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18 January 2004, 02:15 pm
Champion Crowned
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Singapore Straits Regatta

Ray ORDOVEZA'S Clariden Karakoa is crowned champion of the X Singapore Straits Regatta. The Filipino yacht scored a record seven straight wins in the regatta to convincingly beat the best of Asian sailing.
In second was Stella Minter Ellison from Hong Kong and in third was Australia's Hollywood Boulevard. This result means that Hollywood Boulevard maintains her place at the top of the Omega AYC championship which she now shares with Stella Minter Ellison.

A fleet of international yachts has been competing over the last five days in superb conditions in waters off Singapore and in the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia. The regatta travelled from Singapore's eastern shores to Batam and from there they returned once again to the Changi Sailing Club for more racing action. Each day saw superb conditions for sailing, the best ever in the event's long history with wind speeds consistent and clocking 25 knots at their peak. And sweeping all before him has been the famous Filipino skipper Ray ORDOVEZA.

A somewhat unusual second place in the final race of the regatta did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm as he collected the Singapore Straits Regatta Trophy and a limited edition Omega Seamaster Watch "We are very proud winners of this great regatta and it is even more precious to us as we have successfully defended our Title here against the best of Asian sailing. We've measured ourselves against the best and we've come out on top. Credit should go to our crew who have worked very hard and as a team. Sailing is a wonderful sport that combines so many skills, not least an ability to work together towards a single goal. We can return to the Philippines very proud of what we have done here in Singapore."

And at the close of the third event on the Omega Asian Yachting Circuit a look at the Championship Table shows that Australia's Hollywood Boulevard remains at the top after her third place here. But now joining her is Hong Kong's Stella Minter Ellison. The top of the table is still very close as the yachts will head next to the final event of the season in Hong Kong in April. Crucially, after four regattas each yacht will be able to discard their worst result of the season. So although on current standings after three events Hollywood Boulevard and Stella Minter Ellison sit equal at the top, a quick calculation to allow for a discarded result shows that Clariden Karakoa is in prime position, just ahead of Hollywood Boulevard. But there is very little to separate the top four boats and any one of them could be raising the trophy in April.

In the other divisions here at the Singapore Straits Regatta Blancing Act, sippered by John Ramsden from Singapore won Racing Division B and Daisy, skippered by the UK's Steven Walker finished first in the remaining division.

The Singapore Straits Regatta is a prestigious event in it's own right and it fits into the larger Omega Asian Yachting Circuit that groups together the premier sailing events in the region.

1) Raja Muda International Regatta, Malaysia (November 2003)
2) Phuket King's Cup, Thailand (December 2003)
3) Singapore Straits Regatta, Singapore (January 2004)
4) China Sea Race, Hong Kong to Philippines April 2004)

Through the season the yachts that compete in the elite Racing Division at each regatta earn points. The best three "final results" for a yacht from the four regattas count towards an end of season total; these totals produce the winner and a new Asian Champion is crowned.

The Singapore Straits Regatta (and all the events on the Omega AYC) is being filmed for international television and in all, the event will reach an audience of over 200 million households around the globe. The World will be watching as the 10th Singapore Straits Regatta sets sail from Changi Sailing Club.
Andrew Owens (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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