Highlights from the Asian Grand Slam and Asian Pacific Championship 2019
28th January 2019
Teams arrived at the fabulous ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore for final day of the SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships to see the wind firmly in, setting the perfect scene for the final day shoot out in what has been an extremely closely fought regatta.
The fleet, keen as ever, headed out just after 10.00am for another day of roller coaster shifts and jojo pressure changes. PRO Peter van Muyden sent the fleet off promptly on time in a stiff North Easterly. Overnight leaders Team Norway / Polarbears kicked the day off by parking themselves on the pin end of the line in the first start but then pulled a miraculous recovery out of the bag to finish the race in third from Team 3BL who finished in second having sailed a very consistent race and Team Edbut winning the race by a comfortable margin having lead from the first windward mark and then extending their lead from there.
Race two got underway without any recalls with the crowd bunching up at the boat end. Glasgow Kiss started below the crowd and fed into a left shift to then tack over and charge ahead up the first beat from Team 3 BL and Pocapena. Team Edbut challenged for the lead after having had a lightning fast first run rounding the gate level with Glasgow Kiss whom then managed to escape once again to go on to win the race with Team 3BL bringing home second and Team Edbut rounding out the race in third place. However, Team Norway / Polarbears scored an uncharacteristic 10th place to compress the leader board and set up an exciting finish for the regatta with everything riding on the final race!
The leader board was tight and anyone of three teams could win the trophy coming in to the final race. The pressure was up and the pressure was on! With the wind swinging left for the third and final start of the day, the race committee made some tweaks to the start line. The conditions were as tricky as ever and the race committee reached straight for the U-Flag. A late right hand shift saw the fleet bunching up at the committee boat and with the pressure up and the foul tide abating a number of boats were caught out by being over the start line early. The race once again saw lots of place changes and there was a fierce battle on the water for the trophy. After a very exciting race, Team Norway / Polarbears sailed home to the finish in third place ahead of team Edbut and Glasgow Kiss bring home fourth and fifth for what should have made the final standings of the regatta. However, there was drama as the fleet hit the dock and the reality of the U-Flag disqualifications hit the fleet with 5 boats being disqualified for starting early and two of those being in the top 3 finishers on the water changing the overall standings for the regatta.
After the dust had settled, Team Norway / Polarbears finished in third overall, having sailed a truly magnificent regatta only to fall foul of the U-Flag in the final race and consequentially losing out on the overall trophy. Team Edbut finished second overall and Team Glasgow Kiss won the overall Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championship trophy for the second year running. The teams all commented on the superb competition and the wonderful camaraderie of this fantastic annual event that is now a firm favourite with many returning teams travelling to Singapore to come and compete every year.
One Degree 15 Marina Club hosted a fabulous prize giving ceremony on the roof top of the club house with the Singapore night time skyline providing a spectacular backdrop. Heartfelt words for this year’s edition of the Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships and words of excitement and support for the upcoming SB20 World Championships in 2021, recently awarded to Singapore and One degree 15 Marina Club, were given by Mr Jack Long, SUTL Group General Manager, Teo Joo Leng, General Manager of ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore, Han Ee, CEO of the Singapore Sailing Federation and Nicholas Cocks of the Singapore SB20 Class Association. The fleet is keenly looking forward to next year’s edition of the Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships as it begins to build up to the World Championships in 2021. Stay tuned for more updates!