An international sailing stage, at home
After their gold-medal feat in the women's 420 at last year's South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar, sailing duo Kimberly Lim and Savannah Siew took just a week off before hitting the water again.
Training four times a week since the beginning of the year, the two 18-year-olds are aiming for a bigger prize - a podium finish at the 2014 Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19 to Oct 4.
Their first competitive test since the 2013 SEA Games will be the Fish & Co. Youth Sailing Championships, which will be held here from March 18 to 22.
Into its second year, the Under-19 event at the National Sailing Centre will showcase over 350 sailors, both local and international.
It will serve as a selection event for this year's ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, which will be held in Portugal from July 12 to 19.
Speaking at the official press conference yesterday, Kimberley (above, left) said: "In Singapore, all the competitions are good prep for the big international events ahead.
"This (Fish & Co. Youth) competition is our first trial, so to speak, for the ISAF Youth and the 420 Open World Championships."
Her partner for the past two years, Savannah, agreed, describing the Asian Games as "the big one".
To qualify for Incheon, the duo will have to shine at the 420 national championships in June.
"Everyone is at a high level at the Asian Games, so it's really about preparing well at a high level," Savannah (above, right) said.
"The 2015 SEA Games, which we will host, is not confirmed for us because we'll be overaged for the 420 by then.
"We haven't planned which category we'll compete in after the 420s."
SEA Games silver-medallists Ynez Lim and Raynn Kwok, along with reigning world Optimist champion Loh Jia Yi, will also compete at the youth championships, with an eye on the Asian Games.
Singapore Sailing Federation CEO Tan Wearn Haw highlighted the importance of such local events, which serve as valuable opportunities for young sailors.
"These little events are also to inspire the next generation of sailors," he said.
"We're lucky to have a system where there is opportunity for everyone to compete in professionally-run events.
"At last year's Fish & Co. championships, we had our No. 1 and 2 competing against the world's best youth.
"And we also had the newer sailors benefit from the experience."