Road to Incheon: Para-Sailors Hoping for Smooth Passage


Road to Incheon: Para-Sailors Hoping for Smooth Passage

14 October, 2014   Kenneth Ho

jovin and qianyin

Paralympian Sailor Jovin Tan (L) will be competing with new partner Yap Qian Yin at the coming Asian Para Games (Photo by Sport Singapore)


Three-time Paralympian sailor, Jovin Tan will be competing once again at the Asian Para Games with new teammate fellow para-sailor Yap Qian Yin in the Hansa 303 doubles event, where the duo will be gunning for silverware.

This was a fairly new team, as the pair had only started sailing together in December last year, but as far as they were concerned, the pairing worked well with both sailors always looking to push each other to do their best.

For some, being able to work together is a key component of a great team. However, it is often easier said than done to be able to find a compatible teammate.

It is for that reason that Tan was grateful he managed to coup a partner who shared his passion for sailing and is able to communicate with him.

“We are both hungry to do well and I am very fortunate to have such a young capable crew who is willing to take all my nonsense on the boat,” said Tan.

“It is not easy to find someone who works well with me and understand what I want.”

The reason why the pair might be able to work well together could be due to their relatively similar personalities. In fact, both of them quoted that they enjoyed the sport because it gave them ‘a sense of freedom’ when they are able to manoeuver freely around the sea.

Their similarities do not stop there, as both of them also harboured the same fear.

jovin tan


“Light-weighted,” Yap quipped in response to a weakness the team had.

In the face of furious and bashing waves, being too light-weighted while out at sea was an issue. This could cause them either to be blown overboard or face challenges in steering the ship, and even for the experienced sailor Tan, this still bugged him.

“Some people do not know I can't swim due to my disability and at times I still have the phobia of falling overboard when wind condition is strong,” Tan shared.

Coupled with an admittedly nervous Yap who will be making her debut at a major meet, Tan will have his hands full in helming the team. However, her mentor was confident Yap could meet his expectations there.

“She is still young and up and coming so I will try my best to teach her what I know in terms of skills and tactics, but I don’t think you should underestimate her size; she can be very strong,” Tan added.

Ultimately, Yap hoped that she can heed her older counterpart’s advice and to just take things one step at a time while in Incheon, in order to achieve her goal of doing Singapore proud at the Asian Para Games.

“Not every Singaporean is given this opportunity to compete. I feel a sense of achievement to be in Team Singapore, and it is one step closer to my dream… to clinch a medal for Singapore in major games,” she said.