9th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta
AY Race Report 3 & Summary

Alls well that ends well...
The talk over the breakfast table was all about how to finish up the order in the races held today and eventually be standing proud on the podium at tonight's prize giving. As it stands after two weekends of racing, barely a few points separated the top racers in each class, so today's results would determine the overall Western Circuit 2006 class champions and the all important podium placing's for bragging rights throughout the season.

Despite being led around the first lap of race four and fouling up a port start attempt in race five, Bill Bremner's bigger and more powerful Sydney 40 Team F5 / Foxy Lady managed to claw back the lost time in IRC A and win both races by 43 and 26 seconds respectively, to keep a clean score sheet of five wins. Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings had been trailing well down the scoreboard until putting in a blinding performance today to finish up with second place overall and nearly toppling the leader on both occasions to claim a psychological victory. Although Jeremy Muller's Sydney 32 Scallywag could only manage a fifth and fourth place today they had done enough in the earlier races to hold onto third place overall from Tom Bonehill's fast finishing converted Magic 25 Loaded.

In IRC B Bob Howison's Platu 25 Teko MDBS sailed two almost flawless races to add two wins onto their one point lead and defend the title they desperately worked hard for two years in succession. The battle royal between the two X372's of Greg Coops Abraxas and Peter Forbes Next Page that led the regatta in the early races was eventually settled with Next Page getting the better of Abraxas and finishing second and third overall respectively. Kent Goeking's Solarmax lifted their game over the last few races with third placing's to finish up fourth overall and Wildon Goh's Platu Team made up of students from the Singapore Management University came to the fore with a well earned second place in race five.

Richard Ahl's domination of the One Design J24 class continues with Juno taking a one, two today and the overall title for a second year in succession. Vladimir Borstnar's Angel managed to put an end to Juno's winning streak and despite two third places today held onto second place overall. Lea Sea Yean broke Jangan Main Main's third placing jinx by scoring a second place in race four and a resounding victory in race five but returned to their old ways to finish up third overall.

The eleven boat PY class slogged it out over three weekends which saw a wide variety of boats produce a mixed bag of results and several competitors capable of taking the regatta coming into the final races. Eventually it was Bob Comstock's Tactical Antics scoring a first in race four and fourth in race five plus being able to drop the race three disqualification that came out on top of the leaderboard. Although Simon Piff's defending champion Rainbow Dream did their best with a second and first today it was not enough as the earlier races let them down and had to be content with second overall. Trond Seljeseth appears to have an unconventional way of steering his Scandinavian timber sloop Rosmarus but stringing together two fourths, two third places and discarding a eighth is enough to claim third place overall.

Louis Lim and Stenley Tan sailing the Taipan 4.9 SZ17688B gracefully scorched around the course to score two wins and claim the overall title with style. The fluctuating numbers turning up over the three weekends saw early leaders tumble down the board after a no show. The F16 class has the oldest and youngest sailor in the fleet. At seventy five years old Michael Chia and his much younger crew Christopher White's Taipan 4.9 Xng Kao Song never got better than third place but were consistently pegging away at the leaders over the five races to secure second overall. Koh Joo Kim and Deborah Baker not only won race three but went on to take third place overall. Nine year old Sam Andrews crewing for his farther Mark on Catastrophic Catastrophy ended up fourth and the first of the Nacra 5.0 competing here for the first time. With the F16 World titles to be held in Singapore early next year, their inclusion at these events not only provides some spectacular sailing but also gives them the opportunity to improve their sailing skills as the big event looms on the horizon.

Summary
Bill Bremner skipper/owner of Team F5 / Foxy Lady summed up his thoughts on the regatta "There is definitely a renewed sense of momentum and optimism in the keelboat fleet this year. With almost 40 boats on the start line the Western Circuit 06 actually is the biggest regatta in Singapore right now... and it feels like it! The docks are a flurry of activity and the parties afterwards have been loads of fun!" Bill adds "Conditions have been optimal for our yacht so far - 15 to 20 knots and little chop. My crew are racing like they're possessed - great tacking and gybing and using the many shifts to our advantage. After seven attempts at winning this event we are very pleased indeed to finally achieve our target - such a great venue and perfect conditions too."


9th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta

AY Race Report 2

Racing comes to a climax on final day...
With 12-15 knots of wind ranging from SE to SW the 18nm passage race 3 got away to a lively start last weekend. Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady is living up to the boats performance in the fresh conditions by recording three wins in a row. Bill sums up Race 3 "You had to go left early and play the shifts up the Singapore shore or you just got clobbered by the big right hand air to the right. Once we got clear of the recycling plant the breeze settled and locked in at around 175 degrees. Coming home with the asymmetric spinnaker was wild with several near knockdowns in the big gusts. Absolutely loved it!"

Jeremy Muller's Sydney 32 Scallywag came in second with Tom Bonehill's converted Magic 25 Loaded in third, making it a triumph for Sydney Yachts. Although Foxy Lady has a convincing lead going into tomorrows final races the rest of the IRC A boats are separated by only a few points so the remaining podium places are still up for grabs.

Bob Howison's Platu 25 and defending champion Teko MDBS has consistently scored second places in the early races and added a win on the passage race to take a slender one point lead going into tomorrows final races. The battle royal between the two X372's of Greg Coops Abraxas and Peter Forbes Next Page continues with Next Page getting the better of Abraxas in the passage race and Kent Goeking's Solarmax slipping in between them to claim third spot and easing the points congestion at the top of the leaderboard.

In the J24 One Design class it was Vladimir Borstnar's turn on Angel to upset the tables on Richard Ahl's Juno who has scored two wins so far. Lea Sea Yean's Jangan Main Main maintains their consistent third place and are the only ones within striking distance of the leading two.

