13th Singapore Straits Regatta 2007

AY Race Report 4 & Summary

Blast reach brings SSR 07 to a close...
In the early hours of the morning the North Easterly monsoon winds returned and much to the concern of the organisers the final race turned into a blast reach westward across the top of Batam with enough strength to counter the strong easterly flowing current. The light fluctuating winds over the last couple of days caused the race committee to shorten the course down to seven miles and impose a three hour time limit, so the yachts can make their way back over twenty miles to the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in time for the evenings prize giving ceremony.

First away were the racing class with Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 launching the big asymmetric spinnaker and hitting the pin end of the line at maximum speed. Followed closely by Neil Pryde's Hi Fi and Robert Knight's DK46 Drumstick. Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling holding a slender one point lead over Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake kept a tight cover on Mandrake and after the start, luffed them heavily and took them away above the course, effectively putting them both out of the running in the final race. It only took Ffreefire forty one minutes to cover the course distance to score the daily double and show that the crew can sometimes get it all together. Neil Pryde's Hi Fi took second and Robert Knight's Drumstick third place on the day. The legal covering tactics employed by Paul Winkelmann's Island Fling placed them last and Mandrake in second last but at the end of the day when the points are tallied it is Island Fling that goes home with the overall victory. Mandrake takes second place missing out by only half a point and Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III climbed into third place overall, also half a point in front of Drumstick in fourth.

In IRC Class B Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunch Cutter finally broke through to beat Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic on the last race. Dickon Addis's JS9000's Roo reveled in the reaching conditions to score third place. Jeff Davison's Panic held a commanding lead in the pointscore coming into the final race to have won the class at the end of racing yesterday. Keith Dunn's Lunch Cutter was the bridesmaid on several occasions and as expected finished up in second place overall. Hellmut Schutte's brand new Elan 340 Aquavit IV showed some remarkable turns of speed to end up in third overall on their first outing.

In the J24 One Design Class Borstnar Vladimir's Angel started with speed at the pin end of the line and never looked back to win the race plus the overall class victory, making up for being piped for first place last year. Second place for Lee Sea Yean's Jangan Main-Main keeps them in second overall and able to fend of a late charge from the rest of the fleet. Third place for Raphael Phang's Hakuna Matata is a big improvement on earlier races. Last place for Tim Tan and Richard Ahl's Juno becomes their drop race and as they did enough in the earlier races to hang onto third place overall.

Simon Piff's Rainbow Dream stayed on the pace through out the regatta to score another win and overall victory in the Performance Handicap (PY) Class. Chee Siong Yin's Red Baron scored a surprise second place and Jerry Lau's WYSIWYG third place after seeing their chances wash away in the current during the earlier races. As this class only completed four races there is no drop race, so after tallying the points David Ross's Frangipani Girl and Leslie Fung's Todak finished up tied on fourteen points and share second place overall.

First place at the Raja Muda Regatta, fifth place at the Phuket King's Cup, and second place here at the Singapore Straits Regatta gives Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns enough points on Mandrake to win the Perpetual Cup Series and take home the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy.

In the AY Grand Prix Skipper and Yacht Championships Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling draws level with Neil Pryde's Hi Fi on six points. The Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns owned Mandrake increases to five points and clearly within striking distance of the leaders. Bill Bremner's third place on Foxy Lady III earns them an extra point and puts them one win away from the leaders with four regattas to go. As racing now separates out between Langkawi and the Philippines further scoring opportunities are dependant upon which events the owners choose to do before coming together again at the season ending Koh Samui Regatta. Check out how your favourite racing team is going at: http://asianyachting.com/news/AYGP06-07.htm

Summary
Several grumbling's came from the racing class about accurately recording the finish times and calculating the results as several discrepancies had to be sorted out by the International jury. Criticism about the length the courses and timing the event during neap tides also become a talking point amongst competitors. Once again these issues should be addressed by the organising committee and race officers during the planning stages - not when the event is underway. Some competitors are spending more than it costs to run the event to prepare their high-tech boats and muster top class racing crews together, so they expect the race committee to set high standards and organisers to conduct the event with International levels of competency.

In Asia we tend to over promote the events in a bid to get sponsors and try to attract top class racing boats but run the risk of conducting so called mickey mouse events. As the big boys come to seriously race their boats they expect the main focus to be on conducting a smooth running and enjoyable event. Nothing is more annoying than to spend the evening hours in the protest room correcting minor and avoidable problems. When word gets out that an event is run below par there can be devastating knock on effects. Instead wouldn't it better all round for competitors to return home full of praise and wanting to come back again next year.

