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Singapore Straits Regatta: Ray Roberts returns to world-class action

Singapore Sailing logoThere is now less than a week until the start of the 20th Singapore Straits Regatta, which is scheduled to be held from the 14th to 18th January 2014 in Singapore and Batam.

One of the main highlights of this year’s edition, which will be held at ONE°15 Marina Club at Sentosa, is the inaugural Asia Pacific SB20 Championship, which is a separate event held within the 20th Singapore Straits Regatta. This “regatta within a regatta” will see a 18-boat fleet of SB20s, raced by some of the region’s best keelboat sailors, vie for honours over three days – 16th, 17th and 18th January 2014. Among the competitors in this One Design Class are Anthony Kiong; Bronze medalist at the recent 27th SEA Games in the half rater class as well as the 1st runner up at the 19th Singapore Straits Regatta in the SB20 class, Dr Ben Tan, current SingaporeSailing president and ex Olympian, and defending Champion Nils Razmilovic.

The other classes are also expected to deliver some exceptionally exciting action – in the IRC C class, there is Gordon Maxted’s Shoon Fung Too, the Champion in the IRC B class for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013), who will be displaying his sailing prowess to an elite group of sailors including last year’s first runner up in the IRC B class Kurt Metzger’s Waka Tere.

With a strong entry of more than 30 yachts ranging from 20ft to 60ft in the IRC and One-Design classes, it will definitely be an exciting week of competition. The yachts will commence their first day of racing on the 15th January on the waters off Nongsa Point Marina & Resort (NPMR) in Batam, Indonesia. After the first day of racing, the sailors will rest for the night at NPMR before continuing another series of two Upwind/Downwind course racing outside the marina club the following day, while at the same time, the fleet of SB20 keelboats will begin their races for the Asia Pacific SB20 Championship on the waters off East Coast beach (Big Splash).

On 17th January, the sailors at NPMR will embark on their passage back to Singapore. The final day of racing will conclude on Saturday, 18th January 2014. The summarized schedule is as follows:

Date, Schedule, Venue
14 Jan 1200 : Skippers’ Briefing & CIQP, Clearance IRC Fleet flotilla to Nongsa, Batam ONE15 Marina Club
15-16 Jan 1100 : Course Racing for IRC Fleet Off Nongsa Point Marina & Resort
16-18 Jan 1100 : Course Racing for Asia Pacific SB20 C’ship. Sea off Big Splash (East Coast)
18 Jan 1000 : Course Racing for Asia Pacific SB20 C’ship. 1200 : Passage Race for IRC Fleet 1900 : Closing & Awards Party Sea off Big Splash (East Coast) East Coast (Round Airway Buoy) ONE15 Marina Club

Another exciting piece of news is the return of Australian sailing legend Ray Roberts after a two-year hiatus from the Singapore Straits Regatta scene. He will be present on the last day of the regatta on Saturday, 18th January 2014 for the closing ceremony.

Having won the Singapore Straits Regatta and Lipton Trophy in one go in 2011, as well as a handful of prestigious titles at various key sailing events in Southeast Asia, namely The Raja Muda International Regatta, Phuket King’s Cup and the Royal Langkawi Regatta, Ray Roberts is no doubt a renowned figure in the world of sailing.

Apart from an impressive line up of yachts, another thing that participants, especially the pack of serious racing enthusiasts, can look forward to at this year’s Straits Regatta is a much longer and challenging race course, which is made possible thanks to The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)’s approval.

For more regatta information, go here.

This year, unlike other years, the MPA has agreed to alienate a stretch of sea South of Big Splash (off Amber Beacon), which allows the organisers to lay a more challenging one nautical upwind/downwind course.

Strongly supported by a host of premium brands including Nautica, Rug Gear, Sebago, Budweiser, Nescafe, and many others, the Singapore Straits Regatta is a racing getaway that is as much about serious competition as it is about the lighthearted and relaxed camaraderie that the organisers have created around it.

About Singapore Straits Regatta

The idea of a yachting regatta of international standing in Singapore waters was mooted in 1994 by a handful of local enthusiasts to entrench Singapore’s position as a yachting hub in Asia and catalyse the growth of the local keelboat sailing scene. The annual fixture in the Asian Yachting circuit has since come to be famed for its blend of Singaporean and Indonesian flavour, being the only regatta that brings the yachts and sailors to clubs on both sides of the Straits. A truly unique regatta that presents a myriad of sailing conditions and experiences. The Straits Regatta has been constantly evolved over the past 19 years and the upcoming 20th edition will present itself in a format closer to the roots of the original editions in the early 1990s. A time-tested formula that has attracted sailors and yachts from all over the world!

In 1995, the inaugural Singapore Straits Regatta was held. A brainchild of pioneers of sailing in Singapore, this event saw Raffles Marina, Nongsa Point Marina, and Changi Sailing Club coming together with the Singapore Sailing Federation to organise this landmark event.

The Regatta is organised through a unique organising chair rotation system amongst the Singapore clubs and Riau Yacht Club/ Nongsa Point Marina. The coming together of all stakeholders in Singapore sailing clubs through a Memorandum of Understanding signals the strong camaraderie and collective drive to promote the sport. The growth of the boating industry and developments in Singapore have also seen clubs added to the Singapore Straits Regatta Council. Joining the founding clubs were SAF Yacht Club (in 2005) and One15 Marina Club and Marina at Keppel Bay (both in 2011).

About the Perpetual Cup Series

Inaugurated in 1997, the Perpetual Cup Series crowns the top performing yacht in the elite racing class across three key sailing events in Southeast Asia, namely The Raja Muda International Regatta, Phuket King’s Cup and Singapore Straits Regatta, and awards the winning team with the prestigious Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy from the treasure trove of historical trophies from the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club. Over the years, the Series has been awarded to several elite sailors, earning itself a prestigious reputation throughout the sailing community.

By Nicolette Goh

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