Hot Racing for the Singapore SB20 Fleet at the Tiger Trophy
“The best racing I have had in Singapore”
The first regatta of the year for the Singapore SB3 fleet saw 80% of all the SB3’s in Singapore take to the water for the Tiger Cup Trophy over the weekend of March 6th and 7th. With a planned 11 race series it was going to mean long days on the water. The marina was a hive of activity before the 11am briefing with boats cleaned, new sails unrolled, and sun screen applied.
The fleet launched on Saturday to make the expected start time of 12:00 noon, in a sweltering 35°C. A slight delay and the fleet got away in a pleasant 8 knots of wind coming from the north east. As the boats moved towards the windward mark, the wind began to drop and the tide kicked in, within the space of a few minutes, the speedos were reading 0.0, and boats going backward in the tide. After letting the crews sweat it out for another 15 minutes the race office abandoned the race, leaving the 13 boats to whistle for the wind. Fortunately the wind did come and filled in from the south west.
With the wind steadying at a pleasant 12knots, the race office acted swiftly and got race 1 away, with a short 2x windwar / leeward course. With this event having the largest number of SB3’s on the water to date, getting a good start was imperative, so there was much jostling on the start line, and at the turning marks, with many boats having to complete 360 penalty turns. Race 2 and 3 saw the wind increase to 15knots causing a little more excitement when turning corners, with a number of boats seeing what tropical fish they could catch with their spinnakers. Compass Rising had to make a quick trip into the marina to replace a jib block, meaning they were carrying at 14th. A number of other boats incurred breakages, most notably Robin Young on Pyxis who broke the main halyard, putting an end to their days racing. The final race of the day saw the race officer decide to send the fleet 3 X round the course, catching Fabrice on Alidade out, as he was leading the race and heading fast for the finish when the rest of the fleet rounded the leeward mark and set off upwind. Saturday conclude with 2 wins for Alidade, 2 wins for Glasgow Kiss, 1 for Compass Rising and 1 win for Hullabaloo. Scumbag was showing bursts of impressive speed, as was Su Me, and the Dogs 3.
The fleet then made its weary way back to the marina, with many crews trying to get there body temperatures back to something sensible by drinking beer in the pool to try and rehydrate from a long day on the water. The drinks downtown was abandoned as the fleet sought to recover from a long, hot and tiring day on the water. Special mention must go to Sean Cox on Katana, who with ‘direction’ from the helm. Bill Lydens, went swimming 3 times during the day, once to wash the boat, once to free the spinnaker from the keep, and once to clear the windward mark tackle which they had fouled.
Sunday dawned another bright and pleasant day, with racing scheduled to start at 1:00pm and a briefing at midday the decision was taken to wait for the wind. The fleet launched at 1:30 and racing got away at 2:00pm. In a steady 10knots from the south west, with Race 7 completed, the discard kicked in and Bob Comstock on Compass Rising, discarding a 14th place, moved up the leader board.
Race 8, 9, 10 and 11 saw excellent close racing with tight fight for all positions in the fleet. Showing improved speed from Day 1 was the Dogs 3, and Bandit, who whilst fast in a straight line, were suffering at the turning marks sailing only 2 up. Somebody had had a word with the race officer and the final race of the day was kept to a standard 2 x windward / leeward.
On the conclusion of race 11 the fleet made their way back to the marina where the boats were put to bed, and the fleet cooled down with ice cold beer in the swimming pool. The prize giving was held in the swimming pool as the competitors sort shelter from the 35 degrees temperatures. Overall results showed how tight the racing had been with just three points separating the first three boats, and a tie for overall winner, with Bob Comstock on compass rising taking first place on countback from Wallace Cuthebertson on Glasgow Kiss, and Fabrice Piard in 3rd place. Scum bag finished 4th, Hullaballoo 5th and SuMe 6th
Thanks must go to Prakash, from Raffles Marina and to Koobs and the Race team for running an excellent regatta with little wait between races, and excellent course setting.
An often heard comment after the event was that this was “best racing that I have has in Singapore”, It is going to be a great year ahead for SB3 racing in Singapore. The Singapore SB3 fleet is going from strength to strength with an impressive number of boats on the water, the team from Tara sailing in the World Championships in Lake Garda in July and an active calendar of club and regatta sailing with the next weekend regatta will be held over the weekend of 22/23 May.