Western Circuit turns into a festival of sail...
Saturday, 04 August 2012
Despite the heavy overcast conditions, Raffles Marina was a hive of activity, with the Red Bull chilling tent taking center stage and today's sponsor Barclay's Bank bringing groups of handicapped kids and orphans on a guided tour and providing sailing joy rides, creating a vibrant festival atmosphere onshore while the sailors battled it out offshore. This year the increase in entries and the diverse class line-up called for two separate racing areas, which inevitably caused some confusion and a number of late starters in the IRC A and B classes that was laid further West, almost at the entrance to the Johor Strait. Maybe more attention should be paid at the skippers briefing and an earlier departure from the marina to allow for the strong incoming tide. Remnants of yesterdays stormy conditions lingered around with isolated rain clouds on both sides of the Strait producing 8 to 12 knots of SSW wind, which varied with every passing cloud system and faded away towards the end of the day.
Only three of the seven IRC A boats were on time for the Race 1 start and left it to Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6, Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40 Windsikher and Steve Manning's Sydney GTS 43 Walawala 2 to fight it out for the top spots. The others progressively joined in but made little difference as the leading pack had already bolted. At one stage the breeze picked up to 18 knots with the passing storm front and kept tacticians on their toes picking out the wind shifts and favoured tacks. Hot off winning the RSYC regatta a couple weeks ago, Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 showed no remorse to convincingly win Race 1 and end the day with a 1, 2, 1 scoreline to take the overall lead. The strong current also played a pivotal role and Singh's Windsikher worked it to perfection to claim Race 2 handicap honours and second overall. Herman Bake's ESSE 850 IMP jumped up into second place in Race 3 and Manning's Walawala 2 exchanged third and fourth places with Chris Furness / Guz Wilkinson's Rikki Tikki Tavi to hold down third overall.
In the IRC B class, Ad Smit's X99 Power Partners nailed the start line in Race 1 and led around the course to claim the daily double but two sixth places in subsequent races left them down in third overall. Gordon Maxted's Young 840 Shoon Fung Too showed there is still life in the old girl yet and with a 2, 1, 1 scoreline are pleased to end up on top of the leaderboard. Both the SMU Platu's were late for the first start but made up for it with Alexi Lim's SMUve ending the day in second overall and Fidelis Tan on SMUmad in fourth. Joe Lombardo's Dufour 34 Shardana snagged third place in Race 1 and Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream finally came good with second place in Race 3.
On Course 1 in front of Raffles Marina the J24, Club Racer, Corsair Trimarans, Off the beach Catamaran and SB20 classes all enjoyed three races before calling it a day. Different courses for different horses. saw the Club, Corsairs and Cats on lengthy courses around harbour marks while the J24 and SB20's on traditional windward/leeward courses.
Goh Jian Guang's Juno broke the ice in the first J24 race and clung on with second and third places to take the overall lead. Starting out with fifth place, Winfrid Wong must have stirred the Shengli crew into action as they won the next two races and trail the leaders by one point. The juggling of places helped Daryl Chan's RSYC Dua score 2, 3, 2 and end up tied on seven points with second placed Shengli.
The huge variety of boat designs in the Club Racer Class are capable of racing together using arbitrary TCC handicaps. Desmond Seah/ Michael Teo's Oslon 911 Arbudhen dominated with two wins and fourth place to go top of the leaderboard. Jovin Tan's SKUD 18 is destined for the London Paralympic Games in a few weeks time and hitting out with 2, 3, 2 puts them in second overall and a good workout before the games. Feeling a bit hard done by the handicap system didn't stop Tobias Arnold Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 No Alibi from claiming first place in the second race but fifth and fourth places has them languishing in the middle of the pack. Consistent performances by Dieter Trau's Jeanneau Sun Fizz Watermelon Team Nus allowed them to slip into third overall,
Three Dash 750 and one F-31R make up the Cosair Trimaran Class. Three bullets for Scott McCook on The Dash places the Singapore sales agents on top of the leaderboard. Close behind Nicolas Gillier/ Jeremy Perrier on Dash Boot could not climb the mountain and pulled up in second overall. The same goes for Richard Wallace Kaze III who are also looking to strike out on the next few races. Although sailing on the bigger F-31R Koh Joo Kim's newly acquired One Sails have been outclassed on this occasion, but watch when they get acclimatised and complete some further fine tuning.
There is no stopping Martin Pickrodt's Nacra Carbon 20 Rantanplan in the Catamaran Class with three bullets out of three races. Greg Smith Viper F16 Allon5 - Y followed suite with three second places. Lin Josua also on a Viper F16 put up a good showing to slot into third overall.
With 3, 1, 1 scoreline Jeremy Chase Glasgow Kiss leads the way in the hotly contested SB20 Class. Not to be outdone Jonathan Mahony's Scumbag kept up the pressure with 1, 2, 2 to be tied on five points with the leader. Jayant Dhobley's Du Mei Dai holds onto third overall but will have to go harder as two boats behind them are only one point adrift.
The radio controlled IOM class and Access 2.3 for disabled sailors kicked of their campaigns in fine style and will conclude their series tomorrow.
Racing continues tomorrow with the IRC classes contesting the SMU President's Cup while other classes set sail on passage races in the Johor Strait. Prize giving and dinner will be held in the evening on the lawn in front of the clubhouse.
More info and results when they come to hand at: http://www.westerncircuit.com/
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
Last Updated ( Saturday, 04 August 2012 )