The CSC Lady Helm Race was held on 27th March 2021, within the same month of International Women’s Day (8th March) Celebrations. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The first edition held in 2019 was conducted with white sails only, collecting a total of 14 Lady Skippers on the start line. This year, we allowed the use of spinnakers across all classes, and registered the same number of participants for the event, with 11 Ladies on the helm for the PY Keelboat Class and a trio of Lady Skippers in the Multihull Class.
Wind conditions did not fully cooperate, as the predicted 6-8 knot westerly breeze did not truly materialize. Coupled with a significant outgoing tide, sailors were faced with a challenging first beat to Squance Buoy, with some boats succumbing to the faint winds and strong tide – eventually retiring as they failed to make it to the start line.
It was a good day out for the small boats, as 2 of the 3 podium winners in the PY Class were under 25ft. In 3rd place, Sara Gorza’s Marut sailed well in the light airs to keep pace with the bigger boats. The Jeanneau Fun 23’s strategy to bang left and tack on a wind line approaching Squance Buoy paid off, putting her in a prime position to do well on corrected time. She eventually placed 3rd both across the line and on corrected time, just sneaking ahead of the other 2-up boat, Balqis. Helmed by Amy van Onselen, Balqis had a fantastic upwind leg, rounding Squance Buoy in pole position. However her lack of a spinnaker in the first half of the downwind leg may have cost her a podium place, positioning her just outside of the top 3. Racing and flying her spinnaker for the first time was the mighty Slingshot! Helmed by ex-national sailor Alyssa Lim, the nearly 42 year old westerly GK24 held her own in the fleet, scoring the best start of the 11 boats and exhibiting good boat speed to stay ahead of most of the fleet in the upwind leg. On corrected time, she missed out on the top spot by a slim 2min 46secs, playing 2nd fiddle only to Waka Tere. Skippered by Fidelis Tan, Waka Tere shaked off a poor start to regain composure and retake her lead on the downwind leg. Bouncing back to score line honours and the win on corrected time despite their initial errors reminded us exactly why she is a deserving recipient of the IRC Title for the recently concluded CSC Sailing Festival.
In the Multihull class, 3 became 2 as Tri Harder could not make it to the start line in the prevailing conditions despite trying their hardest. An executive decision was made to switch on the engine and return to the Club for early drinks – a choice possibly most welcomed by her crew. In the 2-way battle between the remaining boats, Cicak scored a surprise win over CSC Sailing Festival Multihull Champion, Jaza Too – making big gains in the middle of the course to round Squance Buoy with a significant lead. Skipper Lauren Hill helmed Cicak to victory with a margin of exactly 37 minutes over Jaza Too – an impressive feat in these challenging conditions! Although their hopes of winning were dashed, Anette was all smiles on the helm of Jaza Too, always ready for the media boat’s attention.
Congratulations to all the winners – not the easiest of conditions to race in, but we’re so pleased to see many boats pushing on with unwavering determination!
Next week (Friday. 2 April) a flotilla of 5-10 boats departs for a casual cruise-race around Ubin before anchoring off Ketam for an overnighter. Should you wish to register your keelboat/multihull for this cruise, do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.