Gusts and breezy weather prevailed on the last day of a wildly successful 19th Singapore Straits Regatta. Participating sailors, already preparing for the intensity of the final races, would also need to be extra careful in responding to these challenging conditions.
Today’s schedule called for a coastal race along the shore of Singapore, with all classes starting out in front of the Approach Bay area before heading upwind towards the east coast of Singapore, and the SF Yacht Club. From there, a second coastal race would commence, which essentially involves boats returning back to Approach Bay. The first categories to start racing today were the IRC A, B and the PY classes. They were followed by the One Design categories; the really fast SB20 boats, and last, but not least – the even faster trimarans. With strong winds like today’s, not too much maneuvering is required; instead, it’s all about building up boat speed; having a vigilant skipper; hiking hard, keeping the boat level – and then occupying as much sail area as possible.
Especially the second coastal race graced this Regatta with some of its more memorable images thus far. With all those spinnakers now properly hoisted, the sailors had a real blast, and even though the wind was not very consistent, in part due of those high rise buildings and skyscrapers present in this part of the Singaporean coast. And especially when it came to the SB20 boats some of the battles today were especially fierce, and the tension was obvious.
But every day in this 19th Singapore Straits Regatta offered something different, and always exciting; it is further confirmation the standing of this event in the Asian sailing calendar. As the last stop of the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, following the Raja Muda International Regatta and the Phuket King’s Cup, the Straits Regatta always delivers a dramatic close to the Trophy, not least because all the athletes arriving in Singapore each year know that it all ends here!
And how better to bring such a thrilling four-day event to a fitting close than an impressive awards ceremony, followed by yet another one of those fun races, and then a party organized for all the talented athletes gathered here? 19 years after the inaugural Regatta in 1995, this landmark sailing event, attracting exceptional sailors from the South East region as well as abroad, indeed has come a long way. For very many of those athletes, proud to have taken part in this Regatta for the past four days, it really feels like a long wait until next year.