Results are posted at: http://www.straitsregatta.com/


13th Singapore Straits Regatta 2007

AY Race Report 3

Painstaking long day on the water...
Race four got away on time in a zephyr of a breeze which died out before the boats could complete the first lap. Then a lengthy two hour wait in the sweltering sun, before the breeze eventually filled in from the North East and Race Officer Kit Lock signaled to prepare the yachts for racing. The start line was a little tricky with up to three knots of current trying to push the boats across early, but experience of the last few days saw skippers holding back cautiously till the horn sounded then powering up and launching themselves across the line. Surprisingly only one yacht found themselves on the course side during the two back to back races that followed late into the afternoon, making it a very long day on the water but now five races have been completed which constitute a series.

The fifty footers are experiencing extremely close racing which is a delight to watch as the crew go about their work and skippers take a tight line to get the better of each other. Sometimes a little to close as Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 crew found out as they were disqualified in race four for infringing Hi Fi at the mark. Race four and five honours were shared by Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling and Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake trading first and second places to keep them respectively at the top of the leaderboard. Robert Knight's DK46 Drumstick scored third place in race four but unfortunately broke the mainsail halyard in race five to drop out of contention. Neil Pryde's Hi Fi managed third in race five but a little to late to make any significant effect on the leaders. Despite two fifth places today and one DNF yesterday Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III holds third place overall after recording two wins in the earlier races.

Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic scored two wins today to take an insurmountable lead in IRC Class B and has clearly out classed the opposition. Keith Dunn's second and sixth places on his Mountgay 30 Lunch Cutter places them in second overall with one race to go. Third place in race four puts Hellmut Schutte's Elan 340 Aquavit IV into third overall and gives them a slim one point margin from a hungry chasing pack. Abdul Karim skippering Victory with a disabled crew managed a second place in race five which gives them a tremendous moral boost after misjudging the current in earlier races. Kent Goeking's X-99 Solarmax placed third in race five and Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too are tied for fourth overall and as they are only one point behind they are ready to pounce in tomorrows final showdown.

Two wins for Borstnar Vladimir's Angel gives them the J24 One Design Class with one race to spare. Two second places for Lee Sea Yean's Jangan Main-Main secures them second overall and a late charge of two third places by Tim Tan and Richard Ahl's Juno may give them third overall.

A win in race two and third place in race three for Simon Piff's Rainbow Dream could be good enough to secure the Performance Handicap Class for them. Leslie Fung's Todak scored a third and second place today to lift them to second overall. Second place in race two and a win in race three for Yong Wee Keong's Grace sees them only one point behind Todak and depending on how they go on the final race tomorrow could see them in the running.

The final short passage race tomorrow takes the yachts back along the coast of Batam to the finish line laid in Indonesian waters before crossing the Straits traffic separation zone together and making their way to the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club for the trophy presentation evening.

Results are posted at: http://www.straitsregatta.com/


13th Singapore Straits Regatta 2007

AY Race Report 2

Changing conditions produce a mixed bag of results...
Once again, how the racers handled the 2 -3 knot current played a big part in determining the outcome. Also the fluctuations in wind strength and direction affected the placing's and the number of races held. Race 2 got away on time in six to seven knots of NE breeze with the big yachts all powered up and ready to go. The Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake was first out of the box and led the bigger TP52's for most of the race. Neil Pryde seems to be mellowing with age by giving the others a chance and missing the start by a couple of minutes. Sam Chan's highly fancied TP 52 Ffreefire 52 jumped back into contention and exchanged places with the three closely bunched yachts in the lead. In the end it was the Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mandrake that led the fleet home and scored first place on handicap. Always on the pace is Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling scoring second place to take the lead in the overall points table. Ffreefire 52 this time skippered by sailing master Russ Parker filled third place. As the breeze died it left Drumstick and Foxy Lady III floundering on the course to record a Did Not Finish (DNF) which is probably unheard off, on a one nautical mile windward / leeward course.

A lengthy delay followed as the wind died between races but the building black clouds to the North East bought with it a freshening breeze allowing the race committee to bang off another race. A heavy deluge mid race saw a massive wind shift that benefited the leaders and back markers but disadvantaged the mid fleet runners. Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling powered across the line at full speed to once again take the daily double in race three. Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III was in the right spot at the right time to provisionally score second place, missing out on the glory by a mere second. After reviewing the time sheets the jury awarded a first place tie between Island Fling and Foxy Lady III. Robert Knight's DK46 Drumstick clawed back with a third place.

