After 2 consistent weeks of unbridled NE Monsoon winds, we knew something was going to happen to the weather for the Round Tekong Race – be it a drop in wind strength or a thunderstorm, the conditions are never a 100% guarantee. True enough, the conditions became abruptly becalmed in the vicinity of North & South Angler Buoy, against a significant incoming tide – setting the stage for a thoroughly challenging hook around the southeastern tip of Pulau Tekong. As if that was not enough, sailors had to beat the turning tide around the corner, failing which, participants will have to contend with the outgoing tide on the northern coast of the island, making it a truly uphill task of completing the race within the 7 hour time limit.
In the IRC Class, Born in Fire was one of 3 boats which managed to turn the corner in time, catching the remaining incoming tide to stay within sight of leaders Red Rum One throughout the course. She sailed well to complete the course approximately 25 minutes behind the Archambault 40 – a sufficient margin for her to take the victory on corrected time. Red Rum One‘s efforts rewarded her with the first runner-up position, followed by the 3rd boat which escaped the doldrums, Jong Dee. The remaining 3 boats which struggled in the glassy waters saw an early retirement from Jellico. Her decision to retire immediately placed her outside of podium contention in the overall series. Minx and Waka Tere continued their upstream fight around the Obstacle (Tekong, directly translated – how apt!) – eventually finishing the race in 4th and 5th respectively. The day’s result saw a tight finish in the overall standings – Born in Fire taking the 2022 Challenge plate by winning a tie-breaker with Jong Dee, and 2021 defending champions Waka Tere relinquishing their position to settle in 3rd just 1 point behind.
We see the most casualties from the PY Class, as the challenging conditions resulted in only 4 finishers out of 12 participating boats. Congratulations to IMP, for producing a stellar performance to circumnavigate Round Tekong with the quickest time of 04:42:08. Her victory completes the series on 11 points and an overall 2nd position for the Signature Sundays. Silhouette continues her fine form in the series, notching her second 2nd to also complete the series with 11 points. The Beneteau First 40.7’s lack of a bullet in the Series results in losing the tie breaker and setting for 3rd overall. Sangaree‘s 3rd place finish in the Round Tekong Race was her best performance thus far! It was however not quite enough for the Holland 44 to break into the top 3, cementing her position in 4th with 13 points. Despite finishing last around Tekong, Simba had done enough to seal her win for the PY Class, completing the Signature Sundays on 7 points to take home the 2022 PY Challenge Plate.
Registering speeds quicker than most monohulls, the multihulls and beach catamarans had no issues with the speed bump at north angler, completing the course largely with ease. in the Multihull Class, Jaza Too and Kaze had plenty of tit-for-tat racing throughout the course, as they took turns to take the lead all the way to the finish line. Jaza Too came out on top, completing the Series with an unblemished record to take the 2022 Challenge Plate. Kaze was a deserving 2nd, scoring three 2nds to complete the series with 6 points. Phoenix was the best of the rest – her consistent attendance and a 3rd placing in the Round Tekong Race confirmed her position in 3rd overall.
In the Beach Catamaran Class, we had an inspiring total of 9 boats participating in the Round Tekong Race. Kaze Cat led the fleet from start to finish, completing the circumnavigation in a time of 03:44:51. Her performance awarded her with a 3rd on corrected time, just behind Blue Bomb and Addiction in 1st and 2nd. 2 bullets from 3 races meant that Scott McCook’s Blue Bomb (Nacra 5.0) wins the Series and 2022 Beach Catamaran Challenge Plate despite retiring in the Round Ubin Race. He edges out Uli Braun’s Nacra 15, who slipped to 2nd just 1 point behind after a poor performance around Tekong. Bad Influence‘s 4th place finish brings her series tally to 11 points, just 1 point adrift and enough for an overall podium placing in 3rd. Special mention to all non-regular beach catamaran racers (N15 SGP 117, Cocque-a-cocque, Red Riot) who came out to race today! Glad everyone succeeded in overcoming this obstacle course with little problem.
Congratulations to all the winners – we now take a break for CNY, and will return with another passage race favourite – the Two-Island Race on 5th February. Wishing everyone good health, wealth and plenty of Sailing in 2022.