Hello Daniel! Tell us more about yourself!

I am a J1 student in Victoria Junior College reading Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Economics. My friends describe me as an optimistic and easygoing person. One person who has inspired me greatly in my childhood is Nick Vujicic. His life journey reminds me that nothing is impossible and his quote “Attitude is Altitude” is a motto that I hold on to in my life.

When and how did you start sailing?

I took up sailing as a CCA in St Hilda’s. My first memory of sailing was a very positive one. Coach Xiaodong brought me onto his powerboat for the first training session. We watched our seniors sail. By the second session, I was on the boat, trying to sail on my own. It was fun and I realised that I enjoyed being out there in the open sea.  Coach Xiaodong and my sailing teacher, Mrs Sarah Wee, gave tremendous encouragement and support that helped flame my passion during the early years of sailing.

How were your first / best memories of your early regattas?

My first regatta was when I was in Primary 3. I competed in the Singapore Nationals in June 2010. It was memorable because I recalled that there were many international sailors at that event, including the World Champion from Thailand, Noppakao Poonpat. I was totally inspired by the high level of sailing that I saw in that regatta.

How are your overseas training experience?

I have sailed in Perth, Netherlands, Lanzarote, San Francisco.

Overseas training adds a lot of breadth and depth to me as a sailor. Firstly, I learn a lot in terms of technical skills – from the different wind conditions to sparring with overseas sailors. Secondly, it’s enriching to be able to understand the culture and environment of sailors from different countries. It helps broaden my world perspective and indirectly, helps me appreciate what I have back home.

My first trip to Perth was memorable. I was still in Primary School and I was away for 3 weeks. It was the first time I was exposed to strong wind conditions of 18-20 knots.

How do  you cope with school and competitive training?

I am thankful that my schools (SHPS, Victoria School and VJC) have been very supportive whenever I needed to go overseas for competitions or training camps.

I will meet my subject teachers before and after the trips for consultations in order to catch up with topics that were covered while I waa away. Most of the time, I bring my work along so that I can squeeze in some study time at night or during off days. My school mates have been extremely supportive as well. They will keep me updated on school work and whenever we have project assignments, we will schedule in our project meetings earlier before I leave.

How do you use your weekends to train or catch up with school work?

I have to be very clear on what my priorities are in order to cope with sailing and studies. This is the same with every other athlete who does competitive sports. My weekends are spent on school work and training, with church service on Sunday mornings. This has been my life since primary school and I am quite used to it. It is a sacrifice that I choose to make because I want to give my best to what I am doing.