Sailing Covenor

Okay I know this entry is super lag. Due to some difficulties I couldn’t write this down. Anyway Inter-school sailing took place on the 4-7 July. 4-5 Girl’s race and 6-7 Guy’s race. And 3 July was youth day. That means 3-7 July, Mon-Fri NO SCHOOL!!! WHoo! But now I’m suffering the after effects. I dun understand anything during math lessons and stuff. Anyway back to sailing.
We all had to reach NSC by 7:30 to wash and rig up the boats. And when I say wash, it’s not just splash water like we usually do, need to use detergent one hor…So after washing, rigging up and towing the bloody heavy boat to the beach, we went to slck and TC. We’re supposed to help the girls, help them conserve their energy for the race. At around 9-9:30, there was a briefing by Mr Yong, who failed trying to inspire us to do our best. Well, his story of how his mum used to tell him in P1 to do his best flopped, but we get the message. It was 10:30 and race will start soon so we helped them launch their boats and arranged the trolleys NEATLY, for a guy. We requested to go on power boat to watch the race but Mr Yong didn’t let us. He wanted us to stay on shore and be safe, and no soccer as well. So as we walked away dejected, I took out my LA notes and started mugging, seems like I was the only one with sth to do haha. Then suddenly…
"Mr Yong only say don’t go to sea right? Dota very safe what, he also never say cannot right?"
"WHoa, you’re a genius, set ah!"
SO we found our way to NSRCC for lunch and made a few pit stops along the way to watch the race. We had 3 binoculars and we sat on breakwaters to watch and race and hear the live and exciting commentary by those who were using the binos.
"And she rounds the mark! She’s going to cross so-and-so…AND SHE CROSSES!!! Eh, who’s that bloody sail number so-and-so trying to cover so-and-so?" stuff like that. Then we saw a man on another breakwater.
"That guy on the breakwater!"
"You see" *hands over bino to another guy
Yep, a nude guy on the breakwater tanning, lying down with this cleopatra pose with his groin facing the sea… S.C.A.R.Y…
So I spent the day at NSRCC mugging my ass off while watching the race from there while the others were out Dota-ing. And while walking back to NSC Malcom and Shawn were talking about Gayle Nerva from Sg Idol, how she *ahem*  her cousin and announced it to the school in sec 1. WoHo… A while later, the winners were coming back aka VJC girl Sailors. They were all in first positions for every race. Then I got banged on the shin by this *ing laser boat that was pushed by the waves, thank goodness it wasn’t a 420. Or that will break my leg, so much nfor not getting injured. I ended up with a sore shin through out the competion. Once we all washed up and congratulated each other we went our seperate ways and prepared for the next day of racing with a long good rest.
Day 2…
First half of the day were the same as yesterday’s. Help them rig up, launch, talk cock before the race, NSRCC for lunch, watching the race with live commentary etc etc. But there was no nude guy today whew. Seems like there’re alot of GUYS who love to sun tan over here. Saw alot of guys in trunks lying on breakwaters. Everyone had chills down their spine in addition to the strong wind. Oh yah, the girls were all sailing in strong wind conditions and they won some more. *clap clap. Sibei pro lorz…
Today there were only 3 races for the girls, so no time to mug LA. After lunch at NSRCC and some boat watching, we all slowly trudged our way back to NSC. Today at least I didn’t bang my shin but I got soaked when I got into the water and pulled a 420 up onto a trolley while all the other guys were on the beach. wha liaoz… So after cleaning up and derigging, all the guys were feeling abit anxious because tmr would be our turn to race, the pressure’s on us now. Don’t blow the girl’s hard work. They topped everything and we don’t want to ruin it for them by doing badly in the guys race.
Ohwells, fourth place here I come…
By the way, something interesting happened. The jury, made this speech before the races.
"Looks like some of you don’t understand rule blah blah blah…only can pump in planing conditions…planing conditions are 15 to 20 knots." And everyone was cursing and swearing. The girls especially because they got yellow card from yesterday.
"WHat? Planing condition 15 to 20 knots??? It’s a joke lah!"
"Yah, the *ing jury is making a fool out of himself."
And Mr Yong’s verdict is…
"I think it’s a joke, maybe topper can plane at 15-20 knots. Anyway, I don’t want to see any of you pumping ah…Don’t get yourself DSQ (disqualified) from the race."
And everyone was laughing and cursing the jury while thinking of ways to pump when the jury is not looking.
Day 3.
The time has come. Time for us to race. It feels very different, when you know you’re sailing and watching people sail. Haiz, must be the pre-race anxiety and stress whatsoever. All the guys are feeling it. Personally I was also very nervous. I got prepared and ready almost 2 hours before the race. A check on the wind means that it’s still going to be strong wind conditions. Shucks…Everyone is going to struggle. I take a quick look at our odds. VJC sailing has 3 420 pairs. Me and my helmsman are 3rd if you compared the three. And from RI there is this strong 420 pair with a national crewman and from ACS (I), another pair with a national crewman and proded helmsman. If we were to fall behind them all, we should end up 5th for every race and maybe 4th or 3rd. highly unlikely cuz I’m a noob and my helmsman hasn’t really gotten the feel of the large and clumsy 420 boat. But I pray we will do well.