A complete change in form took place in the PY class with Pauline Blasky's Sari Timur coming to the fore in the passage race. Leslie Fung's Todak is normally placed mid fleet but managed a second place and Trond Seljeseth's timber sloop Rosmarus claimed third place. Overall leader is David Ross's Swann 53 Frangipani Girl that had to settle on seventh place and the change in positions brings the pointscore closer together and opened the door for others to have a chance.

Only five Formula 16 catamarans braved it out on the passage race. Koh Joo Kim's Taipan 4.9 took the win to advance up the leaderboard. Louis Lim's Taipan 4.9 has scored three consecutive second places to be well positioned coming into the final races. Michael Chia also on a Taipan 4.9 scored third place to complete the Taipan domination. Jeff Davison has two wins from the early races and if the drop race comes into play he could well be standing proud on the top of the podium.

Racing finishes up on Saturday 26th with two windward/leewards in front of Raffles Marina. The courses have been extended for some classes and altered for the F16 cats. Some words of advice for newcomers from IRC A leader Bill Bremner " The first two windward/leewards were awesome! Big long beats upwind with many wind shifts to deal with and take advantage off with big powerful, board downwind runs. Also the traffic made mark rounding's quite interesting but we managed to keep our nose clean."


9th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta

AY Race Report 1

They are off and away...
A good fifteen knot South Westerly greeted the sailors on the first day of racing which allowed Race Officer Kit Lock's new team to set the course directly in front of Raffles Marina and spectators the opportunity to watch the entire days racing from the comfort of the breakwater. Luckily the Western Johore Strait runs roughly from South West to North East so the windward / leeward courses fit nicely up and down the strait. With the occasional gust increasing to eighteen knots some boats under asymmetrical spinnakers proved to be a hand full but provided the organisers a chance to set up the traditional down downs at the prize giving party.

Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady reveled in the fresh conditions to score two first and fastest's despite a bad start to race one. Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings is the defending champion but had to settle on second and third places today and is hoping for lighter conditions in the remaining races. Keith Dunn's Lunchcutter 2 scored third place in race one and Jeremy Muller's Sydney 32 Scallywag a second place in race two to mix up the order and stay in the running.

A mixed bag of results in IRC B saw the two X372's of Greg Coops Abraxas take race one and Peter Forbes Next Page in race two. Bob Howison's Platu 25 and defending champion Teko MDBS settled on two second places to put him on familiar ground sharing the top of the leaderboard at the end of day one. Peter Forbes third place in race one keeps Next Page on even points at the top and by squeezing into third place in race two Richard Kiillip's Laser SB3 Hamster Hammock provides a little bit of breathing space at the top from a hungry chasing pack. This one will definitely go down to the wire.

If any thing the six J24 One Designs can be complimented for their consistency with all boats finishing in the same order on the two races held today. Richard Ahl's Juno two first and fastest's puts them in a good position to defend the title. Vladimir Borstnar's Angel was not far of the pace with two second places and Lea Sea Yean's Jangan Main Main finished third last year and looks set to retain this position.

Jovin Tan's disabled crew on the 23ft Sonar Victory lived up to their name sake with a PY class win on race one but fell back to fifth in race two. Bob Comstock's Tactical Antics scored second in race one and first in race two to take a handy lead at the top of the score sheet. David Ross's Swann 53 Frangipani Girl missed out on first place by one second in race two but put on an almighty show of power in the fresh conditions to claim line honours in both races by the proverbial mile. Blake Deberry's No Alibi held onto third in race one and Simon Piff's third place in race two sees the defending champion Rainbow Dream finally onto the podium after a couple of slow starts.

The Formula 16 catamarans streaked around the course to make the monohull fleet almost look like they were standing still. Jeff Davison's Taipan reigned supreme scoring two wins with Lois Lim's Taipan hot on their heels to secure two second places. Mark Andrews Nacra claimed third place in race one to prevent a clean sweep by the Taipans but Michael Chia's third in race two saw the Taipans reclaim their dominance for the time being.


9th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta

AY Pre-Regatta Report

Let the fun and games begin...
For all of August the Asian yachting spotlight now focuses on Singapore as the Western Circuit Sailing Regatta gets underway at Raffles Marina on Sun 13th. Run over three weekends on the Western approaches to Singapore with the final showdown on Sat 26th, the twenty eight keelboats and nine Formula 16 catamarans are not only expecting some close and exciting racing but also some great partying provided by BMW and Corum watches generous sponsorship.

With favourable SW monsoon winds blowing down the straits the stage is now set to become Singapore's largest sailing regatta in 2006. The boats have been divided into four separate divisions: IRC A, IRC B (International Racing Certificate); One Design (J-24 keelboats); PY (Cruising Boats) and F-16 (Formula 16 multihulls). The usual suspects Bill Bremner's Sydney 40 Foxy Lady, defending champions Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings (IRC A), Bob Howison's Platu 25 Teko MDBS (IRC B), John Robertson's Rainbow Dream (PY), and Richard Ahl's J-24 Juno (OD) have all picked up the silverware over the years and figure prominently on this years entry list.

Returning to the frey will be Jovin Tan's disabled crew on Victory, a 23 foot Sonar keel boat specially designed for disabled sailors. Victory took 1st place overall in the 2004 Singapore Straits Regatta in her division, against the crews of able-bodied sailors.

Of the nine Formula 16 catamarans joining in this year six are Taipan 4.9, two Nacra 5.0 and one of the new Blade cats that are proving very popular for sheer speed on the Australian and European racing scene. This ever expanding class are renown for their fierce but friendly competition on and off the water.

With two windward / leeward races scheduled on race day 1 and the stage all set - Let the fun and games begin...

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