IRC Class B saw Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic keep his nose ahead for a clean sweep on line and handicap honours. Keith Dunn's Lunch Cutter remains on the pace and secured second place. After a disastrous day yesterday Kent Goeking's X-99 Solarmax climbed back into contention with a third place in race two. Unfortunately the wind died towards the end of the race and four yachts got washed away in the current and did not finish in time. Race three saw Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too come to the fore after a disastrous start to the regatta. Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic stayed in the running with a second place and Kent Goeking's X-99 Solarmax is climbing the rankings with another third place.

Borstnar Vladimir on Angel scored a second win in the J24 One Design Class to finish off where he left off last year. Lee Sea Yean's Jangan Main-Main scored second place to stay in reach of the leader. Raphael Phang's Hakuna Matata is steadily climbing back with a third place after misjudging the current in race one. Dawn Phung's Quarterdeck turned the tables on the leaders to score first place in race three. Tim Tan and Richard Ahl's Juno made a welcome return with second place on the podium displacing series leader Borstnar Vladimir's Angel to third place in race three.

The Performance Handicap Class set off into the current on a passage race. Unfortunately a couple of boats did not make it back to the start line because of the strong current and the wind died on the leaders mid race so no boats were able to finish within the time limit. Tomorrow is another race day and most skippers are optimistic that their fortunes will change and things will turn out much better.

More info is available and results are posted at: http://www.straitsregatta.com/


13th Singapore Straits Regatta 2007

AY Race Report 1

Race won or lost at the startline...
As the waterways in and around Singapore are busy shipping lanes and heavy with port restrictions it is becoming almost impossible to run any big boat regattas there. So the committee were forced to cross the separation lanes in the Straits and start the race on the less congested Indonesian side. Two to three knots of current and a light NE breeze made it difficult for most boats to reach the line, let alone when under starters orders stay on the starting side of the line. Several yachts had difficulties getting to the line which made it doubly difficult as the start boat had to hold station in the current and at times seemed to be getting further away. The more experienced sailors managed to stem the current and started on time while others not so fortunate ran out of time and PRO Kit Lock had no alternative other than to send them on their way without starting.

Neil Pryde's Farr 52 OD Hi Fi and Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling had no such problems and with thirty seconds to go swung their bows around almost in unison to cross the line right as the horn sounded and powered away with speed. A wind change to the south east, left others at the pin end struggling for up to five minutes as the breeze filled in. Further down the road the gate was incorrectly laid but Paul Winkelmann's crew leading the way, managed to follow the sailing instructions to the letter by completing a 'z' shape track round the boat then back around the mark which even surprised the officials on the boat. A quick change over to a freshening North Easterly saw the yachts progress rapidly with the current to the finish line at Nongsa Point Marina. Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling had the foot firmly on the accelerator all day to finish up with the daily double of line and handicap honours. Bill Bremner's lower rated Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III scraped into second place, a mere twenty seconds in front of Robert Knight's DK46 Drumstick in third place.

The 10 strong IRC Class B with a varying degree of racing experience suffered badly as the wind change coincided with their start time. A number of redresses have been lodged for the international jury to decide on. Hellmut Schutte's new Elan 340 Aquavit IV has provisionally won the class in front of Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic, although a redress has been lodged as the leading boat Panic followed the racing class line through the gate before the boat re-anchored on the correct side of the gate. Keith Dunn's Lunch Cutter followed closely behind to claim third place.

Borstnar Vladimir's Angel had the best start in the J24 One Design Class, increasing his lead all the way to clinch first and fastest by the proverbial mile. Lee Sea Yean's Jangan Main-Main sailed into a handy second spot after keeping clear of the others at the start line. Dawn Phung's Quarterdeck finished a distant third but is happy to beat the usual suspects that normally are in front of them.

Only three finished in the PY Handicap Class as the others ran out of time getting to the start line. David Ross's magnificent Swann 53 Frangipani Girl completed the daily double well in front of Simon Piff's defending champion Rainbow Dream. Chee Siong Yin's Contessa 33 Red Baron was the last boat to finish and a mere speck on the horizon by the time most boats were safely tied up in the marina.

Racing continues tomorrow with as many windward/leeward races the race committee can fit in with the prevailing weather conditions. Realizing their mistakes in today's current most the skippers are keen to get in as many races as possible and regard today's disappointment as their discard race. Bring it on...

