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Who?

 

The Singapore catamaran fleet which has been a part of the Singapore sailing scene for ages. Coming to prominence during the 80's with Hobie Fleet 492. 

What?

 

It's a cats-only event for the owners of cat platforms to come hit the water and enjoy the NE Monsson. This is THE best time to be in Singapore as cool winds are predictable.

When?

 

During the NE Monsoon (Dec-Mar). The Cat Championship was held at the end of Feb coinciding with the peak of the NE winds. Ideal cat conditions of 15- 20 knots!

Why?

 

Becasue cat sailing is a pretty pure form of racing. One platform, two sailors, three sails - it's a formula for thrills with occassional spills!

Where?

 

Singapore! No one associates the Island Republic with good sailing but visit Changi Sailing Club and you are in for a great treat. It's the last untouched piece of the island.

Cat Championship 2016

Singapore.
The NE Monsoon of 2016..

 

 

It took a little while longer than normal to filter down over the rest of Southeast Asia and into Singapore but it was worth the wait as 15-20 knots and blue skies became the norm' over the average haze we suffer the rest of the year. Blue skies, flat water and twenty knots - makes us remeber why we enjoyed sailing to begin with!

 

Changi Sailing Club has long been the home of cat sailing in Singapore and so it's only natural that the Cat Chmapionship will be held here!. The kampong (village) atmosphere that surrounds Changi is a much welcomed respite from the concrete confines of the city!

 

Singapore is also one busy port so that means we race with some rather large ships alongside and jumbo jets overhead. The 2016 Cat Championship coincided with the Singapore Airshow so having an F18 in full-bank manoeuvre around the fleet as we headed upwind was certainly a huge treat!

 

Most numerous in Cat Fleet are the F16's which is made up of the evergreen Taipan and the Viper. The Singapore Fleet skipped over the F18 class and landed straight in F20 land! The 20's are ideal platforms with towering rigs and comparatively long waterlines! 

 

The first weekend of racing saw four Nacra 20 Carbons come out of the woodwork to play! The 20 carbons are from the design board of Morelli and Melvin otherwise known for their breakthrough designs for Team NZ Americas Cup. The F16 Squadron has been part of the local landscape since the Taipan arrived in 2000 and are always hard to beat.

 

For Saturday the racing couldn't have been in better conditions with the wind in the 15 - 20 range. It was ideal as all the cats scythed their way through the Changi chop with the 20's having a slightly easier ride! The F16 class came down to a battle with 2 Vipers and a Taipan. The 20's started so promising but the toil on sailis was high for the weekend with 3 out of 4 suffering delaminated sails! It must be said that Singapore's hot humid climate is a big killer of laminated sails as the steam penetrates the layers and breaks down the glue bond and that's the end! Quite horrifying when the sails are only a year old and seldom used.

 

It was a great shame that the 20C's had such a high retirement rate which then allowed the F16's to wedge out the top spots! In those conditions the 20's really showed some prowess scoring wins even with the high rating.

 

The courses off Changi use a combination of the various navigation buoys that dot the shipping channels. In the East Johore Straits this normally takes us north and up into the mouth of the Johor River, Malaysia. The tide flow plus the river flow can make for some strong currents with 6.5 knots being the record.

 

It was a nice ride downhill as the outgoing tide flattened the water allowing great speeds with Damien on the 20C recording 21 knots - not to shabby!

 

Was nice to see the original One Design 20 on the water with the 20C! Both from the boards of Morrelli and Melvin, synonymous with Team NZ AC campaigns. The ensuing years between the 'old' and the 'new' have brought many technological changes and the greatest of these - foils The 20C has 'cee' foils that were designed to give percentage lift i.e. the faster you go the more lift and the cycle repeats. Playing with foils is the key to the new generation of sailing.

 

We spent the weekend playing with various settings on the boards trying to discover more of their magic. One thing is for sure when they kick-in you certainly have a nice surprise and a strong surge forward! 

 

We scanned through a lot of photos taken by Lukman for CSC and there were some learnng points. we liked the trim of the Nacra 20 C so it's sort of a bench mark. Keep the platform powered up with the windward hull skimming/flying ALL the time.

