 28-Sept 2 49erFX World Championship in Portugal, given the strength of the field. Their rivals included Rio Olympics gold medallists Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze from Brazil, and silver medallists Molly Meech and Alex Maloney from New Zealand.

Teams from Britain, France and Argentina also featured.

Lim, 21, and Low, 26, have had a creditable season thus far, also chalking up a third-place finish in the Princess Sofia Trophy in Mallorca in March, which was followed by a ninth-place result in last month's World Cup Series in France, which booked them their spot in the SWC final.

Said Lim: "This (SWC) was quite a tough event for us. Today was rather rough, (the winds were) really patchy, really shifting.

CLEAR GOAL

We've got a new coach and we're working hard together so everything for the year is about learning.

CECILIA LOW, on what she and partner Kimberly Lim are targeting this year.

"I think we started off pretty well, but there was a small error we made together and we had to catch up from there."

The duo started the competition positively as they tied for third after the first day and second after the fourth race, posting 11 top-10 finishes overall in the 13-race event.

Despite having made a successful debut in the competition, they insisted that it is "not so much about the results".

Said Low: "This year is all about our processes and getting it right. We've got a new coach and we're working hard together so everything for the year is about learning."

Lim and Low, who are aiming to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, are "very much on track at the moment", said Chua Tan Ching, Singapore Sailing Federation's high performance manager.

He added: "Things are going according to plan and the results from this regatta are evidence of that. We look forward to tracking their progress and how they perform in upcoming regattas."

The final was won by Grael and Kunze, with Britain's Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey second. France's Lili Sebesi and Albane Dubois came third.

Ho Cai Jun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline '7th spot makes Lim and Low top Asians in 49erFX'. Print Edition | Subscribe