Team Tara wins SB20 Asia Pacific Championships 2023
The SB20 Asian Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships concluded on Sunday 29th January in Singapore after three days of racing. It was team Tara from Raffles marina of Magnus Ekbom, Freddie Hall and Agoston Sipos helming, who were awarded as champions at One 15˚ Marina in beautiful Sentosa Cove.
22 teams from around the region and the line up this year was extremely competitive welcoming teams representing France, Spain, Australia and the SSL elite team from Malaysia to race with the Singapore sailors. APAC 2023 was the first big event since the beginning of the pandemic and serves as an early prelude to the SB20 World Championships that Singapore will be hosting in 2025.
Team Fugazi of Ewan McEwan, Chong Tan Wei, Terena Lam with Jovina Choo on the helm took second place representing Royal Anglesey Yacht Club. Third place was won by Monsoon 2, a team from Malasia of Uzair Amin, Mohd Saifullah Mohd, Esa Asri Azman representing Royal Langkawi Yacht Club.
Overall, 12 races were sailed in tricky and shifty North and North-Westerly wind in cloudy monsoon conditions varying from 5-15 knots on the first two days to a stronger breeze gusting over 25 knots on Sunday.
“Sailing in Singapore during the tropical monsoon season is always a fantastic experience, – said winning skipper Agoston Sipos. – “The regatta hosted by One Degree 15 marina in January is my favourite event in the calendar. This year was my 7th SB20 Grand Slam and the monsoon treated us with a wide range of wind conditions this time making it difficult.”
The Malaysian team Monsoon 2 showed great consistency in the most tricky first two days of the competition and dominated the leaderboard in the first 8 races. During those two days all the competitors accumulated various scores and with two discards the game was still completely open for the top 10 boats and the podium spots.
Sunday’s much steadier and stronger breeze brought three teams to the top with Team Tara showing particularly strong results winning three races out of four. With a second finish in Race 10 they rocketed from 8th place, that they had been on Saturday evening, to the 1st place overall!
Fugazi (SGP) with Olympian Jovina Choo on the helm also had impressive racing on Sunday finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th and locking in second place overall, one point behind Tara.
Team Monsoon2 who had been leading the fleet after two days of racing, had a steady 3rd, 4th, 4th and 5th finishes on Sunday to close the podium in 3rd place overall.
Skin in the Game (FRA) of Ed Russo also showed great speed in the heavy air sailing with twin brothers Boniface and Emmanuel Constant finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, which moved them from 7th place the night before to 4th overall.
One thing here at One 15˚ Marina that every SB20 sailor enjoys after racing is the floating bar on the dock right next to the boats. This makes the race back to the dock more competitive to get the best seats at the bar!
Despite being still couple of years away, the overall buzz was all about the 2025 SB20 Worlds that will be held here, at One 15˚ Marina. The ambition is to have up to 80 boats including 40 local and 40 visiting, of which 20 will come from Dubai.
SB20 UAE and SB20 Singapore are working on a deal where Singapore will send 20 boats to Dubai and hold their Asia Pacific Grand Slam 2024 there, after which the boats will remain in Dubai for the Worlds 2024. In return, Dubai will send 20 of their boats to the 2025 Worlds a year later.
Singapore Sailing Federation and One 15˚ Marina are already working to make the Asia Grand Slam and Asia Pacific Championships 2023 hit the headlines in the local media referring to the SB20 Worlds 2025.
On the overall success of the event Magnus Ekbom, President of the SB20 Singapore Association commented:
“We were very happy to once again welcome sailors from across Asia and Europe to Singapore. Weather conditions tested a full range of sailors’ skills and it gave us a real taste of the race arena for what the SB20 Worlds 2025 could be like. One 15˚ Marina in Sentosa Cove showed the best of Asian hospitality and gave us all a fantastic experience off the water. Strong competition and friendly atmosphere made for a great regatta and start to the new year!”
Click here for full results.
Check out the event gallery for more photos.
Photo credits: Donovan Ho
Text: Anna Zyk