festival at Raffles Marina...
Highlights over the two weekends include the SMU Presidentís Cup will be awarded this Sunday to the winning skipper and crew in the combined IRC A & B classes. The following weekend a charity auction and gala dinner to raise funds for Sailability Singapore, is part of a global initiative to enrich the lives of people living with physical disabilities.
This time of the year, the South-West monsoon is usually well established and can provide anything from light and variable winds to blustery storm cells quickly whipping up a frenzy. Crew skills will be severely tested on demanding windward-leeward courses in front of Raffles Marina and even more on the passage races.
All the IRC A contestants will have their hands full, keeping up with defending champion Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6, that won the Top of the Gulf and Samui Regatta's earlier this year. His biggest rival is Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40 MOD Windsikher and Simon Piff's newly acquired Ker 32 Rekering Dream, that has won here before under Bremner's stewardship. Esben Poulsson's Esse 750 Petit Bateau and Alan Bannister's Esse 850 Roo 2 are very slick machines and capable of springing some surprises. If conditions suite the other four heavy displacement entries could also be in the running by the end of the regatta.
In the IRC B Class the SMU are fielding two Farr Platu 25's, Alexi Lim's SMUve and Lim Han on SMUmad, are always a force to be reckoned with and benefit from the extensive sailing program conducted by the SMU. Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too is the defending champion and expecting to continue on with the winning streak. Kurt Metzger's Nelson 10 Waka Tere returns after a couple years absence and Matthew Lutter's X342 Minx has a long list of wins in Phuket to live up to. Glen O'Grady's Young 88 O'Blueyes has run hot and cold in the past but could produce the goods if they strike form at the right time.
It was only a matter of time before the stars aligned and the local SB20 fleet, based at Raffles Marina and the Singapore Sailing fleet (based in Marina Bay) combined to form a record 20 boat fleet at a single event. To facilitate international entries a "series within a series" has been added to the program. Over two days, they will compete for the inaugural SMU SB20 International Cup. The fleet includes Kiwi Nik Burfoot, a former Laser World Champion, Scott Duncanson, former Thailand Platu National Champion and two prominent big boat skippers - Steven Manning (Wala Wala 2) and Jonathan Mahoney (Zanzibar) winner of the China Sea Race. With 20 x SB20s on the water, positions will be hard fought up and down the order, with at least 10 boats easily capable of taking home the trophy.
Big Multihull racing seems to be the flavour of the year on the International scene and Singapore is no exception. Three Corsair 750's, Clive Van Onselend's Dash Boot, Alan Hodges' Kaze 3 and the undisputed King of Asian multihull racing Scott McCook and Alice Lim on The Dash are taking on Stuart Birkbeck's Corsair F31 Tri to Fly and David Stanton's M23. All have shown blistering bursts of speed in the past and who ever can consistently get it together is likely to prevail.
Five J24's keep one design racing alive in Singapore and over the years has provided heaps of enjoyment for new crews taking up the sport. Calvin Lim's Shengli and Winfrid Wong's Jangan Main Main are representing the SMU, Daniella Ng from the NTU Yachting Club on RSYC Dua, Zachary Lim's RSYC Satu representing the Singapore Polytechnic Yacht Club, will be taking on Aussie Nicole West from Uni of West Australia on Quarterdeck.
With 5 X Off the Beach catamarans, 3 X foiling Moths, 9 X IOM remote-controlled boats, 16 X Access 2.3's for disabled sailors, makes it 79 boats presently registered to compete. If your looking for some thrills and spills over the next two weekends, take a drive down to Raffles Marina in Tuas and claim a spot on the breakwater overlooking the courses. The nippy Corsair 750, Laser SB3's, Beach Catamarans are sure to whet the appetite and the radio controlled IOM boats will keep the family entertained for hours.
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