Having struggled with inconsistent winds and plenty of rain over the past 1.5 months, it goes without saying that the conditions that developed on 18 February was near perfect for the 6th East Johor Straits Race. Clear skies paired with 8-14 knots of north-easterly breeze was enjoyed throughout the 36nM passage, resulting in a fabulous day of sailing for the participating yachts.
Despite the champagne sailing conditions, the race was not completely smooth sailing for one of the boats. We hear Silhouette broke her tack line for their asymmetrical spinnaker not once… not twice… but 3 times! Despite the obvious technical issues, she still managed a decent performance, finishing the course in an impressive 5hr 13 min 4 sec. It was however not a sufficient lead over her close rival Waka Tere in the IRC Class, slipping to 2nd place after corrected time. In the absence 2022 defending champion, Minx, Waka Tere reclaimed the top spot and IRC challenge trophy for the 6th edition. Kurt & Gill have seemingly organized an effective formula – a close relationship with the SMU Sailing Alumni allowing for the introduction of new crew on their team, many of whom are graduates / current students. The programme has proven to be a successful one – students get keelboat sailing exposure/experience while Waka Tere gets the crew she needs. It is also very rewarding to know that a number of her crew do apply formally to become CSC Members. One of their first-time crew (Wonn Kye) boasts numerous accolades in the ILCA class, and is also the Club’s newest youth member!
In the Keelboat PY Class, Southern Light, Brio and Sequin made it a 3-way contest. The Moody 376 pulled away early in the race – and stayed on top for the rest of course! She completes the passage in 6hr 12mins, a fantastic time made easier with the prevailing wind conditions. 25 minutes later, Michael’s Brio crossed the finishing line – an impressive effort from the little sonar. Skippers from both boats thought that the other had won on corrected time, but of course, only one of them was right. When the numbers were crunched, Southern Light emerged victorious, enjoying a comfortable 15 minute lead over Brio after handicap correction. Despite a costly strategic error at frontier buoy, Bravo Zulu to Sequin for completing the passage in 7hrs 57mins. Thank you for enduring the long race and not giving up!
The Multihull and Beach Catamaran Class were represented by 2 boats and 1 boat respectively. This event was traditionally available for the Keelboats and Multihulls only, due to the potentially long duration spent on water and risk of night sailing. However, the club introduced the beach catamaran class for the 2023 edition, open to skippers who wish to challenge their sailing skills and physical endurance. Doug Fimmell and Uli Braun on Madfish II stepped up to challenge themselves as the first beach catamaran participants in the east johor straits race – and boy did they set a high bar for future beach cat sailors! Madfish II completed the course in a blazing 3hr 35mins. The viper F16 lapped up the winds and thoroughly enjoyed the long reaching legs. In the Multihull class, a costly mistake of passing Perimbi on the wrong side when returning from Lavis meant that Miss Visayan‘s line honours was unfortunately rendered invalid, scoring a DNF for the race. By default, Jaza Too claims the 2023 Challenge Trophy for the Multihull class, making it a hat-trick of EJSR victories from 2021-2023! Great to see Skippers from both boats back on shore and sharing a good laugh (Jaza Too also sailed the wrong course in the Round Tekong Race).
Thank you all for joining us over the weekend – we hope you enjoyed the sailing and good camaraderie. See you all next week for the Trimaran Championship and on 4-5 March for the Commodore’s Cup + Sailing Festival closing ceremony.