Hi Yinian! Tell us more about yourself!

I am a national sailor and I am now sailing the 49er skiff class – an Olympic class. My hope for this year would be to qualify for the Asian Games and get a Gold medal. Looking forward, my dream is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and to live the experience of having been to an Olympic games.

I think I am often considered hardworking in working towards my goals, and also determined to get to my goals despite setbacks along the way.

When and how did you start sailing?

I started sailing when I was 7 years old in the Optimist class. My siblings used to sail before I did and I was brought into the sport henceforth. My parents also wanted me to try out sailing as they enjoy the sport.

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

My best memory was being able to get into the Gold fleet. At that time, being in the Gold fleet was a huge privilege as the fleet level of Optimists in Singapore was at its finest. I worked hard on how best to improve myself and always asked questions when in doubt. This attitude really allowed me to improve my sailing craft. Making it into the Gold fleet after just 2 years into sailing was something that I was really proud of.

How are your overseas training experience?

Over the years, my sailing experience has been one filled with fruitful experience and also a lot of travelling. I have been to many places around Europe, including Spain, Netherlands, and Poland. To me, the experience I found most memorable was the trip to Garda, Italy during my Optimist days. I can never forget the amount of suffering I had to go through. Being the youngest in the trip, I had to adapt to the demands of my senior sailors who were 2 or 3 years older than me. However, looking back, I am thankful for the opportunity to train with them as it supported my journey when I was still sailing the Optimist.

How does sailing challenge you?

Sailing is a sport that requires not only a lot of time on water, but also time on building a good psychological skill through gym sessions. Mastering these requires years of practice and we have to constantly challenge ourselves. I always challenge myself each training on how I can better my boat speed in different conditions, trying to perfect my manoeuvres, and so on. Essentially, sailing pushes us each day and I am always learning.

How is Sailing is a mental game?

Sailing challenges you to think about a lot of factors, especially when racing. They include analysing the better side of the course, choosing the better side of the start to end, and so on. Beingaware of these factors is the way to be having a good race. For example, when in a high-pressure situation, you have to be very conscious of your decisions and this takes a lot of experience in terms of coping with this pressure. When I participated in the 2017 SEA Games, I went into the medal race with a lot of pressure. Even though I did not win, the process on how I handled that pressure – by being focused – helped me to overcome many challenges. Over the years, I have become strong mentally.

What is one change you want to see in this world?

I want to be remembered as someone who is hardworking, approachable, and friendly. I hope that people will remember me for putting in the extra hours on the water and always being there for people when they need help. Lastly, I hope that people will remember me as the pioneer of 49er in Singapore, the pair that kicked start the 49er programme.