Its been a very wet start to 2021. From a postponed Hangover Race on 1st January to an abandoned Felkin Buoy Race on 3rd January, the La Nina phenomenon has certainly rained on our parade. 3rd time’s a charm, as we finally managed to secure a race this season, sending sailors on a challenging Round Tekong passage in poor visibility (due to the insistent rain) and shifty winds. The race was a true test of the skippers’ blind navigation skills, with the rain at times reducing visibility to less than 100 metres. Despite the scattered wind holes early in the race, sailors were eventually treated to a steady north-northwesterly breeze north of Tekong, carrying the fleet across the finish line at NP1.
In the IRC Class, the little J24 Adona suffered a minor setback early in the race, as they got stuck in a lull and got swept eastwards by the strong currents near south nelayan buoy. Despite that, they clawed back into the thick of the fleet behind Tekong, gaining much needed ground to close the distance between them and the faster competitors in the fleet. She drew first blood on corrected time, beating Born in Fire by 3 minutes and 23 seconds. Born in Fire‘s efforts were not in vain, taking 2nd place ahead of defending champions Waka Tere in 3rd. Despite crossing the line first, Red Rum One missed out on a podium finish, unable to stretch her lead over the smaller boats.
A DNS from Shardana due to engine problems and an early retirement from Remington & Simba meant that the PY fleet was whittled down to 8 boats on the course. Initially hesitant about sailing in the prevailing weather, Ikaroa eventually settled into the fact that the race would not be shortened any time soon. Staying positive and making small gains throughout the course, she earned herself a place on the podium, finishing in 2nd place just 2 seconds ahead of 3rd placed Brio. It was a happy day for the little boats, as Luke Doherty’s Marut made light work of the course, nailing the shifts to top the PY Class by a comfortable 10 minute margin on corrected time.
4 Multihulls attempted to circumnavigate Tekong yesterday, with only 3 finishers eventually. The 4th one (Tri Harder) retired early, vowing to try harder next time. Close rivals Kaze and Jaza Too were neck and neck for most of the race, with the former eventually emerging on top at NP1. Jaza Too placed a comfortable second, over 7 minutes ahead of the trailing Miss Visayan in 3rd. We look forward to seeing more multihulls back on water racing this season, with the Corsair fleet growing a little larger over the past year.
Poor visibility and no navigation lights meant that it was not a good idea to have the beach catamaran fleet racing yesterday. The fleet came to a combined decision to reschedule their Round Tekong Race to 28th February, Sunday.
Thank you all participants for braving the weather to complete the Round Tekong Race – you guys are truly #allweathersailors 🙂