Tight Racing on First Day of 2010 Top of the Gulf Regatta
Top places being traded. Platu Coronation Cup highly-competitive.

 01 May 2010, PATTAYA – The largest fleet of keel boats and multihulls in the Gulf of Thailand's premier yachting event, the Top of the Gulf Regatta, took to the waters today for the first set of races. A total fleet of 51 boats took part in two races on the first day with wind filling in after a light air start to make a successful first day of races.

PlatuOcean Marina Yacht Club was abuzz this morning with people making final touches before heading out to the startline offshore for the first start at 11am.

The IRC Racing 1 class has attracted a number of the region's leading sailors to compete. The class title is expected to be hard fought by all and in the first race today Evolution Racing (TP52), skippered by Ray Roberts, took line honours but on corrected time came second to Matt Allen's Ichi Ban (Beneteau 44.7), with Tantrum, another Beneteau 44.7, taking third. The second race remains in the protest room. The 'case' will be re-opened tomorrow.

The IRC Racing 2 class saw close competition with only five and-a-half-minutes separating the top three in Race 1 on corrected time. Royal Thai Navy 1 (Farr MRX) took first place from Dynamite (modified Farr), with Magic Roundabout (Jeanneau 35) third.

Royal Thai Navy I continued in their winning ways in Race 2 with Dynamite again taking second from El Coyote in third. Royal Thai Navy I take the early lead in the series.

IRC Cruising are racing on a performance handicap system which made for some close racing today with less than five minutes separating the top three in Race 1. Celere, skippered by Nigel Hopkins took the honours from Kirafiki (Peter Herning) and Tai II (Sadunori Osada) in second and third respectively.

In IRC Cruising Race 2, Sansanook, skippered by Andrew Watt, took first place ahead of Souay 1, skippered by Jean Rheault in second. Third place went to Japanese entry Melissa, skippered by Tetsuo Ongino. Melissa is one of three Japanese crewed boats.

The Sports Boat class saw two race wins for Pornstar with Vino coming in second.

In the one-design Platu class, 13 entries lined up to compete in the Coronation Cup. In Race 1 Magic Dragon, skippered by Cris Way, came home first with The Weasel, crewed by one of three teams from Singapore Management University, second. The Fox, skippered by Rolf Heemskerk, finished third. In Race 2 things were shaken up with The Ferret, skippered by Scott Duncanson, taking first from Nattaya, another team from Singapore Management University and Puma, skippered by Koji Kikuchi in third. The Ferret leads the series standings at the end of Day 1.

The Ocean Multihulls also completed two races today. In Race 1 Freee Wheeler, skippered by David Race, took first from Sonic, skippered by Kirati Assakul, with Radab Kanjanavanit's Cedar Swan, in third. In the second race the pre-regatta class favourite, Thor, skippered by Henry Kaye sailed to a win. Blade Runner, skippered by Bob Garner cam second, ahead of Cedar Swan in third. Cedar Swan currently leads in the overall standings.

The junior sailors competing in the Thailand Optimist Nationals have come from far and wide with entries from Belgium, USA, India, Hong Kong, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. A record number of 126 juniors are competing for the title over three days of racing at the Top of the Gulf Regatta.

Series standings at the end of the Day 1 saw Malaysian Ahmad Syukrii Abdul Azizi at the top after some tought racing. Local sailor from the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Tacharin Narbonne, took second place with World Optimist Champion, the popular Thai girl Noppakao Poonpat in third.

The 2010 Top of the Gulf Regatta is being sailed off Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand, from 30th April to 4th May.