Up and away...
01:02:2011 Although a bit slow to start the Motor Yachts and PY Class got away on the 34nm Leg 1, down the Riau Strait to overnight at Karas Besar. With a blaring horn sounding, Drew Gardenier's Buehler 71 Hooligan created history as the first yacht to cross the start line on this inaugural race. Daniel Whittington's Ericson 28 WYSIWYG followed suit in the PY Class with Simon Morris classic staysail schooner Sirius 1935 in hot pursuit. The next in sequence were the IRC class that completed two windward/leeward races and returned to Nongsa Point Marina for the night. Tomorrow they will embark on the 79nm leg direct to the equator.
After winning the Singapore Straits Regatta last week, Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40MOD Windsikher has regained top spot in the Singapore yacht rankings. Until recently this position has come under threat from David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu who has won everything before them. Race 1 started in twelve knots from the North East and on in earnest right from the beginning. A change in crew on Windsikher was evident as they struggled with the spinnaker gybes and misjudged the strength of the current at the bottom mark rounding. As a brewing storm descended on the course the wind veered around and increased to 20 knots. The crew on Hellmut Schutte's First 45 Aquavit 5 and Adriaan Smit's X99 Power Partners were a bit rusty which saw them dramatically dropping back from the leading pack.
David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu stayed on the pace and after handicaps have been applied, won Race 1 by thirty seven seconds from Stewart Mclaren's Archambault 35 Men at Work that were never far from the money. Windsikher was reduced to third place followed by Power Partners and Aquavit 5.
A short delay followed as the wind settled and Race 2 got underway. Almost a repeat performance as another storm crossed the course and made things more interesting. A matter of being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of the increase in wind strength, saw David Ross' Kukukerchu make it two wins in a row and go directly to the top of the pointscore. Once again Stewart Mclaren's Men at Work missed out by a little over a minute and had to settle on second place. Although Sarab Jeet Singh's Windsikher took both line honours, a few tactical errors reduced them to third place again.
News trickling in from the Karas Besar finishing line - After six hours of racing Simon Piff's Lavranos 10.3 Rainbow Dream took line honours in the PY Class. Simon Morris classic staysail schooner Sirius 1935 finished five minutes latter but it is Chris Schuler's Westsail 32 Mico Verde that finished an hour after them both, to come out in front on handicap. At the time of writing Daniel Whittington's Ericson 28 WYSIWYG has blown a spinnaker and still making their way to the finish.
Tomorrow the IRC Class make their way down the Riau Straits and in one shot all the way to the equator. The PY Class and Motor Yachts head through the Selat Pengelap Strait, renown for its strong tidal overflows then onto the Pulau Buaya finish line and anchorage.
Unfortunately as we will be going to one of the remotest parts on the earth and as they have never heard of the internet the next Race Report will be in three days time when we return. Till then happy sailing.
Full details check out the Neptune Regatta website.
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