Muhammad Fauzi Kaman Shah came in second with 71 points in the Optimist Gold A class at the Fish & Co Youth Sailing Championships in Singapore.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian back-up sailors did good at the Fish & Co Youth Sailing Championships, showing up host Singapore in their own backyard.
Mohd Dhiauddin Rozain and Muhammad Fauzi Kaman Shah proved they are shaping up to become good sailors after they completed a credible one-two finish in the Optimist Gold A class in the Singapore meet which ended on Saturday.
Thirteen-year-old Dhiauddin, who won silver in the boy’s Optimist class at the Myanmar SEA Games, proved he was able to master the wet and cloudy conditions with wind speeds of five to seven knots throughout the competition by scoring 49 points from 11 out of 12 races.
Fauzi, 11, who picked up a bronze in the team Optimist at the SEA Games, came in second with 71, while Singapore’s Samuel Neo was third with 94.
Malaysia had 19 athletes, 17 from the back-up squad, competing in six categories in Singapore.
“Dhiauddin is definitely coming up the ranks ... he’s the one to watch now. Fauzi is another youngster that we’re looking to develop as well in that class,” said Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) general manager Mohd Afendy Abdullah.
“The purpose of this competition was to give the back-up squad some exposure and they did great. Up until Saturday we had five sailors in the top three rankings. That’s something positive that we can take away,” he added.
“Singapore are the regional powerhouse, so to beat them in their own backyard ... that is something.”
It will be a quick respite for Dhiauddin and Fauzi as they will be competing at the Optimist Asian Championships 2014 in Bahrain from March 28-April 6. Much will be expected of Dhiauddin, who also clinched gold at the Sail the Gulf Regatta in Doha, Qatar, last month.
“He’s been sailing quite consistently of late. But he’s still so young and full of potential. We hope he can keep improving at a steady pace and come into his own. We’re also banking on him for the Asian Games in Incheon (Sept 19-Oct 4).
Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif and Muhammad Hariz Safwan Ismail also impressed after they came in first and second in the Byte class with 32 and 53 points respectively. Singapore’s Andrew Chan was third with 85 points.
Shazrin and Asri Azman (who finished fourth) are set to compete at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, from Aug 16-28.