Revitalised Straits Regatta ready to roll...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

During the mid 90's sailing enthusiasts at Changi Sailing Club decided to spruce up their racing program and came up with the Singapore Straits Regatta . They joined with Malaysia's Raja Muda and Thailand's King's Cup to become the "Big Three" events in South East Asian waters.

Back in those days, Singapore was the sailing mecca in Asia but rapid development resulted in the yachting industry shifting North to Phuket and Langkawi seeking greener pastures. Over the years the organisation has grown to include all local yacht clubs and marinas in Singapore and Batam. Despite the dates and format being chopped and changed, the regatta still retains the only true International status by visiting two countries (Singapore & Indonesia) and provides an excellent stage for sailors to experience big boat racing in often trying conditions. This year is no different. Two passage races from Singapore across the Strait to Batam, Indonesia and back, plus short course racing in Batam and upon returning to Singapore, will test the sailors skills to the limit.

This year the regatta is enjoying a revival under the stewardship of ONE°15 Marina
Club . 35 yachts divided into 7 classes, running separate programs on both sides of the Strait. One design racing has taken over with 4 X Platu 25's, 5 X J24's, 4 x Cosair 750 trimaran's and for the very first time 8 x SB20's joining in with a two day series when the fleet arrives back in Singapore. The regatta also is an excellent opportunity to introduce new sailors and the Marina Keppel Bay Academy, Indonesian Navy and the Singapore Management University are fielding teams

Several new boats will be taking on old adversaries in the premier IRC A & B and PY classes. Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40MOD Windsikher leads the charge in IRC A but will have to overcome the challenge from Normand Patrick's Benetau Farr 40 Anamika, Tan Thong Meng's Benetau First 40.7 S.Y. Endeavour from the Marina Keppel Bay Academy and Winfrid Wong's Cork 1780 Xtra SMUve before breaking out the champagne and taking the trophy home.

Old rivalries between Simon Piff's Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dreams, Kurt Metzer's Oracle 338 Waka Tere, Gordon Maxted's Young 84 Shoon Fung Too and Desmond Seah's Olson 911 Arbhudhen has resulted in sharing the spoils over past years and like beating up on each other for the season long bragging rights.

The one design Platu 25 class will be a four boat shootout between the SMU and Indonesian Navy teams. The girls led by Camelia Tan's SMUve and Samantha Chua's SMUmad verses the boys Marjoko Utomo Srikandi and Januar Lukito Arjuna will be one to watch with an all new lineup of skippers and crews.

Can anyone stop Borstnar Vladimir's Angel from dominating the J24 class? Two SMU teams Collin Lim's Jangan Main-Main and Seah Cheong Hock's Shengli have been training hard to meet the challenge. Or could Darryl Chan's Juno and Jovina Choo RSYC Dua spring a few surprises and topple the J24 king.

The newest addition to this year's regatta is the introduction of SB 20 keelboats. They have a special 2-day series planned off the East Coast beach from the 1st to 2nd February. Among the competitors in this One Design Class will be Teo Wee Chin; gold medallist at the 2006 Asian Games, Christopher Lim; Champion for the IRC C class during the 17th SSR, and Dr Ben Tan,
current SingaporeSailing president and ex Olympian go head to head.

Also competing on a special 2-day series are four Corsair 750's, one Farrier F-31 plus the first appearance in Asia for the M23 in the Multihull class. Ever since Prosail Asia became the Corsair agents in Singapore, offshore multihull racing has undergone a revival. Scott Mc Cook The Dash has the most experience but is not infallible as shown at last years event. Stuart Birkbeck's Corsair F31 Tri to Fly is the biggest multihull and if the North East Monsoon tradewind is in, we can expect some high speed thrills from David Stanton's M23 and look forward to one design racing in mixed company.

Four very different designs make up the PY Class. Ranging from Simon King's Bonbrigde 215 Svanika from New Zealand to Singapore's Wang Yew Pang's Jeanneau 54 Haiyi 1. Two Canadian entries, Curry Keoughan Jen's Jaunt and Wendle Wald's Jeanneau 35 Melissa lll are competing for the first time and could be in the running by the end of the regatta.

Class Regatta Port Shelter – Presented by Jeanneau

Iconic yacht brand, Jeanneau will return as the presenting sponsor of the annual Class Regatta at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Shelter Cove, Sai Kung on 2 and 3 February 2013.
The one-design classes of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club relocate from their usual urban territory of Victoria Harbour to the wilds of Port Shelter for the occasion. Around 50 boats will race against each other on RHKATI handicaps, with Etchells, J/80 and Sportsboat fleets competing for the Long Course title, and Dragon, Flying Fifteen, Impala, Pandora and Ruffian classes racing for Short Course honours.
Don Chow, Director, China Pacific Marine Ltd and exclusive distributor of Jeanneau in Hong Kong, praised the Club for the continued development of the sport of sailing in this region. “The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is recognized as one of the premier sailing clubs in the world. Like the Club, we (China Pacific Marine Ltd. and Jeanneau) pride ourselves on quality and excellence. The Class Regatta is an ideal opportunity to showcase Jeanneau to sailors who enjoy the thrill of racing, and the sailing lifestyle.”
In addition to the inshore, two-day, five-race Regatta, media representatives will be invited to sail on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409. Not only will they witness the racing from the water, but they will also get to experience first-hand the design, construction and quality of this distinct brand.
Mark Bovaird, General Manager, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club said, “The Club and its members welcome the return of Jeanneau as presenting sponsor of our Class Regatta as this partnership exemplifies the importance of such events to this manufacturer and the Club alike. We are also delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 during the event.”

About Jeanneau

From its beginning in 1957 to the present day, the brand created by Henri Jeanneau has exemplified a reputation for extraordinary quality, value and timeless beauty. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, recognized as one of the premier facilities in the world, shares this commitment to excellence and is again proud to be associated with Jeanneau for the second consecutive year.

China Pacific Marine

About Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) is one of the oldest sports clubs in Hong Kong and is proud of its rich, colourful history, which stretches back over 160 years of social and competitive sailing and rowing.  RHKYC organises a full calendar of local and international racing for both keel boats and dinghies, ranging from round-the-cans to Category 1 offshore races.  The Club also provides sailing courses for members and non-members at various levels to nurture the development of sailing.

Koko Mueller &  Lindsay Lyons

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 January 2013 )