regatta in SE Asia
28:01:2011 Once again the North East monsoon continued to blow throughout the night and 15 to 20 knots saw the fleet merrily set sail on a passage race between Batam and Bintan Islands. When the 2 meter swell is harnessed properly it provides wonderful surfing conditions but can also have the opposite effect on unwary crews that haven't strapped down the spinnaker sheets further forward and stop the kite from flailing around and overpowering the boat.
No such problems in the racing class as the dueling duo worked their way across the Singapore Straits shipping lanes and came surfing back, at times reaching 20 knots boat speed and the crew urging the skippers on for the extra adrenaline rush. A couple of big wind shifts and decrease in strength as the yachts closed in on the Malaysian coastline saw the advantage swing either way. Eventually swinging back in favour of Ray Roberts TP 52 Evolution Racing giving them the edge rounding Stapa mark first by a healthy margin. "That was the yacht race" said Jamie MacPhail back on the dock. "The rest was fantastic reaching and surfing the waves". Having now completed five races, today's result gives Ray Roberts TP 52 Evolution Racing a one win advantage over Neil Pryde's Hi Fi. With two more races to go and a drop race to come, we could well see a tie on points and the number of wins and second places. There has been some discussion on this matter already but I'm sure the International Jury headed by none other than America's Cup chairman Brian Willes and his team will be able to sort it out.
The battle between Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40MOD Windsikher and Rick Pointon's J130 Jing Jing continued into the third day of competition. Three accidental gybes in less than a minute, left the Windsikher cockpit in disarray and the crew all shook up. Jing Jing pressed on and made substantial gains to be hot on Windsikher's transom by the end of the race. After handicaps have been applied Rick Pointon's Jing Jing takes the win by one and a half seconds and leaves Singh's Windsikher crew wondering what could have been and cursing their earlier mistakes. Hellmut Schutte's very powerful First 45 Aquavit 5 thrived on the longer waterline length in the lumpy seas to slot into third place after a shaky start to the regatta. This result leaves it to Windsikher and Jing Jing to fight it out for top spot on the final day of racing.
The heavier displacement yachts in the IRC C class made a meal out of the passage race, leaving the lighter Platu 25's in their wake. Another good steady performance on Adriaan Smit's X99 Power Partners saw them take out the daily double and rise to the top of the overall pointscore. Bob Ashman's Dehler 39 Simba thrived in the strong conditions to score second place today. Despite a Chinese gybe and being laid on their side for a few minutes, Gordon Maxted's Young 84 Shoon Fung Too slotted into third place. Until today Gregory Ho's SMUve was holding onto first overall but a subsequent protest saw them disqualified and hand over the lead to Adriaan Smit's Power Partners. As the Discard Race comes into play tomorrow Gregory Ho's SMUve will be back in the running and as windward/leewards are his favourite, they will be looking to make amends for today's disappointment.
Again the three one design J24 yachts were locked together half way through the race, until Calvin Lim's Shengli dropped of the pace. This left Christopher Lim's Jangan Main Main and A. Wahab's Nova to fight it out to the finish. Only forty seconds separated Jangan Main Main and Nova as they crossed the line in that order. Calvin Lim's Shengli survived a protest to keep third place way in front of I. Wayan Rusdiana's Merdeka in fourth. With five wins under their belt it will take a catastrophe of sizable proportions to stop Christopher Lim's Jangan Main Main from winning the title.
In the PY class Malcolm Chang's brand new Oceanis 46 Charlotte's Web came to the fore to get the better of Deanna Adams Beneteau QI. Although in the overall stakes Deanna Adams QI has a two point advantage going into the final day of racing.
The schedule for the last day is two windward/leeward races followed by the gala dinner and prize presentation at Nongsa Point Marina. We can expect more of the same heavy going and after consulting with the sailors have decided with out a doubt that this regatta is the windiest event in SE Asia this season.
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