As we received the disheartening news of COVID-19 restrictions being extended till 21st November, we take comfort in the fact that we are still able to conduct 2-up racing on the weekends. Predicted scattered thunderstorms threatened from all directions on Saturday afternoon, providing a dramatic backdrop for the sailors participating in the Twilight 2-up race.
The conflicting weather systems confused participants as well as race officials – which weather system was going to prevail? Will the course be shortened? Do I have to put on my wet weather gear? These were all very valid questions, considering the fact that at one point after the start, some of the PY boats were moving backwards due to the light winds and strong outgoing tide.
In the PY class, the fleet stuck close together upon rounding Squance Buoy, a situation which puts Birregurra at a disadvantage due to her handicap. Despite taking line honours, the chasing pack of Remington, Olmeto & Jen’s Jaunt followed closely behind to score podium places after corrected time, pushing the Hanse down to 5th overall. Olmeto scored first place, upsetting off-wind favourites Remington to claim victory in the PY Class. Perhaps the biggest winners (and most jubilant) were the team on Jen’s Jaunt, scoring a not too distant 3rd on handicap despite the challenging conditions. Her first-ever podium placing certainly caught owner Kumar and helmsman Hairul by surprise, as Kumar could not contain his excitement after seeing the final standings. Kudos to Jen’s Jaunt for an outstanding performance and result, an impressive feat considering the combined experience of the PY Fleet.
Born in Fire was on fire yesterday, as she sailed spectacularly to top the fleet of 3 in the IRC Class. Skipper Thomas had a secret weapon onboard, in the form of ex-world champion Calvin Lim. With Calvin expertly trimming the headsail in tandem with Thomas’s steady helmsmanship, the X99 managed to pull ahead of strong rivals Jong Dee and Waka Tere. Jong Dee navigated the tricky conditions well enough to place as first runner-up 1 minute 33 seconds ahead of Waka Tere on corrected time.
Also a fleet of 3, the Multihull Class was represented by 3 Corsairs (2 Dashes and a 28). Great to see Kaze back in action, crossing swords with Jaza Too and Miss Visayan on the course. It was Kaze‘s race to lose, as she eventually pulled away from the 2 chasing boats after rounding Squance Buoy, stretching her lead to a safe distance. Having assured her victory on the final leg to finish, our attention shifted to the remaining 2 boats. It was thrilling to see a close battle between Miss Visayan and Jaza Too for the finish, with only a second separating both boats at the finish line! The Corsair 28 emerged on top, both across the line and on corrected time.
With only 2 boats representing the Beach Catamaran class, and the usual suspects nowhere to be found, it was time for Balqis II and Babe to shine! Despite both boats sailing additional legs because they they did not realizing the course was shortened and they had already finished, it was certainly great to see both boats handling the unpredictable conditions with confidence and happy faces all round. Congratulations to Balqis II – a bullet in the bag to keep things interesting for the overall Twilight Series III standings!
With the confirmed extension of the stabilization period, the Club will continue 2-up racing until the next review of SMMs.