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SB20 Grand Slam 2022 day 1

Regatta report from the first day of the SB20 Asian Grand Slam & Asia Pacific Championship 2022.

Race 1

Even start - competitive start line. 1st beat - Xtra Mile 2 and Rental Car fighting it out with Tara at the first top mark. Short wing mark before the run, and a big choice between left and right to the gate at the bottom- there was no clear winner either side of the course but still it was Rental car in the lead round the first bottom mark of the regatta. Second beat was a monopoly on the left, boats tacking late to avoid the massive tanker Missos Kissoss sitting just upwind of the top mark. Again, Tara, Rental Car, Inetum and Xtra Mile were dogging it out at the top mark, but Tara trawled their spinnaker giving away 7 places thanks to the very close competition down the final run to the finish. The race was taken by rental car, with Xtra Mile in second and Team Purple Patch in third.

Race 2

The start of the second race was memorable as the fleet captain crossed the T down the length of the startline, paying no attention to the range of the bowchases on the multitude of shouting boats to leeward. The middle of the line was popular and no doubt many in the fleet making use of their new race start technology to call their distance to the line accurately. Lenin left was favoured up the first beat and again, first around the top mark was Rental Car, followed by Tara and then Extra Mile, as all the fleet negotiated the wind shaddow from the Missos Kissos.. Both sides were quite even on the run, but many boats visited the East Coast beach to wave at the cheering supporters in Atmosphere and Sandbanks. The wind was decreasing from 12 to 8 kts during the race and at the final reckoning, the race was taken again by Rental Car, followed by Xtra Mile 2 and Team Tara in third.

Race 3

To the delight of the fleet, the committee set three rounds for race three. The wind held at 10 to 12 kts out of the East and (perfect Simpsons conditions with white puffy clouds). Seeing that the PRO had set three laps round the course, Inetum decided to deploy a UFD, crossing the line early and picking up some beers from the committee boat. The tide was turning on the Singapore shore, with Xtra Mile 2 showing the way up the left-hand side of the beat, making the most of the back eddy and leading at the first top mark closely followed by Mike Buchanan on Rental Car. Tara clipped the top mark and did her turn, as the bulk of the fleet surged past. It was a fairly even run and the fleet were fully spread out by lap 3. On the second top rounding, Tara again trawled for mackerel whilst the rest of the fleet sailed by. By now, the middle of the channel was starting to pay and boats on the left of the run were seeing benefits. The third race was again taken out by Rental Car, with Jevyn Ong and Weatherhelm Racing in second and Purple Patch in Third.

Race 4

By now the fleet were fully dialled in for bang on the line starts. On the first leg Zorro looked good, as did Purple Patch. By the top mark the Rental Car was again showing the way, with Tara, Extra Mile and Alex Vila on ESSEC Business School in close pursuit. At the bottom of the first run, those taking the left gate were unpleasantly surprised to find the mark being moved downwind by the committee boat, owing to a miscreant backmarker being hooked up on it with loops of anchor line around their keel…. Most competitors heeded the warning to stay clear, but not our Gaelic friends on Sinbad, who shot for the opening gap, unaware of the line stretching between the mark and the stuck boat and finding themselves hooked up and spinning in circles. The final windward mark was notable for the Swedish Katana, swordfighting with the fleet captain - resulting in a modification to Zoro’s stem. Latest news is that Jessing is still bailing Zoro to keep her afloat. Winner of Race 4 was Xtra Mile 2 with Nick Cox's Zoro in second and third Rental Car - potentially scoring their first drop of the regatta.

It's all to play for in day two of the APACs, with Rental Car in First, Xtra Mile in Second, Purple Patch in Third, Tara in 4th and the fleet captain Nicholas Cox in 5th.

-Freddie Hall

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