Owen Siese Finishes 6th in Singapore

August 26, 2010

15 year old Sandys Boat Club sailor, Owen Siese, finished in 6th place overall at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Siese and the other 28 participants in the male singlehanded Byte CII dinghy completed their twelfth and final race in typical light and shifty conditions. The last race was a “Medal Race” and is similar to the medal race introduced at the Olympic level, in that it is non discardable. This meant that whatever positions the sailors finished in would be added to their current net scores to determine their final placing overall.

Photo by Patty Petty

Photo by Patty Petty

After eleven races the Gold Medal was in reach for the top seven boats. Front-runner and Bermuda training partner, US Virgin Island’s Ian Barrows (ISV) had a 12 point lead between himself and second placed Germany (GER). Finland (FIN) followed 2 points back. Six points behind FIN, Siese went into the last race in 5th place tied with Netherland Antilles (AHO) ace, Just Van Aanholt but AHO held 4th through a tie break count back. The stage was set for a real showdown.

The day started with a dying breeze making it a real challenge with shifty conditions across the race course. The Race Committee postponed the scheduled 12 pm start, hoping for more consistent breeze for the last and only race of the day. About an hour later the race was started on the second attempt after a general recall on the first try. A left side starting line bias saw the leaders choosing the pin end of the line to start. On the first beat AHO, GER and ISV popped out in the front pack with Siese back further in the low teens. FIN had a terrible start and first windward leg which basically pulled him out of medal contention. In the end AHO’s Van Aanholt sailed an excellent race earning himself a Bronze Medal with his “bullet” for the day and his third of the regatta. USVI’s Barrows sailed this race conservatively keeping ahead of Germany to take third place in the final race and the Gold Medal overall. Germany finished in sixth today earning the Silver Medal. Siese ended up thirteenth on the day dropping him to 6th place overall behind Ukraine. His father reported that Owen was disappointed not be in contention for the Bronze Medal today as he carded one his lowest finishes in the regatta but felt good about finishing in 6th place at such a competitive and important regatta.

Youth Olympic Byte coach Pablo Weber was extremely pleased with Owen’s performance noting that his consistency kept him in the medal hunt for the entire event. Weber also stated that Bermuda’s approach to preparing for the games coupled with Siese’s die-hard commitment to training on and off the water led to this excellent performance. He sees great things ahead for Siese on a national and international level. He also sees the potential for Bermuda’s young sailors to do well at future Youth Olympics and other international events with consistent focus, training and support from the national sporting bodies.

Eleven different nations won medals at the inaugural Youth Olympics. The Youth Olympic Games have been widely acclaimed as an outstanding success and Singapore have been wonderful hosts.

Final Overall Standings

  • 1. US Virgin Islands – Ian Barrows – 44pt
  • 2. Germany – Florian Hauffe – 60 pt
  • 3. Netherlands Antilles – Just Van Aanholt – 62 pt
  • 4. Finland – Kaarle Tapper- 66 pt
  • 5. Ukraine – Pavlo Babych – 72 pt
  • 6. Bermuda – Owen Siese – 74 pt
  • 7. Singapore – Darren Choy – 78pt

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Category: All, Sports