Fat lady sings the Western Circuit into an overture…
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
August 26th: Slow start to racing and contending with a strong incoming tidal current, caught a few yachts offside at the start and at crucial mark rounding’s. Crews were confident they could do better and pick up a few places, to improve their standings on the final day. As the SW trade wind picked up, four races were completed in the IRC and PY classes, and three races for the one-design and Multihull classes. All eyes were on the IRC A class, as two points separated 1st to 3rd places and these races would determine the eventual outcome. Getting out early for some fine tuning and testing the conditions paid dividends in some cases, before celebrations could take place at the gala dinner, auction and prize presentation, in the Raffles Marina ballroom. Follow the action in the AY Photo Gallery
Out early testing new sails for future racing campaigns, Jonathan Mahony’s Humphries 42R Zanzibar were determined to avoid the pitfalls that reduced them to 2nd place last weekend. Winning the start in the windward berth and in clear air, the crew worked over time to claim the daily double and looked like they would go on to defend the IRC A title in style. Despite being recalled at the start of the second race, Mathew Master’s Mills 41 Meraki (Ambush) skippered by Bruce Anson, fought back to claim the handicap honours and take back the lead. They came back from behind with superior windward/leeward performance to claim the next two races and add the IRC A title, onto the SMU Presidents Cup they won last weekend. It’s like a breath of fresh air to have a new boat joining in the Singapore racing scene and a jubilant Bruce Anson was happy to win the Western Circuit after 10 years of trying. While the big boats fought it out in front, Esben Poulsson’s ESSE 750 Petit Bateau consistently scored 3rd places to end up in 3rd overall.
Despite second row starts and a 3, 2. 4, 1 score line today, Kurt Metzger’s Nelson 10 Waka Tere four wins last weekend, has kept them at the top of the IRC B pointscore, to finally take home the title. Pascal Radue’s X99 Born In Fire, opened with a win on the first race but couldn’t maintain the momentum and three 3rd places was enough to hold onto 2nd overall. Although a bit late in proceedings, Clement Lim’s SMUve and Rebecca Goh’s SMUmad were on the comeback trail and managed to overtake Gordon Maxted’s Young 840 Shoon Fung Too for 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
Although the big boats relegated Scott Lip’s Maxi 77 Ambindi to 6th place in the first race, they rebounded with 2nd and two wins, to claim the PY Class title on their first attempt. Graeme Hespe’s CS36 Jens Jaunt opened with 2nd place before slipping down the order, but held on to score 2nd overall. Taking line honours in all the races, Low Chin Nam’s Cork 1770 Xtra Mile, could only convert handicap honours in one race and finally settled in 3rd overall.
With the winner of last weekends SB20 International Cup, Jeremy Chase’s Glasgow Kiss not competing this week, they left the door open for others to step up on the podium for the SB20 title. Although Collin Lim’s SSF, Teo Yee Kang’s Bandit and Christian Englet’s Pocapena scored wins today, Aaron Taunt’s Tara two 2nd and a 6th place, added onto last weeks score is enough to claim the overall SB20 title. Same deal for Tan Wei Chong’s SSF for 2nd overall and seven wins last weekend, keeps Jeremy Chase’s Glasgow Kiss alive on the 3rd step of the podium.
There was no stopping Jonathan Yeo’s RSYC Dua, with 10 wins on the board they didn’t need to race the last race and ran away with the J24 title, on their first outing. Amanda Ng’s Shengli stayed on course for 2nd overall, while Zaheera Hashim Balqis kept up the pressure for 3rd overall.
Deborah Barker’s renamed Abra Ca Deborah Too didn’t have it all their own way today, but 10 wins out of 11 races, makes it look like they have won the Multihull Class at a canter. Shaun Norris Dash 750 MK2 Witblits is the only boat to beat Abra Ca Deborah Too but mixed results leave them in 2nd overall. Worth noting 89 year old Michael Chia’s Sprint 750 Eeepai has been up and down the order but holds onto 3rd overall, in front of the younger and fitter opponents.
Overlooked in earlier Race Reports, we were not done with the Access 2.3’s for disabled sailors. Yap Qian Yin was back on the water and taking no prisoners, winning 14 of 15 races, to cement her name on the trophy. Glen Tan never finished worse than 5th and mostly in the top three, to earn 2nd overall. Aaron Per Yong Quan is the best of the rest, to take 3rd overall and although very tiring is pleased with the effort.
Whether on or off the water, you can’t help but be impressed with the youthful exuberance expressed by the SMU and other Universities organisational and sailing abilities. Establishing sailing schools and participating at regattas, has kept big boat racing alive and well in Singapore. This is a unique partnership between sport and academia in Asia and judging by the skills obtained, it is proving to be a useful learning curve and life experience to take away with them.
The charity auction held at the gala presentation dinner, raised Sing$8,582 for Sailability Singapore, goes a long way to purchasing new boats and is an integral part of this regatta, as a global initiative to enrich the lives of people living with physical disabilities.
One can’t help but notice the reclamation work and building developments on the Malaysian side of the Johor Straight, has restricted the racing area dramatically and increased the current flowing in the Straight. Not to mention 25 sand carrying ships on anchor forming a steel barrier wall and regularly steaming through the race course. Further developments may require finding another racing area up the Straight and work in conjunction with the Johor authorities on a solution. Hopefully this won’t diminish the youthful exuberance and growing big boat sailing skills into the future. The dates were set for next year at 11th, 12th, 18th August and all sailors are invited to attend.
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