MPA stifling the Straits Regatta…
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
30:01:2013 – Despite all the efforts by the organising committee to revitalise the Straits Regatta, in a last minute decision, the Maritime & Port Authority (MPA) have once again deprived them from conducting the passage race across the Strait to Batam, Indonesia. Instead a short 11nm inshore course, up inside the East Coast anchorage had to suffice, before the yachts made their own way across the Strait. Not having the passage races could be the death knell to this regatta. The yachts have compulsory AIS tracking devices and very capable skippers in charge of the vessels plus in radio contact with the authorities. The regatta is struggling to hold its place in the regional racing scene and has trouble attracting International teams that expect challenging sailing courses, are boycotting the event due to the stifling restrictions placed on it by the MPA. It seems that unless its the Volvo Ocean Race or Clipper Round the World Race, they will not help their own home regatta to succeed, despite 18 years of crossing the Straits without any incidents.
Despite the course changes, the North East tradewind was pumping in, with gusts in the 16 to 18 knot range and at times dropping down to 7 to 8 knots. Most the race was to windward and the very shifty nature of the gusts, resulted in a lot of tacking and trying to stay away from the light spots.
Fully powered up, Sarab Jeet Singh’s Sydney 40MOD Windsikher got the jump off the start line and disappeared in the distance to score the IRC A daily double. Hot on their transom for a while, Tan Thong Meng’s Benetau First 40.7 S.Y. Endeavour from the Marina Keppel Bay Academy could not match Windsikher’s upwind speed and settled on second place. Normand Patrick’s Benetau Farr 40 Anamika, showed their potential but fell away towards the end for third place.
Gordon Maxted’s Young 84 Shoon Fung Too clawed back in the latter stages of the race to take line honours by a mere second from Kurt Metzer’s Oracle 338 Waka Tere but after handicaps were applied Waka Tere opens with a win in the IRC B class. Simon Piff’s Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dreams, wedged themselves between the dueling leaders on corrected time and slotted into second place.
The one design Platu 25 class got off to a good start and continued with a close tacking duel, changing places throughout the race. Eventually Samantha Chua’s SMUmad got the upper hand in front of the Indonesian Navy’s Arjuna skippered by Januar Lukito. A few seconds latter Camelia Tan’s SMUve crossed the line in front of the Indonesian Navy’s second boat Srikandi skippered by Marjoko Utomo.
Superior boat speed allowed Borstnar Vladimir’s Angel to continue on their winning ways in the J24 class. Collin Lim’s Jangan Main-Main came through to snatch second place from Seah Cheong Hock’s Shengli holding on grimly to third place.
Although Wang Yew Pang’s Jeanneau 54 Haiyi 1 finished a whopping 24 minutes in front of Wendle Wald’s Jeanneau 35 Melissa lll the tables were turned when the PY handicaps were applied. Simon King’s Bonbrigde 215 Svanika is the smallest boat in the class and did well in the conditions to secure third place.
Racing continues tomorrow with windward/leeward races in the spacious and uncluttered waterway in front of the Nongsa Point Marina Resort.
More info can be found at http://www.straitsregatta.com