all round as the games get started...
August 15th: In the wake of last nights dazzling Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony, fifty sailing craft took to the waters in front of Raffles Marina on the west coast of Singapore to celebrate this auspicious occasion with their own long standing Western Circuit Regatta. Eight keelboats in IRC 1 and another 8 in IRC 2. Five Club Racers, nine Laser SB3's, ten off the beach catamarans plus five of the latest Moth designs along with eight Access 2.3's for disabled sailors set out to contest there class titles over the next three weekends. Last night the grim looking weather forecast struggled to reach five knots all day, which almost turned into a reality when the overcast skies did not allow the sea breeze effect to take hold. Never the less the light SW breeze did pick up more than the forecast and stayed for the whole day, which allowed the race committee to complete the scheduled three races for some classes and two for others. Several skippers were a bit to keen and scored OCS for being over the start line and did not return.
Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40MOD WINDSIKHER with the old fox calling the shots sailed the race of their lives to claim first and fastest in all three IRC A races held today. David Ross' Kerr 32 KUKUKERCHU have cleaned up everything before them since arriving in Asia but had to play second fiddle on this occasion. After the tragedy of loosing his former ride L’Autre Femme, Brent Morgans has rebounded with an Archambault 35 MEN AT WORK and put in a decent performance to slot into third overall after three races. Light weather performance and finding the right lanes in the strong current was paramount to scoring a good result.
In the IRC B class Christopher Lim on the J24 SHENGLI came to the fore with a I, 2 result to head the leader board after two races. Shaun Toh's Farr Platu 25 SMUmad are locked in battle with Gordon Maxted's Young 84 SHOON FUNG TOO and ended the day tied on points for second and third places overall. Only seconds separated the chasing pack and the present leaders will have their work cut out, if the wind picks up over the next two weekends. Several boats were caught over the start line and the couple that did not return to restart have suffered as a consequence.
The heavy displacement PY Class racers found the going tough in the light airs and strong current to be completely outclassed by Adriaan Smit's much lighter and nifty X99 POWER PARTNERS that promises to return to the IRC B class when his rating is completed. With two second places Leslie Fung's Hanse 315 TODAK 2 did the best of the rest to come out in front of Dieter Trau's heavily modified Jeanneau Sun Fizz WATERMELON in third overall.
The world famous Moth Class made there debut in Asian waters this weekend. Whizzing in and out of the fleet made the keelboats look like they are standing still. On close inspection in the rigging area there are a lot of tweaky strings to adjust and getting it all right can make all the difference between flying around the course verses floundering around waist deep in water. Mark Robinson expertly guided his Mach 2 VIVA LA VIDA around the course to score two wins and one second place. Over the last couple of years James Cole has extensively promoted the class by displaying his Bladerider BLITZ KRIEG BOP sailing skills and today scored one bullet plus second and third places to be hot on Robinson's trail. Initially Nicholas Leo Francis had trouble with the settings on his ASSASIN but came good in Race 3 with second place to hold third overall.
Ten off the beach catamarans have fronted up this year mainly from the Changi Sailing Club on the opposite end of the island. Guy Markham's Nacra 20 RED ROCKET is the biggest boat and put on a fine display of harnessing the extra power to comfortably win all three races. Not to be outdone the defending champions Nicolas Gillier and Jeremy Perrier's Viper F16 ISDOO scored three second places and are looking forward to next weekend when the conditions may suite them better. David Lee and Goh Ah Soon's Taipan 4.9 had a good battle with Nicolas Tourneur's Nacra 5.0 to end up third and fourth respectively.
The Laser SB3 sailors had the busiest day of all the classes by completing four races on the trot. With a 1, 2, 1, 3 scoreline Bob Comstock's COMPASS RISING came out on top after a long and painstakingly hard day of racing. Wallace Cuthbertson's GLASGOW KISS scored 3, 1, 2, 4 to claim second overall from Jonathan Mahony's SCUMBAG that scored 2, 5, 3, 1 to spread the wins and podium places around amongst the leaders. It does not get much closer than that and it will be interesting to see what happens over the next two weekends.
Eight Access 2.3's saw the disabled sailors having the time of their lives on their own special course laid in front of Raffles Marina. Singapore's most decorated disabled sailor Jovin Tan led the way around the tight course and will be hard to beat in his home waters.
Raffles Marina would like to thank the sponsors, Puteri Harbour, Luminox Watches and the hard-working and ever enthusiastic students of SMU for their support and organisational abilities.
More info, results and photos will be posted at: http://www.westerncircuit.com/
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Race Report 6
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