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First Action Packed Weekend Of The 17Th Smu-Rm Western Circuit Closes
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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:02 PM
A week of constant rain cleared Singapores sky just in time for the start of the 17th SMU-RM Western Circuit Sailing Regatta, and Raffles Marina buzzed with excitement as all 78 entries finally came together with their preparations done--ready to race.
Day one brought great racing conditions with consistent puffs in the range of eight to twelve knots, but the strong current down the course made racing in the pleasant wind anything but a breeze. This made for exciting bouts in every race, and while in some classes ranks were quickly formed and held, others remain so fiercely contested that it was really anyones game.
In the IRC A class, Bill Bremners Foxy Lady VI, the defending champion, made it look easy by securing convincing wins in all three of the days races, while her archrival Sarab Singhs Windsikher struggled to keep up even after two second place finishes due to the unfortunate need to retire during the second race. Instead, Jonathan Peters Seabass took second, with David Dimmocks Blue Note not far behind.
A closer IRC B fleet saw the days available bullets shared evenly between three of the class leaders, Bryan Chans SMUve, Alexi Lims SMUMad, and Kurt Metzgers Waka Tere. Two second place finishes gave Waka Tere the top seat, leaving SMUMad in second overall for the day, with Gordon Maxteds Shoon Fung Too stealing the last spot on the leaderboard from SMUve by a single point with her consistent third place finishes.
The J24s lined themselves up in spectacular fashion with Borstnar Vladimirs Angel mercilessly picking up a win in all four of the days races, letting Victoria Kohs Shengli, Sean Lees Ms Jock, and Judith Chens Quarterdeck score straight seconds, thirds and fourths respectively.
As expected, SB20 fleet saw plenty of battles hard fought. In the end, it was Justin Lius SSF8, Jervis Tillys Tara, Jeremy Chases Glasgow Kiss, Xu Yuanzhens SSF2 and Dominic Johnsons Pocapena which emerged as the leaders, with point differences close enough that reshuffles on day two would remain very possible.
Most of the other classes, including the multihulls and Access 2.3s saw clear leaders take up top spots, ready to take it further on the day that followed.
Day two brought similar conditions to its predecessor, but the racing got more intense, especially over at the one design course, as boats tried to jostle for a better position. The conclusion of the SMU SB20 International Cup was fast approaching and every team wanted it bad. In the end, peak performance by Justin Lius SSF8 gave them the title, while Jervis Tillys Tara took second, pushing previous days leader Jeremy Chases Glasgow Kiss into the third spot on countback.
The SMU Presidents Cup was to be awarded to the boat that won the long 20nm passage race. An exciting race that saw both sound tactical decisions and numerous blunders (which include an OCS Windsikher which was later grounded for fifteen minutes, and two PY class boats sailing the wrong course to end up with DNF scores), could have brought no more excitement. Despite a valiant effort by the students from the university of the trophys namesake on Bryan Chans SMUve, they could not win the Cup and create the upset for which they were surely hoping. Bill Bremners Foxy Lady VI came out tops yet again, but this time by only a hair. Official corrected timings reveal their win by a mere fraction of a second (0.6s to be exact)!
The long course passage race, caused many shuffles as Windsikher too a big hit with a 6-point finish to drop her down the ranks, making way for Koh Seng Leongs Xtra SMUVE to climb just short of the podium. Waka Teres costly race combined with SMUves commendable effort and SMUMads decent result moved Alexi Lim into first place, with Bryan Chan in second, with Kurt Metzger just behind. A DNF crippled Dieter Traus Watermelons good score moving her down a rank but not out of reach of Tobias Arnolds Cebeles, while Desmond Seahs Arbudhen holds first for her performance.
Although overall positions in the J24 class did not change, the day brought about much chaos when Sean Lees Ms Jock managed to place first in a single race, destroying Angels clean sheet. This was no easy feat considering that Angel and her crew are known among the local fleet precisely for being able to go untouched throughout regattas.
The Access 2.3 racing ended on day two with Aaron Per taking first place in front of usual favourite Jovin Tan, which left a nonetheless happy Ng Jia Jun in third place. All in all the Access 2.3 class had a great time racing despite the strong current which made sailing particularly difficult for their special craft.
In all we are glad that racing is as close as it is, and great conditions have blessed us with an excellent field on which to compete. Hopefully, day three will bring the same, and we get to witness more action as participants continue to fight for dominance over the water and their competitors!
by Brian Chan
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