DAY 1 SB20 Asia Pacific Championship 2020
7th February 2020
Sunniva Stenmark. Photos by Anna Zykova
After two fabulous days of sailing at the Singapore National Championship, ONE15 Marina was more prepared than ever for the Asia Pacific Championship. The flags around Boater's Bar were stretching in the breeze, and finally all the SB20's at the dock should be out sailing.
Nine boats had already gained valuable practice of the sailing conditions in the Singapore National championship, but would this be enough to fight against the challenge from the rest of the record breaking 25 boats on the APAC start line?
The morning at the dock was busy with teams rigging their boats, meeting new and old friends and borrowing all sorts of equipment from each other. One after the other, the fleet left the dock, heading out to strong wind and splashing waves outside Sentosa.
First warning signal sounded at exactly 12 pm as scheduled. Race officer Jonathan Kwek had promised the fleet a U-flag, but no teams were tricked over to the course side of the line. Once again the question was whether to tack out to the outgoing current on the right or to head for the shifty conditions closer to the beach. In the end, the international visitors and one of the favourites for the regatta, Skin in the game won the first race, followed by the other two favourites for the regatta, Xtra mile2 at second place and Glasgow Kiss at third.
The gusty wind in race one caused damage to the rudders of two teams. Los Bandidos had to retire from the rest of today's racing when the rudder fitting failed, while Full power got assistance from a well prepared Singapore sailing crew who replaced the broken fitting so fast that they were ready for the next race with the rudder fixed.
Second race flagged off one hour later. With a tight fleet out from the start line, the initial side tactics for the first upwind wasn't achievable. Instead, the huge shifts caused the fleet to tack back and forth like a row of dominos. Although not as noticeable, the shifts were just as huge downwind, and the positions towards the bottom marks shifted just as much. Glasgow Kiss found the quickest way to the finish line, followed by Xtra miles2 and team NUS1 sailing onboard Walababy.
The second race saw a change to its results back at the dock after Tara was found guilty for tacking too close to Walababy in the first top rounding.
Third race clocked off in the next whole hour, but this time Meraki was a bit too eager to set off and was punished with a UFD. The drama increased when Skin in the game were planing so fast that their rudder fitting snapped. They had to retire for the rest of the day, but as they were being towed back, they passed on their spinnaker sheet to Meraki. Their sheet was damaged, but the generosity from Skin in the game allowing Meraki to stay in the game for race 4.
Race four saw an increased wind speed, but the teams were still eager to get maximum power out of the boat. Again, tacking on the right shifts, changing the trim through the gusts and leaning over the bar was the recipe for fast upwind. Once around the top mark, it was all about getting the feet into the straps and hang off the back as the fleet saw record breaking speeds. For once, the beach side of the downwind was the fastest, shuffling the positions around. For the second time today, Glasgow Kiss won the race, followed by NUS1 on second, while Sidewalk cafe took an impressive third place.
The first day of the APAC ended back at the dock, with repairworks to be done and cold beers at the Boater's bar. The monsoon is expected to provide another day of great sailing with more windshifts, kite planing and result reconfigurations tomorrow