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Saturday, November 17, 2007

November 17, 2007-Last Singapore Race

For several months November 17 has stood as a milestone for us: the last Singapore race on our schedule, at least for this year, maybe ever. Yesterday we sailed it. So now our Singapore racing chapter has closed and we will be taking the boat to Phuket Thailand next week and we don’t have a firm plan to return to Singapore. We’ll miss Singapore and Raffles and certainly the racing here. It’s been good and yesterday was a fitting end to it.

We had a good little sail, typical for these round the cans races at Raffles: eight short legs, three spinnaker runs, fast action, and lots of drill.

We won the start and it was good not to be OCS which has happened too often this year. Even at that it was close and we had to burn some speed in the last 10 seconds which caused some outcry from Roo who had their hands full trying to stay clear. Tantrum, the First 44.7 was well back at the start and going slow and we looked good as we settled into the beat, going left as we have found to be the standard routine here, and working out to weather. But Tantrum tacked to the right a third of the way up the beat and one by one the other boats did too. At first we didn’t think they looked all that good over there but we decided to cover so we flopped, the last boat to go that way. Then a big righty came in and Tantrum started to look better. I could see that they would cross. Meanwhile Roo went back left and got some good breeze on that side. It left us to play the middle; not good. We rounded the top mark second and just ahead of third place Roo, but we had a good set and jibed inside of Tantum which put us back in the lead. Roo did a jibe set after us, the right call, and with their giant asym kite and scorched down the run, sailing right over the top of us. Damn!

But coming into the bottom mark Roo had a halyard problem and couldn’t set the jib so we got by them again. Now Roo was out and Tantrum was well behind. At this point the wind had shifted so that there was only one way to go around the course for the remaining legs, no passing lanes, and we held on to win easily.

The wind was nice, had some shifts which changed the tactical situation a bit, (also good practice), that was good. There was a bit too much yelling on the boat I have to admit which took some of the fun out of it, particularly for the fordeck, and we have to work on that. I think the pressure was on everyone, but they did well and it’s clear that we’ve come a long way since September last year. And it was nice to win the last race, and even if there were only four boats, and most of all, I think they way we handled the boat shows we are ready for King’s Cup.

No photos from the race, but while we are out here sailing in balmy conditions look what is happening back home in Puget Sound:

Ross Fotheringham image
Puget Sound Ferry

Ross Fotheringham of Everett caught this shot and others of the Mukilteo ferry battling waves in Puget Sound during a windy October day. He subsequently gave his permission for to display the photos, along with a link to his website, here .

I think we don't miss this very much.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore

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