Sailing: Singapore to host SB20 world championships in 2021 at One15 Marina

Yachts and boats berthed at One15 Marina Sentosa Cove, on Sept 2, 2017.
Yachts and boats berthed at One15 Marina Sentosa Cove, on Sept 2, 2017.PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - The Republic will host a sailing world championships for the first time, after One15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore announced on Monday (Jan 28) it has secured the hosting rights for the SB20 World Championships 2021.

The marina will host more than 70 boats and teams from around the world from Feb 2-6.

More than 15 teams from Singapore, comprising some of the Republic's top sailors, are also expected to participate in the regatta as well.

This will be the first SB20 World Championships to be held in Asia since its inception in 2008. Europe and Australia have hosted it nine times and twice respectively.

Singapore SB20 Association fleet vice-captain Nicholas Cocks said One15's successful hosting of four SB20 Asia Pacific Championships between 2015 and 2019 - the 2019 event was held last week - was a key factor in its winning bid to host the 2021 world event.

Noting that the "tripartite alliance" of One15 Marina, his organisation and the Singapore Sailing Federation have put in a "very convincing bid", Cocks added: "Sailing has become increasingly popular in Singapore and playing host to a world championship event will definitely give the profile of the sport a boost locally and around the region."

Conceptualised in 1999 as a one-design class of sailboat, the SB20 is an open keelboat designed for racing with a crew of three or four, whose maximum weight must not exceed 270kg.

Being the largest one-design keelboat fleet in Singapore, the SB20 is the boat of choice for Singapore sailors progressing from dinghy racing to keelboat racing.

One15 Marina general manager Teo Joo Leng was "very excited" about the successful bid, and added: "This successful bid would not have been possible without the strong support and advocacy efforts of our partners - the Singapore SB20 Association, the Singapore Sailing Federation as well as the Singapore Tourism Board.

"Over the years, One15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore has consistently supported the sea-sports community as part of our corporate mission to make it part of the lifestyle offerings at the marina."

While the SB20 is not an Olympic class, SSF president Lincoln Chee felt Singapore's hosting of the SB20 World Championships 2021 will help sailing grow on multiple fronts.

He said: "Our local sailors will get to race against foreign sailors of an international standard, and if we can host it well, that will give confidence to the management, federation and the sailing community at large, and raise interest here.

"Any experience hosting a world championship will be great. We will also host the Asian Laser Championship in March and are always on the lookout (to host a world championship for an Olympic class)."