More info is available and results are posted at: http://www.straitsregatta.com/


13th Singapore Straits Regatta 2007

AY Pre Regatta Report

Were back on deck for the 2007 Season...
After a well deserved break over the festive period the 2006-07 Season resumes with the 13th Singapore Straits Regatta leading the way. Racing teams have regrouped and a formidable line-up of 28 yachts in four classes will go under the starters orders on Wednesday 17th Jan from the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club. First up is a passage race across the Straits to the Riau Yacht Club at Nongsa Point Marina in Indonesia. Followed by two days of concentrated windward/leeward racing then a return passage race finishing up back at the RSYC.

Leading the Hong Kong charge in the racing class is Neil Pryde's defending champion Farr 52 OD Hi Fi, the Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake, Robert Knight's DK46 Drumstick and for the first time in Singapore waters Paul Winkelmann's and Sam Chan's highly fancied Trans Pac 52's Island Fling and Ffreefire 52. However they won't have it all their own way as Bill Bremner's Singapore based Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III has been running hot at earlier regattas and sure to make his mark in local waters. At the smaller end of the racing fleet, Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic is relishing the prospect of racing the big boys and if conditions suite will be pushing them to the limit.

Now in its 13th year, the SSR has grown steadily in stature to become Singapore’s premier regatta and is the concluding regatta in the Perpetual Cup Series. Inaugurated in 1997, the Perpetual Cup Series brings together three regional regattas, the Phuket King's Cup, the Raja Muda Regatta and the Singapore Straits Regatta into a three regatta pointscore system with the lowest scoring competitor running out the eventual winner. On hearing of the inception of the Perpetual Series, the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club Committee dusted off the priceless Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, which dates back to 1826 and donated it to the cause of regional sailing. The late Sir Thomas Lipton would surely be proud that the Cup to which he gave his name is still being raced for and his famous Lipton Tea brand are sponsoring the event this year.

Nine local yachts are contesting IRC class B which sees a wide variety of designs that on any one day could come to the fore and share the spoils. Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too is back after a refit, Bob Ashman's Van Derstard Simba has been successful at previous events, Keith Dunn's Mountgay 30 Lunchcutter II has gained experience competing on regional regattas, two locally built JS9000's Roo skippered by Dickon Addis and Iris Tay's Glory 121 always leave their mark, Wildon Goh's Platu 25 SMUve from the Singapore University have stamped their authority at recent events and Kent Goeking's X-99 Solarmax has in the past taken podium places and long overdue for an overall win.

Close racing is expected from the six J24's lining up in the one design class. Borstnar Vladimir on Angel will have his hands full as Tim Tan/Richard Ahl previous winner Juno rejoins the fleet and the ever consistent Raphael Phang on Hakuna Matata is expecting to go that one step further and stand on the top of the podium by the end of the regatta.

Several old foes are amongst the six Performance Handicap class entries. Simon Piff's defending champion Rainbow Dream will benefit from a lengthy campaign north on the Raja Muda and King's Cup. Jerry Lau's Ericson 28 WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) will be wanting to make up for being piped at the post last year and Chee Siong Yin's Contessa 33 Red Baron has several race wins in the past and desperately wants an overall win. They won't have it all their own way as this year David Ross's magnificent Swann 53 Frangipani Girl joins the class and given the right conditions should be able to stretch their legs on the two long passage races.

The SSR is the fourth event of our own home grown annual AY Grand Prix Skipper and Yacht Championships. Points are awarded based on the yachts performance over eight selected racing class events (Malaysia 2, Hong Kong 2, Thailand 2 plus Singapore and the Philippines with 1 a piece) held each year, that fairly grades the competing skippers ability to successfully run a racing campaign in Asian waters over the 2006 - 07 Season. After four events Neil Pryde and Hi Fi are leading with six points followed closely by the Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mandrake, Paul Winkelmann's Island Fling and Toby O'Connell on Drumstick all tied on three points are only one win away from the leader. Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady III (2 points) can improve their ranking by finishing on the podium here. Check out how your favourite racing team is going at: http://asianyachting.com/news/AYGP06-07.htm

The 2007 SSR is sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker Corum – the Official Timekeeper. You can support the regatta by bidding for exclusive Admiral's Cup Competition 48 and Admiral's Cup Trophy 41 Timepieces by going to http://www.straitsregatta.com/corum.htm

Other sponsors include Lipton Tea, Murphy & Nye, Neil Pryde and Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery the official beer.

More info is available and results will be posted at: http://www.straitsregatta.com/

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