Lynette Chng Xi Lin and the crew on RSYC Satu can thank their lucky stars and praise the quick response given by the SSR 2003 safety boats and the local Search and Rescue co-ordination centre that they are alive and well today.
At around 2:30pm on a storm swept and windy Race 5 from Batam, Indonesia to Changi in Singapore Lyn became entangled in the lines and flung into the water (Fortunately with a life jacket on) as the yacht pitched and rolled in the confused and choppy 1 to 2 meter seas that were being whipped up.
The crew promptly radioed the safety boat for assistance when their engine failed to start and they lost sight of Lyn in the water. The SSAR dispatched 2 Coastguard and MPA vessels to co-ordinate a search in the Eastern ship anchorage area which was hampered by a strong 2 knot outgoing current sweeping the across area.
Further complications arose as a Oslo registered super tanker bore down on the stricken yacht in the channel, which the remaining crew chose to abandon only seconds before impact and where quickly plucked out of the tankers wake by the SSR safety vessel after being swept down the entire starboard side and past the propellers of the enormous ship. The yacht was latter towed back to Changi.
After 2 to 3 hours of searching with intermittent tropical storms lashing the area and darkness fast approaching hope of finding Lyn began to fade when suddenly a dispatched Navy helicopter spotted her in the water and directed rescue craft to pick her up. As news of finding her safely came in, a enormous sigh of relief came from the regatta secretariat and all competing crews waiting anxiously at the Changi Sailing Club.
With the recent Singapore navy's tragic Courageous incident still fresh in everybody's mind many emotional tears were shed as Lyn suffering from minor bruising walked from the ambulance into the arms of waiting family members and friends at the Changi hospital.
A 10 nm windward bash into a 18 to 20 knot headwind, then a auxhilating 2 sail reach turning into a spinnaker run to the finish suited the bigger yachts in the fleet. Ray Ordoveza's Karakoa helmed by designer Alan Andrews once again took both Line and Handicap honours and their third bullet for this 9th regatta to top the leaderboard by two points. Close on their heels was Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity and Peter Ahern's Yo! who recorded boat speeds up to 15 knots as they spinnaker reached through the CSC mooring area to the traditional finish line in front of the club.
Going into the 6th and final race Peter Ahern's Yo! retains second place overall despite damaging the entire heavy weather sail wardrobe during the regatta and Stella's forth place finish today firmly places Warwick Downes crew in third spot overall, but things could change!
Philip Hermans Xen@. crew firmly placed themselves on the top of the Racing Class B leaderboard with a first and fastest on the long haul from Nongsa Point. Steve Walkers Next Page managed to finish only 11 seconds in front of Gordon Maxted's Shoon Fung Too who is lying in 2nd spot overall by 2 points going in to tomorrows final and deciding race 6.
Hans Hvide's Swan 68 Irvmiren have added a 3rd straight victory over Joe Lombardo's Dondang Sayan to their tally and take over the leadership in the PY Class by one point.