The beach scene at Changi Sailing Club. Nacra 20 Carbon with imposing rig size over the F16's. The beach is th eonly natural beach left in Singapore and the red-roofed chalets are the only wooden chalets still left anywhere in Singapore. A 'rustic' stay at the Club is worth particularly after racing all day!

Here's the old and the new, spot the difference in the Nacra 20 One Design and the Nacra 20 Carbon!

Both designed by Morelli and Melvin of Team NZ Americas Cup fame. 

Differences are, 

20 years apart, 

20OD = 190kg, 20C=165kg, 

20C a metre taller a metre wider. 

20C more boat, more sail, less weight (infused Carbon)
And the really big difference...

delicious Curved foils!

Let the hull power up, put some weight on it a keep it flying. Let the apparent wind generate the angle for you.

Put the skipper more central and braced up against the 'Y" straps steer using the tiller cross bar and not the  tiller extension.

Crew should transfer their weight forward and aft to keep the boat in trim. Skipper concentrates on mainsheet and angle..

Just keep the windward hull up! Skimming is nice because the platform is upright so all your foils will be working properly.

This is sailing outside of the power zone. It can't generate the apparent wind and consequently, the angles will be horrible!

Skipper should be in... Crew can move in until the hull unweights. Main traveller si down, the main will be jamming the slot!.

Because it's a smaller platform the weight placement is more critical. Here you've got two guys sitting on the back corner.

Compare to the series above... Lots of bow 'up' no power on it. Sure it's a smaller boat but it still should be in the power zone!

Regatta sailing..

 

This is the best time to learn as there are a lot of benchmarks around

 

It was a nice ride downhill as the outgoing tide flattened the water allowing great speeds with Damien on the 20C recording 21 knots - not to shabby!

 

Was nice to see the original One Design 20 on the water with the 20C! Both from the boards of Morrelli and Melvin, synonymous with Team NZ AC campaigns. The ensuing years between the 'old' and the 'new' have brought many technological changes and the greatest of these - foils The 20C has 'cee' foils that were designed to give percentage lift i.e. the faster you go the more lift and the cycle repeats. Playing with foils is the key to the new generation of sailing.

 

We spent the weekend playing with various settings on the boards trying to discover more of their magic. One thing is for sure when they kick-in you certainly have a nice surprise and a strong surge forward! 

 

We scanned through a lot of photos taken by Lukman for CSC and there were some learnng points. we liked the trim of the Nacra 20 C so it's sort of a bench mark. Keep the platform powered up with the windward hull skimming/flying ALL the time.

 

One cat that was really skimming along was Nigel Signal's Taipan 4.9 with some new-age sails. The Taipan 4.9, an evergreen! This design inspied the F16 Class as it fights well above its weight. This would have to be the Lotus of the beach scene, small, lightweight and potent. "After 8 years with it, I think I've learnt how to sail it!" - Nugel.

 

The Taipan was dicing with her new-age sister the Viper F16! More modern in design by about 20 years the Vpier and Taipan have about the same alalogy as the two Nacra 20's with the new boat taller, slightly heavier and, more develpoed high-lift daggerboards! That the Taipan is still so competitive afer 30 years pays homeage to just how far ahead of her time she really is!

 

Unfortunately, the laminate sail issues with the C20's put them out o fthe running for the trophy and so that would make the battle between the F16's even sweeter!

 

Well sailed everyone...

 

01. Bad Influence. Jeremy Perrier. F16 Viper

02. Allo. Uli Braun F16 Viper!

03. Madfish II. Philip Brwon F16 Viper

04. Stray Katz. Nigel Signal Taipan F16

05. Team Pro Sail. Damien/Scott N20C

06. Louis Lim. Taipan F16

07. Kung Fu Panda.  David/Campbell Nacra 20 Carbon

08. Molly's Inheritance. John Simpson. Nacra 20 OD

09. Jeremy Nixon. Taipan F16

10. Naughty. Martin Pickrodt. Nacra 20 Carbon

11. Kaze. Doug Fimmel Nacra 20 Carbon

12. Pascal Radue. Nacra 460

13. Aeol's Harp. Barnaby Birbeck. Taipan 4.9

 

The top finishers will always be amongst the first starters! If you come off the line in the first row you can expect a btter placing.

Trim. You have to keep the windward hull up. If you have two hulls on the water, you will be carrying double the drag!

One boat is heeling, one is not! The one heeling is ahead, no real surprise there!