Challenging Winds Make for Challenging Racing on
Day 2 of the 2010 Top of the Gulf Regatta
Evolution Racing extends their lead in IRC Racing 1. Royal Thai Navy 1 keep a clean sheet.
02 May 2010, PATTAYA – The Wind Gods took a hiatus mid-race today at the Top of the Gulf Regatta, while the sun shone and tans were topped-up.
The light winds and directional changes made for a leisurely startline for all classes on Race 1. The wind died even further at the top mark to fill in later on the last leg to the finish line. The second race saw another light start for many classes and the Platu class was delayed until the wind picked up. As a storm worked its way towards the startline and brought the wind with it, PRO Jerry Rollin took the decision to get the Platus underway with a downwind spinnaker start. An interesting site as the fleet jostled for position at the line in 18+ knots of wind, while trying to set their spinnakers.
All classes completed two races today, except the IRC Cruising who undertook a passage race around the islands.
IRC Racing 1 saw Evolution Racing, skippered by Ray Roberts, take line honours and wins on corrected time in both races today, and currently leads the standings in the series. Ichi Ban, skippered by Matt Allen, took two second place finishes today to leave him in second place overall, while Tantrum, skippered by Robert van Paridon took third in Race 1 and AA, skippered by Phuket King's Cup Regatta President Kevin Whitcraft, took third in Race 2. After jury hearings Race 2 on Day 1 for the IRC Racing 1 class has been scrapped. In the series Evolution Racing leads Ichi Ban with Tantrum in third.
IRC Racing 2 was almost a carbon copy of the results from Day 1. Royal Thai Navy 1, skippered by Damrong Sirisakorn took two more wins making it four wins out of four races so far. In Race 1 Dynamite, skippered by Brand Kirk, took second place from David Bell at the helm of Magic Roundabout in third. Magic Roundabout finished third in Race 2 also, with El Coyote, skippered by Gary Baguley second. Series standings see Royal Thai Navy 1 six points clear of Dynamite and El Coyote in second and third respectively.
The performance-based handicap system for IRC Cruising is leveling the playing field. After a long and enduring passage race, the only one for the class today, saw Sansanook, skippered by Andrew Watt, take first from Reef Knot, skippered by Tim McMahon with Kirafiki, skippered by Peter Herning in third. Series standings: Kirafiki first from Sansanook in second and Souay 1 third.
The one-design Platus were competing hard today in the Platu Coronation Cup, faced with a mix of light winds (4-5 knots), strong winds (18+ knots), a squall and some rain. The Race 2 start, with spinnakers a loft, sorted the men from the boys (and women from the girls) as a number of boats were left flapping mid-spinnaker hoist in the 18+ knots.
Hot favourite, and former winner of the Platu Coronation Cup, Scott Duncanson, skippering The Ferret is having an out-of-sorts series to date with errors plaguing his crew, leaving the series wide open. The Fox, skippered by Rolf Heemskerk continued her winning ways with two more today, while Naiad, skippered by Wiwat Poonpat, showed consistency scoring two seconds to move them up the series rankings after two disappointing results on Day 1. In Race 1 today The Stingray, skippered by SMU 2 took third while in Race 2 it was sister team SMU 1 sailing Nataya who took third.
Singapore Management University (SMU) have fielded three teams in the Platu Coronation Cup and are holding their own against crews from Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and Japan, including and all-female Thai team. One-design Platu racing has seen a resurgence in recent years with a large fleet in Pattaya. Thirteen boats are competing this year in the Platu Coronation Cup and the overall standings have The Fox ahead by 11 points with Magic Dragon, Skippered by Cris Way in second and The Weasel, another SMU team, in third.
The Sports Boat class saw Pornstar, skippered by Kipsan Beck, extend their winning ways with two more firsts today, leaving them leading the series with four wins out of four, from Vino, skippered by Ray Waldron.
The fluctuating winds today saw the Ocean Multihull class blown open. Dash Hound, skippered by John Coffin, took first in Race 1 from Radab Kanjanavanit on Cedar Swan, with Black Swan, skippered by Scott Galle in third. The strong winds in Race 2 suited pre-regatta favourite Thor, skippered by Henry Kaye, who took first place by 20 minutes on corrected time. Second place went to Blade Runner V, skippered by Bob Garner, with David Race on Freee Wheeler in third. In the Ocean Multihull series all is still to play for with just three points covering the top five. Cedar Swan is currently leading overall from Blade Runner V, while Thor has moved up to third.
The largest fleet of keel boats and multihulls, 51, ever seen at the Top of the Gulf Regatta join with fleets of Lasers, 420's, Hobie 16's, Hobie Tiger's, some Byte CII's and a record fleet of 129 Optimists to make the total number of entries 246. The Top of the Gulf Regatta is a one-of-a-kind multi-class regatta in Thailand which brings together more than 20 nationalities in a vast array of boat designs and specifications in what has become a 600 participant-strong festival of sail.
The 2010 Top of the Gulf Regatta is being sailed off Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand, from 30th April to 4th May.