The recent weekend saw 7 teams and a total of 24 participants racing on the waters of picturesque Marina Bay. All teams vying for the top 3 placings as each team in the top 3 would be walking home with a Seiko Velatura Yachting watch.
10 races were scheduled for the first SEIKO SB20 Fleet Race. With that target in mind, Charlene Zhu, Principal Race Officer (PRO) made the first warning signal at slightly past 2.00pm when the afternoon breeze slowly filled in the Bay. With that, the fleet of 7 SB20s started the first day of racing on the Saturday afternoon.
Teams were seen strategically planning their race course as wind conditions at the Bay can be tricky and challenging. As the 7 boats raced up and down the waters of Marina Bay flying SEIKO sails, the weekend crowd at Marina Bay had a chance to witness the exciting action of sailboats racing in the Bay from various popular tourist sites such as the Merlion, Fullerton Bay and Marina Bay Sands.
On-water umpires Selvam Mokken and Joe Chan were following the races closely and protest flags were raised throughout the day of racing. At slightly half past 4pm, PRO and her race committee team had managed to run 5 back-to-back races and decided to call it a day and send the sailors back ashore, with 5 more races targeted to be completed on Sunday.
Team SMU, skippered by Collin Lim, who sailed with Pu Fang Chin and Calvin Lim led the fleet with a total score 7 points after Day 1. They finished 3rd in the first race and displayed some formidable sailing by finishing all subsequent races on Day 1 with bullets. Eventually emerging as champions of the event, Collin shared, “We really enjoyed Seiko SB20 regatta. Sailing wise, conditions were tricky and you had to be on your toes every moment in the race due to the varying puffs across the course. The organizers did a great job ensuring all the logistics and race management was seamless. Looking forward to more!”
Despite earlier rainy weather forecasts, Day 2 of racing started at 2.00pm sharp as the breeze was filling early on Sunday morning. The race course was put in place and the teams resumed their racing in winds of up to 8 knots. Charlene and her team managed to run 4 consecutive races with decent breeze and the sailors enjoyed close racing which saw the scoreboard solidifying.
The last race of the day was close to being abandoned when the wind died down after sailors rounded the second lap of their windward-leeward race, and with the 25 minutes’ time limit for each race fast approaching, the race committee breathe a sigh of relief when skipper of Team JEL, Lynette Tung crossed the finishing line with just a minute to go before the time limit was met, and with that, sealed a third place finishing for her team with crews Goh Jian Guang and Ng Yan Jun.
Lynette, one of the 2 female skippers of the fleet said, “The tricky wind conditions showed that anything was possible, from being last to first. Therefore, trust your teammates because sometimes judgement can be clouded and it’s the rest that can see the bigger picture. It is wonderful to have Seiko as the sponsor and every one is looking forward to the next series.”
With 10 races completed, the boats returned to the Singapore Sailing’s pontoon at Customs House where the prize giving took place promptly. Singapore Sailing CEO, Andrew Tam was present to congratulate the winners and to give out the SEIKO watches and medals.
Representative from SEIKO, Marketing Manager Ms Caylee Zeng, shared, “Sailing is a sport that trains individuals a discipline and it also promotes teamwork and interdependence. We hope to encourage more people to participate in the sport and we are happy to be able to play a part in sailing and it is fantastic to see the boats racing in Marina Bay and sailors having a good time on the water.”
Watchmaker Seiko, a partner of the Singapore Sailing Federation, is the official timekeeper of the Singapore Sailing Team.
Seiko remains strongly committed to the vision of its founder, Kintaro Hattori, that has inspired over a century of watchmaking: “Always one step ahead of the rest”.
Indeed, this is a reflection of what Singapore’s sailors have achieved. This year, Singapore will be sending to Rio the biggest Olympic sailing team ever in the nation’s history, with a total of ten sailors competing in seven events.
Seiko continues to lend strong support to the Singapore Sailing Team, taking this partnership once again to the next level. The vision and goals of Seiko and the Singapore Sailing Federation are closely intertwined, and strongly characterised by a strong emphasis on performance and the importance of precision and the element of time.
The Federation will be organising the second SEIKO SB20 Fleet Race on 8 & 9 October 2016. For more details, please visit https://sailing.org.sg/event/seiko-sb20-fleet-race-ii/
1st – Team SMU, skippered by Collin Lim
2nd – TEAM SP 1, skippered by Ryan Teo
3rd – TEAM JEL, skippered by Lynette Tung
4th – TEAM Down Ten, skippered by Christian Englert
5th – TEAM SP 2, skippered by Andre Chew
6th – 3 Wise Men, skippered by Steven Tng
7th – Babies First Steps, skippered by Ashley Yong