SB20 2019 Asian Grand Slam And Asia Pacific Championships

Race Report: DAY 1 2019 Asian Grand Slam And Asia Pacific Championships. The fleet was blesssd with the glorious North East Monsoon having filled in over the past week in sunny Singapore and the wonderful ONE15 Marina Club. The fleet headed out at 11.00am after PRO Peter Van Muyden raised the D flag signaling his instruction for the fleet to head out to the race course.

Shifty conditons were testing the race committee who had to lay the start line a number of times before they could successfully send the fleet away. First mishap of the day happned when Team Freefire from HKG casually picked up the anchor line of the pin end on their rudder and were then joined by a further 3 boats all stuck on the pin end anchor line. Eventually the fleet got away into a shifty racecourse of snakes and ladders with many place changes on every leg as the wind swung through 40 degrees on a regular basis with pressure up and down causing for some very challenging sailing! 

Ultimately Team Polarbears whom have come out from Norway prevailed to take the race from Team Du Mei Dai made up of national sailors from Singapore and Team NUS in third. The PRO showed his teeth on the second race bringing out the black flag after a general recall where the fleet were overly keen and did not factored the change of tide which was now pushing the fleet over the line. 

Pressure was on the race course which saw different boats top the fleet. Race two winners Edbut came from far behind playing the left side of ths course. Glasgow Kiss followed in second with Team Polarbears in third making the podium once again in a very tight race again with many place changes. The third race started with more pressure again giving boats the full planing experience in the warm sunny waters off Singapore. 

The left was once again paying and Glasgow Kiss and Edbut opened up a gap on the fleet having a tussle to finish first and second with Team Du Mei Dai bringing it home in third. Team Edbut leads a very close leaderboard over night where only 4 points seperating 1st and 5th places. 

Race Report: DAY 2 2019 SB20 Asian Grand Slam And Asia Pacific Championships.

The fleet woke up to another sunny day with the plenty of pressure already on early in the morning. Crews slowly ambled down to the fabulous ONE15 Marina to rig and tune their boats for another competitive day of racing at the SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships.

The fleet headed just after 10.00am after PRO Robert van Muyden raised the D flag signaling his approval for the fleet to head out to the race course. Racing was momentarily postponed as the race course was set slightly further east. However PRO Robert van Muyden did an excellent job in swiftly getting the fleet going despite a general recall against an adverse tide. With the windward mark set off the East Coast Seafood Centre, the fleet were guided through shifty conditions by the scent of chilli crab and fried buns. 

Team Norway smashed the first beat and the first race to set the tone for the day. Glasgow Kiss, having fought their way back from 5th at the first top mark, took second place with Daniel Toh and team from Raffles Junior College (Pier Pressure) bringing home third place having sailed a very consistent race.

Race two saw the fleet arriving en masse at the first mark. With plenty of action the spread mark was collected by Pascal Radue and Team SMU Alumni and consequntially also Team Du Mei Dai making for a very confusing rounding and lots of place changes.  The teams that managed to get through the mele and gybe early headed into new breeze and made significant gains. 

Glasgow Kiss, having been deep on the first beat, made up a number of places to round the bottom mark first and then pulling away to win the race with Team Norway making late gains on the final downwind leg to finish second with Team Pier Pressure once again sailing an excellent race to finish third.

Pressure was up and left for the third and final start of the day. The fleet got off to a clean start with Walababy making the most of the left shift to the windward mark first with Pocapena in hot pursuit. Edbut took charge down the first run rounding the bottom mark in first and then never looked back to home the final race of the day.  Team 3LB sailed a strong race coming home in second with Team Du Mei Dai bring home third. Team Polarbears / Team Norway leads a very compact leader board by 1 point over night. With everything to play for the fleet is set up for a final day shoot out tomorrow! 

After sailing, the teams took the bar and enjoyed a multitude of beverage induced debriefs to set the record straight. Once again the winner of the day was sailing in Singapore with great conditions, the fabulous hosts OneDegree15 Marina Club and all the organisers whom are doing outstanding job.

Race Report: DAY 3 / FINAL DAY 2019 SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships. Teams arrived at the fabulous ONE15 Marina for final day of the SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships to see the wind firmly in, setting the perfect scene for the final day shoot out in what has been an extremely closely fought regatta.

The fleet, keen as ever, headed out just after 10.00am for another day of roller coaster shifts and pressure changes. PRO Peter van Muyden sent the fleet off promptly on time in a stiff North Easterly. Overnight leaders Team Norway / Polarbears kicked the day off by parking themselves on the pin end of the line in the first start but then pulled a miraculous recovery out of the bag to finish the race in third from Team 3BL, who finished in second having sailed a very consistent race, and Team Edbut winning the race by a comfortable margin having led from the first windward mark and then extending their lead from there.

Race two got underway without any recalls with the crowd bunching up at the boat end. Glasgow Kiss started below the crowd and fed into a left shift to then tack over and charge ahead up the first beat from Team 3 BL and Pocapena. Team Edbut challenged for the lead after having had a lightning fast first run rounding the gate level with Glasgow Kiss, whom then managed to escape once again to go on to win the race, with Team 3BL bringing home second and Team Edbut rounding out the race in third place. However, Team Norway / Polarbears scored an uncharacteristic 10th place to compress the leader board and set up an exciting finish for the regatta with everything riding on the final race!

The leaderboard was tight and any one of three teams could win the trophy coming in to the final race. The pressure was up and on! With the wind swinging left for the third and final start of the day, the race committee made some tweaks to the start line. The conditions were as tricky as ever and the race committee reached straight for the U-Flag. A late right hand shift saw the fleet bunching up at the committee boat and with the pressure up and the foul tide abating, a number of boats were caught out by being over the start line early. The race once again saw lots of place changes and there was a fierce battle on the water for the trophy. After a very exciting race, Team Norway / Polarbears sailed home to the finish in third place ahead of Team Edbut and Glasgow Kiss who brought home fourth and fifth for what should have made the final standings of the regatta. However, there was drama as the fleet hit the dock and the reality of the U-Flag disqualifications hit the fleet with 5 boats being disqualified for starting early and two of those being in the top 3 finishers on the water changing the overall standings for the regatta.

After the dust had settled, Team Norway / Polarbears finished in third overall, having sailed a truly magnificent regatta only to fall foul of the U-Flag in the final race and consequentially losing out on the overall trophy. Team Edbut finished second overall and Team Glasgow Kiss won the overall Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championship trophy for the second year running. The teams all commented on the superb competition and the wonderful camaraderie of this fantastic annual event that is now a firm favourite with many returning teams travelling to Singapore to come and compete every year.

One Degree 15 Marina Club hosted a fabulous prize giving ceremony on the roof top of the club house with the Singapore night time skyline providing a spectacular backdrop. Heartfelt words for this year’s edition of the Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships and words of excitement and support for the upcoming SB20 World Championships in 2021, recently awarded to Singapore and One degree 15 Marina Club, were given by Mr Jack Long, SUTL Group General Manager, Teo Joo Leng, General Manager of One Degree 15 Marina Club, Han Ee, CEO of the Singapore Sailing Federation and Nicholas Cocks of the Singapore SB20 Class Association. The fleet is keenly looking forward to next year’s edition of the Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships as it begins to build up to the World Championships in 2021. 

Race Report: Nils Rasmilovic
Photos: One15Marina Club, Donovan Ho

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