Once out at sea it really was strong wind conditions. Everyone’s going to struggle. Once the race began, the waves were sweeping me off my feet and I swung dangerously around the trapeze wire. Once colliding with my helm. My helm was super tense during the competition and was quite stern with me. I don’t blame him, he wants to beat the ACS pair who are his good friends and after all it is inter school, everyone wants to win. During the first race, I fell into the water because of a sudden and abrupt tack by my helm when I was out on trapeze.
"what? Ay!"
And splash! Dropped into the water. I managed to recover soon enough and we were sailing again. We emerged 5th for that race. Lousy. The second race was much better. Medium wind speed.
"Wow, Alexi god-like!!!"
"Haha, thanks man."
We emerged 2nd for the 2nd race. Not bad. We need to keep this up. But this race was damn tyco, we managed to catch a wind shift and sped our way through. With only the better VJ 420 pair in front of us. The last race, the wind died and we emerged 5th again in light wind conditions because I made a fatal mistake. I forgot to lower the daggeboard on closehaul and lost alot of speed as a result we couldn’t catch up with the ACS pair and emerge 3rd. My helm was very angry at me but he cooled down and we apologised to each other. That was the last race for the day and we all headed back to shore and into the comforting arms of the girls who listened to all our anguish and triumphs. I promised myself to do better the next day.
Day 4.
Yes! Last day of competition and stress. And the day to celebrate. Almost confirm that VJC will win the ‘A’ div boys and girls championship. Only a small chance that we will lose out. Even if I come in 5th it wouldn’t make a difference. Because VJC is currently in top few positions. But interschool has never been about winning overall. It’s about personal glory. C’mon team racing is not allowed in the inter school. And my helm has a score to settle…He wants to beat the ACS pair. I think it’s  impossible considering our performance yesterday. It’s going to be strong winds today. That means it’s going to be a tough fight. But we’re not going down just yet…
After a team prayer (yup, most of the sailors are Christians), we all launched our boats and Alexi and I made a promise to do our best regardless of the results. We’re noobs and we’re going to be quite lucky to come in 5th. But hey, looking from the competition, there are only 4 good sailors to race with. The rest are worst than us. That puts us at the back of the pack. And that sucks. But we’re noobs. Young noobs. We still got next year to come in second, or even first. We’ll beat the ACS pair next year. If we’re paired together again that is…
I shall summarise the results of the 4 races today. The first race we came in fourth. Alexi and I were quite pleased but the next few races were disastrous… And 8th and a 7th. We came in 8th in the second race because Alexi had picked the wrong upwind course and I could hear him muttering stuff while out on trapeze. The third race was also a disaster because we almost got shipwrecked. While tacking at the starting line to begin the race, Lowell’s boat (the RI pair) tacked under us and threatened to collide with us on the port side. Which meant we had the right of way. I shouted to Alexi "Watch out!!!" He saw the incoming boat and swerved to avoid it resulting in the boat almost capsizing and me in the water quite some distance away from the boat. Lowell apologised frantically and did his penalty which was not enough to account for the damages he caused, but we couldn’t do anything, he did his penalty fair and square. Swimming in booties isn’t a good thing, it feels like kayaking with a pole. You can’t feel the resistance on your feet. When Alexi realised I wasn’t on the boat I was already climbing up and pulling myself onto the 420 shocked and in a daze. I wanted to retire from the race. It was as good as gone but Alexi wanted to continue so I braved the bitter cold of the strong wind on my soaking wet body and we came in 7th.
The last race was lucky, we were supposed to come in 5th but Wei Ming(VJ sailor who was supposed to come in 3rd) did a surprise tack at the finishing line and blocked Lowell’s boat and forced him off course. Alexi and I who were behind them were shocked and were wondering what Wei Ming was doing. We finished 3rd but Wei Ming finished behind Lowell. Wei Ming’s plan was crazy, I didn’t understand it but he did it so as to give David(another sailor) an advantage but David didn’t catch it and Wei Ming’s crew Jon Foo was cursing and swearing with F words everywhere. They lost out for nothing and almost got DSQ for team racing. We then headed back to shore again back into the welcoming arms of the girls. They were like elder sisters to me. Of course me being the youngest but also one of the tallest they have always watched my back and taught me to sail. I want to thank Fawn, Zaoey, David and Alexi for being able to compete in this inter-school. And of course Mr Yong for helping me fake my qualifications heehee. After the ceremony and winning almost all of the top prizes and lots of group photos, we made our way down to Hard rock cafe for a well deserved break in a chartered bus and armed with a wad of cash that Mrs Chan gave us as a reward muahaaha. Life is good isn’t it? But not after a tough fight. We had our hearty meal, chose our new committee with 4 quarter masters…(Ironic isn’t it? Quarter…4…Wierd lolz), laughed and talked and bid farewell to the J2 sailors. We’ll miss them. They have left their legacy now it’s time for the J1s and hopefully IP1s to take the reigns.
On the MRT, we were bored enough to count the beeps when the automated voice goes "Doors closing". Lol, when Alexi and I got off at Simei, we reviewed what we did at the race and encouraged each other to do better the next time around. We had done reasonably well given our experience and skill. We parted ways at a junction and took our seperate ways home.
It has been a long week and I savour every moment of it. Looking forward to the half day on monday. It better be…
Some quirks at the inter school…
To be continued…

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