The Nongsa Regatta is an annual event which sees participants from various classes racing and enjoying the prevailing NE breeze off the coast of Nongsa Point Marina, Batam. Now into its 5th Edition, the Keelboat Class comprises of 9 keelboats – of which 4 are in IRC and 5 in PY. It was great to see 3 boats from Changi Sailing Club participating for the first time in this regatta (Olmeto, Minx & Sangaree). The new entrants are all strong contenders for the 2020 PY title, with Olmeto winning many of the CSC Club races, Minx returning 2nd in her class in the 2019 Raja Muda International Regatta as well as Sangaree, the 2019 Western Circuit Regatta champion. The event also boasts returning boats with strong racing pedigree, as they were joined by fellow CSC boat and reigning IRC champion Waka Tere together with 2019 Raja Muda International Regatta Class 3 winners, Rainbow Dream. Despite some hiccups with the port clearance in Singapore, SMU Sailing once again fields 4 boats for this event – (SMUmad, SMUve, Quarterdeck and Shengli). The university teams bring with them a vast experience competing in one-design championships both locally and abroad.
Day 1 of racing was held in some interesting conditions, with the first race taking place in a fresh 10-12 knot NE winds, together with strong westbound tides. Defending IRC Champions Waka Tere scored 2 bullets to draw first blood, but the score did not reflect how competitive the margin of win over SMUmad was. Finishing just 30 seconds and 24 seconds ahead of the Platu in Race 1 & 2, the gap was reduced to 9 seconds and 2 seconds respectively when the handicaps were applied. Skipper Joel Tay from SMUmad will be looking to make amends in the coming races. SMUve now sits in 3rd, 2 points away from their sister boat. The team suffered a scare in race 1, with Skipper Bernice Foo having to execute a quick MOB drill when one of their crew fell overboard near the windward mark. Rainbow Dream did not have a good start to the regatta, missing Race 1 due to crew immigration woes and playing catch-up in Race 2 after a late start.
In the PY division, the J24s had an outstanding day, capitalizing on the mistakes of the bigger boats. The ease at which they performed their spinnaker hoist & drops during the mark roundings is testament to the amount of hours they have put into training. Quarterdeck now sits pretty on top with 2 bullets from both races. Shengli is not far in 2nd place, scoring a 3rd & 2nd for a total of 5 points. Olmeto, Sangaree and Minx struggled with various issues on water, and will have to return with no room for error, should they wish to stage a roaring comeback over the remaining 2 days.
Good luck to all participants, we look forward to more exciting racing this weekend.