Circuit ready for action...
Highlights over the next two weekends, include the SMU Presidentís Cup and SMU SB20 International Cup to be awarded this Sunday, plus a charity auction and gala presentation dinner next weekend to raise funds for Sailability Singapore, is part of a global initiative to enrich the lives of people living with physical disabilities.
Usually the South-West monsoon is well established by now and can provide anything from light, variable winds to blustery storm cells whipping up a frenzy. Crew skills will be severely tested on demanding windward-leeward courses in front of Raffles Marina and even more on longer 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 is on an eight Asian regatta winning streak and crowned the 2013-14 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year last season. Their biggest rival is Sarab Singh's Sydney 40 MOD Windsikher and David Dimmock's Dubois 40 Blue Note, that have been coming on strong at recent regattas. Chris Furness\Guz Wilkinson Elan 410 Rikki Tikki Tavi and Jon Cray's Swan 42 Sea Bass will be keeping them honest, while Herman Van Den Wall Bake's Esse 850 IMP and Koh Seng Leong's Cork 1720 Xtra SMUVE and Timo Bretschneider's Reflex 28 Wild Thing are capable of springing some surprises, if conditions favour the smaller boats.
In the IRC B Class, SMU are fielding two Farr Platu 25's, Bryan Chan's SMUve and Alexi Lim on SMUmad, are always a force to be reckoned with and benefit from the extensive SMU sailing program. A close battle last year saw Kurt Metzger's Nelson 10 Waka Tere come out on top on the last race and relegated Gordon Maxted's previous winner Young 840 Shoon Fung Too down to third place. If they strike form, Glen O'Grady's Young 88 O'Blueyes, Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream and Peter Forbes X-372 For Sail (aka Next Page) should not be discounted as they all have prospered here in the past.
Once again, the local SB20 fleet based at Raffles Marina and the Singapore Sailing fleet (based in Marina Bay) have combined to make an 20 boat fleet, contesting the SMU SB20 International Cup this weekend. Jeremy Chase's Glasgow Kiss returns to defend the title but International teams from China, Ireland, UK, India and Germany might block their way. With 18 boats on the water, positions will be hard fought up and down the order, with at least 10 local skippers capable of taking home the trophy.
In the Multihull Class, four Corsair 750's, Clive Van Onselend's Dash Boot, Alan Hodges' Kaze 3, Andrew Young's Hot Toad and Barker Deborah Evaline's SZ19708A will be dueling it out with Robert Eric Harayda's Corsair F31 Tri to Fly. They are all capable of exceptional bursts of speed and who ever can keep it together is likely to prevail.
Over the years, J24's have been the backbone of one design racing in Singapore and provided heaps of enjoyment for new crews taking up the sport. After a few years absence from the Western Circuit, Borstnar Vladimir's Angel returns to the field, to take on Sean Lee's Ms Jock and the SMU's Victoria Koh on Shengli and Judith Chen on Quarterdeck. They will all have to be on their toes as Vladimir's Angel has a cupboard full of J24 titles to their name.
Also in the running are four keelboats contesting the PY Class, five Off the Beach catamarans, eleven IOM remote-controlled boats and eleven Access 2.3's for disabled sailors. This makes a total of 75 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.
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