August 6th: Ever since the Singapore Management University (SMU) and Raffles Marina came together to stage the Western Circuit, it has gone from strength to strength. The youthful enthusiasm and vigor of the SMU sailing fraternity, both on and off the water combined with the splendid facilities at Raffles Marina and their desire to hold racing events has added a new dimension to sailing in Singapore. Opening up the event to all comers has attracted a multitude of keelboat classes, beach catamarans, Laser SB3's, IOM remote-controlled boats, foiling Moths and a full class of Access 2.3's for disabled sailors, making this event the corner stone of the Raffles Marina sailing calendar.
Notable inclusion in IRC A, is Bill Bremner's newly acquired Ker 32 Foxy Lady V taking on his old boat, turned arch rival Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40 MOD Windsikher, whose crew will be working ever so hard to defend the title. After winning the inaugural Neptune Regatta by a blink of an eye, Kiwi Brent Morgans Archambault 35 Men at Work could pose the biggest threat.
Held over 3 weekends, 6th & 7th, 13th & 14th and 20th August, this Singapore Sailing sanctioned regatta has become well-known for its challenging courses, close racing and fun filled post-race parties, that make it the most anticipated and biggest regatta to be held annually in Singapore.
Coinciding with the notorious South-West monsoon the crews will be put through their paces on the traditionally demanding windward-leeward courses in front of Raffles Marina and even more tactically astute on the lengthy passage races. Up for grabs once again will be the SMU Presidentís Cup awarded to the winner of the passage race at the gala dinner after the 3rd day / 2nd weekend of racing.
Three SMU teams will be fighting it out with several local sailing stalwarts in the IRC B class. This year Fidelis Tan will be taking charge of the Farr Platu 25 SMUmad, the boat that won the title last year. Stiff competition is expected from Gregory Ho skippering the other Farr Platu 25 SMUve and given the right conditions, Benjamin Mui Jie Min could take the highly rated Cork 1720 Xtra SMUve onto greater heights. Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too might be the oldest boat in the fleet but with the right crew have shown in the past, they can still pack a punch way above their weight.
If your looking for thrills and spills go no further than the foiling Moths, Laser SB3's, J24's and a variety of designs that make up in the eleven strong Beach Catamaran class. Four new Nacra Carbon 20's, three Taipan 4.9's, two F16's and one Nacra 20 OD make up the fleet. For good measure Scott McCook will be debuting the all new Corsair 750 The Dash to an ever increasing band of multihull enthusiasts in SE Asian waters.
Three prize-giving ceremonies spread over three weekends also promise to be grand occasions as they range from Dinner on the lawn, Charity Gala Dinner and Ballroom Gala Dinner with the usual free flow of beer, sumptuous food and a full program line-up including top performing acts by the SMU students.
Amongst all this merriment an auction with all proceeds and donations going to the chosen beneficiary: Singapore Sailability - Last year, the charity auction raised $20,000 and this year, they hope to make it happen again and invite all participants to join in and show their support for our disabled friends.
This regatta has also become well known for being exciting and innovative with new ideas being thrown into the mix in order to bring a bigger and better event each year. This year, the 14th edition of the WCSR will see a revolutionary change in which sailors can analyze their racing performances. It’s called the TackTracker! GPS devices will be handed out to each keelboat, which is able to track the boats course around the race track, calculate distance travelled, boat speed, tacking speed, VMG, angle of pointing or bearing and even provide comparisons with the other boats in your class! At the end of each racing day, the data from each device is collected and the races are uploaded online to a central server. All you have to do is go to the TackTracker homepage at http://www.tacktracker.com and take a look at the race you want to watch. It’s that easy!
More info and results when they come to hand at: http://www.westerncircuit.com/
This WCSR - AY Race Report is proudly sponsored by:
Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (Co.