A free weekend was all it took for many boats to repair and prepare their boats for the next Sunday Series, which commenced yesterday, 27th September. After a very successful Sunday Series II, sailors returned to compete at the start line, with a total of 26 boats racing in the first of 5 races for this Series.
A light and shifty South-westerly paired with a significant outgoing tide meant that it was largely a battle of wits (with some luck) on the race course, in addition to a strong emphasis on a good start to stay ahead of the fleet. Despite that, the quality of start from both fleets were poor, with many struggling to sufficiently compensate for the current. Faced with tricky conditions and the added challenge of navigating a very busy shipping channel – the skippers had their work cut out for them.
In the Multihull Class, 3 boats of very close handicaps wrestled for first place, with the formidable father and daughter pair on Jaza Too emerging as winners just seconds ahead of the chasing Cicak and Kaze. It was also a family affair on Cicak, with a double father and daughter combo onboard. They only just managed to triumph in 2nd place seconds ahead of Kaze after corrected time, relegating Kaze to 3rd.
The smaller Kaze (Kaze Cat), a Nacra 20 skippered by Damien Geoffray had better fortune on the course, exhibiting good boat speed early in the race to pull away from the fleet of 3 Vipers and 1 Nacra 15. She managed to put enough distance on her rivals to secure victory about 1 minute ahead of the Nacra 15. Madfish II completes the podium in 3rd.
Petit Bateau found herself on the wrong side of the start line during the start sequence, having to dip down to exonerate herself before continuing on her journey to Serangoon Buoy. Despite the mistake, she still started well ahead most of the fleet, in a prime position to eventually take a place in the top 3. Alas, another careless mistake of rounding one of the buoys in the wrong direction proved her undoing, resulting in a DNF score for Esben & team. There were a few other boats who produced a decent start, and the results showed. Series II winners Sapphire Star began their title defence on a winning note, earning first place across the line and on corrected time. Fierce rivals Minx was a close 2nd, followed by Adona in 3rd. These 3 boats nailed the start, and have similar handicaps, making things really close and exciting on the race course.
In the IRC Class, Waka Tere bounced back from a poor start to sneak a win ahead of Born in Fire, despite the latter being the first to cross the line. Born in Fire had the best start of the 3 boats in the IRC Class, but failed to capitalize on their advantage, struggling to extend her lead throughout the course. Despite her woes, she did enough to keep Jong Dee at bay, as the J35 could not recover from a dismal start, having to claw her way back up while dodging incoming/outgoing shipping vessels.
All in all, a great turnout for a challenging first weekend of racing for the Sunday Series III. See you next week for the first race of the Twilight Series III!