At the 22nd Ambassadors’ Cup, we were fortunate to have the winds blowing in our favour, as sailors enjoyed a beautiful sail to north angler and back, marking the first year in a long while where participants could successfully complete the full course for the event. The 2023 edition was presided by H.E. Manuel Hernando Solano Sossa from the Embassy of Colombia, and we witnessed a total of 49 boats and 32 Embassies participating. Despite the smaller numbers, it was without a doubt still a very successful turn-out – with many of the Ambassadors new to the event and eager to participate.
The festivities started from 0830hrs in the morning, as sailors and diplomats streamed in to enjoy a breakfast reception prepared by the team from Georges. Paired with Colombian Coffee and Champagne, it was certainly not a bad way to start the day. Winds were still building at this point, and race organizers were quietly hopeful for decent weather conditions when the first race kicks off at 1300hrs.
At 1100hrs, the Skippers were introduced to the Ambassadors – a total of 18 countries were represented in the Ambassadors’ Division! After the pairing was completed, Sailors, Ambassadors and Embassy staff made their way to the respective boats, commencing their preparations for the iconic race along the north-eastern rim of Singapore. Notoriously known from previous editions for being a slow crawl, sailors were thankfully treated to fresh breeze orchestrated by a North-Easterly weather system, getting all 4 fleets underway right on schedule.
Despite being the last fleet to start, the beach catamarans boasts the fastest boat on water, as Addiction was the first boat to return from North Angler, leading the pack to Squance and back for the finish. Skipper Jeremy Perrier made serious efforts to adorn his boat with the flags of various nations – what a pretty sight! Coming in 2nd was Balqis II, skippered by Zaheera Hashim. Twisted Creature was a close 3rd, completing the winners for the beach catamaran division.
The Trimaran Division was a competitive group of 7 trimarans, a terrific fleet of corsairs in different configurations. Right at the top, Ding Hao claimed victory in this class, a great result from Campbell Jenkins and team. She emerged on top, beating new entrants SoLuna and experienced teams Miss Visayan and Bula along the way. SoLuna and Miss Visayan claimed 2nd and 3rd respectively, with the trio of Bula, Dot Dot Dot and AbraCaDeborah missing out on podium just seconds behind.
Represented by 20 keelboats, the Non-Ambassadors’ Division was by far the biggest fleet on the course. Soaring right to the top was the indomitable Skybird, carrying dignitaries from the Embassy of Philippines. She performed extremely well, under the firm helmsmanship of SEA Games Medallist Edwin Low and sail trim/tactics from Asian Games Gold Medallist, Teo Wee Chin. She fended off strong advances from the swarm of J24s and Platus, of which Boreas and Balqis emerged victorious on corrected time to claim 2nd and 3rd respectively. Special mention to Jock, Jellico and Notus who were just seconds apart from each other, just missing out on a podium finish.
In the Ambassadors’ Division, we had 3 countries from 2 continents occupying the podium! Having completed the race in 3rd place on corrected time, the Finnish Ambassador reveled in her team’s strong finish, with experienced skipper/owner of Jong Dee Paul Kendall at the helm. The J35 enjoyed faster boat speeds with a freshly painted bottom, securing a well-deserved winners’ trophy in her division. First across the line was H.E. Sarah McGrath from the Embassy of Ireland, sailing with the remarkable Red Rum One. The Archambault 40 also had Irish crew onboard, making it a winning Irish combination! When the numbers were crunched, they slipped to 2nd, beaten by another J, Adona. The J29 sailed a superb race with the Ambassador of Panama, H.E. Enrique Villegas Gonzalez. Her performance awarded Panama and the team from Adona the 2023 Ambassadors’ Cup Challenge Trophy!
Back on shore, the party commenced with signature Colombian culture and flair, from entertainers dressed in traditional Colombian dresses to delicious rum concoctions, the Après Sail drinks set the mood for the evening. Guests for the evening were entertained by the energetic and smooth tunes from Kandela Beats, together with a mesmerizing dance set from native Colombian dancer, Natalia de Castro. Paired with good food and cold beers, it was not long before everyone got moving and grooving on the dance floor.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Richard Howe and Captain Fatty for generously providing their boats and services for our VIP guests to enjoy the race on water. We would also like to thank the Organizing Committee presided by H.E. Manuel Solano and Chaired by Mr Ad Smit for the successful organization of the 22nd Ambassadors’ Cup. Not forgetting the CSC team working tirelessly over the past few weeks leading up to the event (as well as the volunteer on-site!) It is also of course without doubt that all of the above could not have been possible without the generous support from the following sponsors:
Title Sponsor – Invisiron
Marina Technology and Construction
Asia Pacific Breweries (Tiger Beer)
Mr KC Chng
ACE Fish Market
Xtreme Sailing Products
The Luxury Network & Diplomatic Council
Last but not least, thank you all sailors and distinguished guests for sailing and partying with us this year.
We look forward to inviting everyone back in November 2024 to for the 23rd Ambassadors’ Cup – Bringing the World Together.