World champion Mak Cheuk-wing laments mistakes as local rivals prove equal to her challenge

The world’s best under-15 sailor isn’t able to dominate as she had hoped for in the latest round of the Hong Kong circuit at Stanley but she can make amends on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 November, 2016, 9:08pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 November, 2016, 11:06pm

Recently crowned world junior champion Mak Cheuk-wing probably thought she should have done a bit better in the latest round of the Hong Kong circuit at Stanley on Saturday.

After all, she’s the world’s best under-15 windsurfer and it was supposed to be an opportunity for her to showcase her skills and leave her rivals at their wake. It didn’t really happen.

Competing for the first time since winning the techno title in Italy last week, the 13-year-old student wasn’t exactly in a class of her own competing in the under-15 and under-17 competition.

She managed to hold her overall lead in the under-17 (she finished seventh, 14th and fourth for the day), but she’s second overall in under-15 behind Lam Cheuk-yu after a second, second and first-placed finish.

“I didn’t feel any different competing in this event after winning the world title,” said Mak, a second-form student at St Stephen’s Girls’ College.

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“I am still competing against a large number of windsurfers in the local event and the competition is still as keen as any overseas race. The only difference is that I have to use a bigger sail in Hong Kong because I’m taking part in both the under-15 and-17 events.”

Mak was given a rousing reception at the start of her races as she was introduced as the new world champion, but she said she wasn’t under any added pressure.

“There was some pressure, but the pressure was good because it only pushed me to work harder as a world champion,” said Mak.

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“In general I wasn’t too happy with my performance today. I picked the wrong route during some parts of my races and there was little wind. Also, the equipment I chose did not work very well which affected my speed. This is not the first time I committed the same mistake and will try to avoid this in future.”

Mak has the chance to redeem herself when she starts the remaining two races of the fourth leg on Sunday.

She is still overall leader in both the under-15 and under-17 events after the first three legs of the circuit. Two more legs will complete the 2016 Hong Kong circuit with competitions in Shek O (November 19-20) and Sai Kung (December 3-4).