We are about halfway through our CSC Sailing Festival calendar of events, and boy are we loving the North East Monsoon winds! While the Beach Catamarans were racing around the cans over the weekend, our Keelboats & Multihull were treated to a 35Nm passage along the East Johor Straits. The 4th edition of the East Johor Straits Race was held in near-perfect conditions, as tides were slow and winds were strong and consistent from the North-East. This allowed for the Race Organisers to finally fly the pennant 1 course (4th time’s a charm), which takes sailors to Frontier Beacon, back across the Club line towards Lavis Buoy and return to the Club for the Finish.
The IRC Class welcomes Minx to the family, as Skipper Lucas obtained his IRC Certificate earlier in the month. Joining her for the race was defending champion Waka Tere as well as the 40ft cruiser-racer Red Rum. A cautious but beneficial decision to reef the main before the start could have been a big reason why Minx scored a very good start off the line, keeping pace with Red Rum for the first leg towards changi buoy. As the race developed, Red Rum stretched her lead on the fleet, 10 minutes ahead of Waka Tere on the return leg from Frontier heading towards Lavis Buoy. Across the line, she had doubled the time difference, but was still not enough overcome the defending champions on corrected time. This meant that Waka Tere has made it 4 wins out of 4 editions, a superb performance from the Nelson 10. Minx was a close 3rd, just a few minutes away from Red Rum on handicap. Her performance bodes well for the upcoming events in the Commodore’s Cup and SailFest Regatta, where winds (forecasted to be lighter) and courses (more windward-leewards) are typically more favourable for the X342.
A healthy fleet of 12 boats graced the start line for the PY Keelboat Class. We see very strong competition in attendance: the return of defending champion Ikaroa, 2018 winner New Blue Eyes, ex-IRC boat Invictus as well as Two-Island record holder Sangaree – just to name a few. Invictus and Sangaree took an early lead after the start, setting the pace for the rest of the pack. An early spinnaker hoist and some excellent boat speed from Invictus on the downwind approach to the Club line could not stop the raging Sangaree from eventually overtaking her and claiming line honours for the PY Class. The big surprise came from the chasing contingent, as Shardana led the hungry contingent just 18 minutes behind Invictus across the line – a small margin considering the length of the race. It was also great to see that all boats finished before 5pm, an awesome result made possible by the unrelenting winds. When the numbers were crunched, Olmeto emerged the 2021 winners in the PY Keelboat Class, beating New Blue Eyes in 2nd and Sangaree in 3rd. 2020 winner Ikaroa was left just out of a podium place by a mere 4 seconds after corrected time – an incredible effort and result despite the stiff competition.
Despite being the only Multihull on water, Jaza Too spared no effort to get the best boat speed on the course, claiming line honours ahead of all the boats in a staggering record time of 4hrs 11mins 33secs. A tough act to follow for contenders in subsequent editions. Congratulations to all the winners, we hope everyone enjoyed the race.
We’ve got a weekend break before we return to host the CSC Commodore’s Cup (6-7 March), the most prestigious event in our CSC Sailing Festival Calendar. See you then!