Pulau Tekong, also known colloquially as Tekong or Tekong Island, is the second-largest of Singapore’s outlying islands after Jurong Island. Tekong is located off Singapore’s northeastern coast, east of Pulau Ubin. Since the 1990s, the island has been used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and is generally restricted from public access.
The original 25 km2 (6,178-acre) island has undergone extensive land reclamation works for military use on its southern and northwestern coasts subsuming many of its surrounding small islets, including the former 89-hectare (220-acre) Pulau Tekong Kechil (Small Tekong Island). Today the island is estimated to have grown 3 times its original size – reaching an area of about 75 km2 (18,530 acres).
Did you know? “Tekong” also means skipper or captain of a small boat.
How fitting, as 19 skippers attempted to circumnavigate the island as part of the CSC Signature Sunday Series and overall NE Monsoon Sailing Festival. The wind arrived early from a northerly direction, that together with a slow rising tide in the morning meant that the fleet made good progress in the first leg towards the northeastern corner of Pulau Tekong. Despite the fluctuating conditions across the course, most of the fleet managed to successfully circumnavigate the island in under 6 hours!
In fact, the fastest boat completed the route in 3hr 50mins 29secs – well done Addiction! Skipper Jeremy Perrier and crew Daniel looked in high spirits going into next week’s catamaran championships, as they prepare to mount a serious challenge for both the F16 one-design and open titles. The defending CSC Cat Champion Doug Fimmell looked rusty on the course, sailing Madfish II to a distant 2nd around the island, just seconds away from Twisted Creature in 3rd, collecting the 3 participating boats in the beach catamaran class. The CSC Signature Sunday Series Challenge Plate for Beach Catamarans was undoubtedly awarded to Addiction, with the fastest times around both islands. Twisted Creature comes in a close 2nd by default, as the remaining 2 boats missed out on 1 passage each. Madfish II emerged slightly ahead of the Nacra 15, claiming 3rd overall with his performance around Tekong.
The bigger multihulls boasts the biggest fleet this weekend, with 4 Corsairs, 1 M23, 1 Firefly and 1 Weta coming together to compete for line honours! A costly blunder of not sailing south of the south cardinal mark (KEES) meant that both Jaza Too and AbracaDeborah score a DNF for this race despite crossing the finish line 2nd and 4th respectively. Meanwhile, huge congratulations to Skipper Freddy and his team on Phoenix! The M23 sailed well to surged across the finish line 1 second ahead of Jaza Too, claiming line honours and placing 2nd on corrected time. A big effort from arguably the most knowledgeable multihull sailor on the smallest boat (Weta) rewarded Scott McCook with a respectable 4hr 40min 2 sec passage timing and victory on handicap correction. After a long break, Damien Geoffray returns to sail with Xavier Glenard on Kaze. With their combined experience, the corsair carved out a good result, completing the podium in 3rd. In the overall results, consistency and attendance is key – Phoenix‘s 6th place finish during the Round Ubin Challenge and 2nd place finish in the Round Tekong Race was strong enough to earn her name on the Multihull Challenge Plate as 2023’s winner. She won the tie breaker with Miss Visayan, whose consistent performance (4th in both races) resulted in a desrving 2nd place. Missing KEES punished favourites Jaza Too, as she settles for 3rd overall just 1 point adrift.
Apart from a shock grounding by Brio (thankfully everyone safe and boat can be repaired), it was mostly smooth sailing from the Keelboat PY fleet. It was also exciting to see the tussle between Olmeto and Southern Light throughout the course, as both boats took turns to lead each other. While the former eventually finished nearly 20 minutes behind, she had done enough to score victory on corrected time, winning the Round Tekong Race in her class. Despite being the fastest PY boat on the course, Shardana did not have a sufficient lead over Olmeto and Southern Light, resulting in a 3rd place finish on handicap. In the overall standings, a 2nd place finish in the Round Ubin Challenge and a win yesterday awarded Olmeto with the 2023 PY Challenge Plate. Southern Light was a close 2nd and Brio earns a 3rd overall with a total of 6 points despite retiring in the Round Tekong Race.
In the Keelboat IRC Class, 5 boats vied for the top spot, with Silhouette leading the charge. The Beneteau First 40.7 while comfortably placing first across the line, struggled to extend her lead on the fleet. Skipper Yimin had to settle for 4th place, behind Jellico, Adona and Waka Tere. Of the 3, Waka Tere emerged victorious by a slim 40 second margin over fierce rivals, Adona. Having won the Round Ubin Challenge back in January, the J29 skippered by Ad Smit had done enough to secure the Challenge Plate in the IRC Class. As the only 2 other boats which have sailed in both races, Waka Tere and Silhouette complete the series in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Thank you all for participating in the 2023 CSC Signature Sunday Series! We look forward to more winds and exciting sailing next week:
- CSC Catamaran Championships (11-12 Feb)
- CSC Two-Island Race (11 Feb)
Round Tekong Race Results
CSC Signature Sunday Series Overall Results