|The first Wonderful Indonesia Regatta|
The first Wonderful Indonesia Nongsa Regatta recently concluded and almost all involved vowed to return. Staged at the Nongsa Point Marina & Bar in Batam, Indonesia, the regatta stands ready to replace the now defunct Singapore Straits Regatta, which was held in mid-January annually.
Nine keelboats competed in the main event with eight boats coming down from their base in Singapore and one (VG Offshore) coming down from its home port in Port Klang, Malaysia.
No university in Southeast Asia has a more active sailing program than Singapore Management University and it proved it once again entering five boats in the event. Kurt Metzger's Waka Tere won the seven-boat IRC Class with 19 points, grabbing four first-place finishes in the nine races that were held. SMUVE, helmed by Koh Ling Ying came in second with 24 points, winning two of the races. And Quarterdeck, helmed by Calvin Lin Zhi Yang finished third with 30 points.
The regatta was relatively mishap free though Gordon Maxted's Shoon Fung Too, who finished 5th overall with 34 points, had rudder problems on the second day and did not compete. Clement Lim Hao Yang's SMUMAD (fourth overall with 34 points) had rigging problems on that day too and did not finish racing.
Rounding out the IRC Class was Victoria Koh Min Yi's Shengli who finished sixth with 36 points and Collin Lim Han Yang's Jangan Main Main, which came last with 38 points, though it did win the third race. Victoria was the only female skipper in the keel-boat classes.
Desmond Seah & Michael Teo's Arbudhen duked it out with Ramasamy Menon's VG Offshore in the two-boat PY Class with Arbudhen winning when it was all sailed and done with 10 points, three less than VG. The J24 Class saw Quarterdeck best Shangli and Jangan Main Main with their overall point totals being 11, 15 & 19, respectively. When the Northeast Monsoon blows, and it really does at this time of the year, there's no lack of good wind and that's what the participants in this regatta saw—three full days of continuous strong wind.
The regatta saw 16 optimists and 5 lasers completing over three days of sailing as well. Young Indonesians from the Riau Yacht Club made up all the sailors in these two classes it was amazing to see the composure they showed battling some very strong waves. Revtio Nova D won the Optimist Boys Class; Dilla A Safitri the Optimist's Girls & Samsuardi the Laser, 4, 7 class. The stars of the show were undoubtedly the traditional kelok boats: no keel and no rudder, just a sterns man with a paddle. Nine keloks were supposed to compete in racing on the first day, but strong winds prevented six of them from arriving from a nearby island. The sailors on the three that did arrive showed incredible dexterity and boat-handling ability on the water—one kelok submerged and its crew was up again sailing within five minutes. As this class grows, as it promises to, it will be a great sight to see.
This was the first regatta that the Nongsa Point Marina & Bar has staged in its 25-year history, though it does play host to the Neptune Regatta on its way out and back from the equator.