New Man at the Helm of Singapore Sailing.

It’s a little early in the decade to be making predictions, but nevertheless, we are going to go out on a limb and say that one of the big trends for sailing over the next 10 years will be the increasing emergence of the sport in new markets. It is no accident that the popular extreme 40 series has chosen Asia as the second region to develop events – choosing venues like Singapore, Hong Kong and Muscat over San Francisco, Miami and Rhode Island.

The move ‘east’ is being driven by factors including tourism, legacy, heritage and and nation building. It’s a good thing for sailing that this sport has been recognised as a platform that can deliver against these goals. Now the sport needs to produce results. With this in mind, we will be watching the growing industry in Asia and the Middle East with more interest.

The Singapore Sailing Federation (SingaporeSailing) has announced that Andrew Sanders, Chief Executive Officer, will be handing over the helm of SingaporeSailing to Edwin Low, incumbent Secretary-General and Head of High Participation, in the first quarter of 2010.

Andrew has been working with SingaporeSailing for eight years. He led the High Performance Unit from 2002 to 2005, and then rose to become Executive Director and CEO. While coaching the Singapore sailors in his hometown Perth in 2001, he was offered the chance to move to Singapore as SingaporeSailing’s High Performance Manager.

Low Teo Ping, SingaporeSailing’s President says,

‘Over the past eight years, we have built up both the High Performance and High Participation programmes, and established an efficient secretariat team. We have been developing a sustainable training system which can take primary school sailors as first day beginners and nurture them right through, even as far as the Olympic Games. The full development system from broad based development to high performance is now in place. Going forward, we will continue to iterate the systems, improving the quality of delivery and also work towards further developing our local sailing, coaching and management talent for a complete sustainable sailing ecosystem.’

‘We have been planning the long term succession for SingaporeSailing over the last two years and in specific terms over the last seven months. Edwin Low, who has been a backbone of SingaporeSailing for over 10 years, will progressively take over the helm early this year. His position of Executive Director will take effect from 1 February 2010. We are very pleased that we can appoint the leader from within our organisation and this is in tune with SingaporeSailing’s long term organic development strategies. The management team of Edwin, Mark Robinson (Head of High Performance) and Selvam Mookken (Head of Admin, Finance and HR) will continue to strive towards achieving SingaporeSailing’s vision and mission.

Andrew Sanders in commenting on his stint at SingaporeSailing, said,

‘It has been a wonderful journey at SingaporeSailing working with the President, executive committees, colleagues, sailors and parents in Singapore’s sailing fraternity. Some of my many memorable moments at SingaporeSailing include running the SEA and Asian Games teams, and overseeing development of the new High Performance training system (APIPA), and the new High Participation programmes SailSmart, SailFun, and the Optimist Certification Pathway. It particularly warms my heart when I see the young sailors in SailSmart and SailFun with big smiles on their faces when they conquer their first day of sailing. I am very thankful and grateful for the opportunities that were given to me, particularly Teo Ping’s visionary leadership and mentorship. I am also fortunate that my two areas of relevant interest and experience, sports and the resources sectors, are growing industries of the future.’

Since 2004, thousands of sailors have gone through the development system and it has produced 14 world champions and over 40 regional and continental champions for Singapore.

As if to reinforce the point that sailing remains in a robust state, Singapore’s sailors tasted further success at the Australian Laser National Championships on Monday, with Koh Seng Leong and Today Athlete of the Year nominee Elizabeth Yin winning the men’s and women’s radial titles respectively.

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