Sailor Emily Wong relies on guessing sometimes as she sails towards success

Sailor Emily Wong relies on guessing sometimes as she sails towards success

This South Island School sailor tells Young Post she loves being at sea and feeling close to nature


Emily was one of four sailors to represent Hong Kong in last year's First National Youth Games.

For Emily Wong, being a top athlete in her sport is all a matter of guesswork. "The most challenging part is predicting which direction the wind comes from in the next shift," she says, "because it can help me get ahead a lot in a race if I guess correctly."

And when the wind is on her side, success is a breeze for this 14-year-old sailor from South Island School.

Last autumn, she was one of only four sailors chosen to represent Hong Kong in China's First National Youth Games, and is ranked 17th in Hong Kong for sailing an Optimist, a small, one-person dinghy. She says the best is yet to come.

"My greatest achievement so far is being chosen to participate in the Asian and Oceanic Optimist Championship 2016 in Sri Lanka this coming May," she says. Emily, who has been racing for only four years, will compete against an estimated 120 competitors - all aged 15 and younger - from across Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

It's not alway smooth sailing for Marian Williams, but she weathers through it all

"My ultimate goal in my sport is to go to the Optimist World Championship," Emily says. "To qualify for the championship, I have to rank top five in this class of boat."

Sailing is more than a sport for Emily. "My aunt encouraged me to sail," she says, "as she enjoys water sports herself. She thinks it helps develop problem-solving skills. She said life is like being at sea alone. When you encounter a problem, you have to face it and find a solution."

While the life skills sailing has taught her are useful, Emily sees her time on the water as more valuable than simply building character. "My favourite thing about sailing is the sense of freedom when you are at sea: the sound of water against my boat and the breeze on my face. I feel very close to nature when I sail."

She is ranked 17th in Hong Kong for the Optimist class of boat. She has top five in her sights.

Bench Notes

What song/movie title best describes you when you're playing your sport?
Sheppard's Geronimo; the driving beat reminds me of how a boat can move really fast, especially in strong wind conditions.

You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
I would choose to have the power to predict the weather and wind direction correctly, so that I'd have a great advantage in a race.

10 years in the future, you are a famous athlete. What company do you sign-on as spokesperson for, and what product do you promote?
Oakley, because they have really good sunglasses.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Life's a breeze at sea


To post comments please
register or