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Ray Roberts & Evolution Racing are the 2009/10 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year
By AsianYachting Event Media

Sawadee.com Regatta Samui - AY Race Reports9th June 2010: After winning 6 regatta's and scoring 3 x 2nd places and one 3rd, Ray Roberts was never off the podium at all the 10 X AYGP events held this season, to be crowned the 2009-10 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year at the Sawadee.com Regatta Samui awards ceremony last weekend. Believe me this is no easy task, as having top racing crews on standby around the world and running a professional campaign/team throughout Asian waters over the last 12 months requires quite a lot of conviction from all concerned. Neil Pryde and Ray Roberts went blow for blow at most the regattas this year and by mid season they opened up a substantial points lead over the rest of the racing class yachts vying for the honours.

SamuiPics.com flickr gallery Coming into the final event at Koh Samui, Ray Roberts had already won the Skipper of the Year award but the ongoing battle for Yacht of the Year went right down to the wire on the last Race #10 of the regatta. (See AY Race Reports) There was a chance that the dueling duo could share the awards between themselves and bring a fitting end to their battle over the 2009-10 Season. This was not to be, as Ray Roberts steered his TP52 Evolution Racing across the finish line only one boat length in front of Pryde's Hi Fi team on the final race showdown to claim the trifecta. After receiving the Sawadee.com Regatta Samui Racing Class trophy, Roberts then donned the Armani International Suits - Koh Samui Blue Blazer and the Perpetual AY Cup traditionally filled with sponsors chilled champagne at the magnificent prize giving party held on the spacious lawn in front of the spectacular Centara Grand Beach Resort on Chewang Beach. (See SamuiPics.com flickr gallery) or goto the AYGP Photo Gallery on Facebook of the trophy presentation.

AYGP Photo Gallery on Facebook2009-10 Statistics
Ray Roberts raced on all 10 events this season and won 6 regattas, plus scored three 2nd places and 3rd in another. Neil Pryde missed two events but has won 4 regattas and scored 4 second places. What an extraordinary set of events. Could not have asked for a better script and a fitting end to a magnificent 12 months of racing. Each regatta has its own degree of difficulty and there have been some huge battles up and down the order throughout the season.

About the annual AYGP
Asian Sailing Calendar Points are awarded each sailing season based on the racing class Skippers and Yachts performance over Ten x 5-Star Yachting Events that make up the AY Grand Prix Championship (Malaysia 2, Hong Kong 2, Thailand 4 plus Singapore and the Philippines each with 1 a piece). This system fairly grades the competing Boatowners and Skippers ability to successfully run a full-on racing campaign through Asian waters over the 2009 - 10 Season.

2009-10 AYGP calendar of events
Each year the events on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix Championships come under close scrutiny, as this is the best way to determine the top Skipper and Racing Yacht of the Year in Asian waters. This season the top three Racing Class results at 10 major Asian Events were scored as a series. Therefore selecting the events each year must reflect the high standards expected by the Racing Class boat owners and a fair turnout of top level Racing Teams to compete at the event. The Biennial HK to Vietnam Race was dropped in favour of the Six Senses Phuket Raceweek which kicked off the 2009-10 Season on the 22nd - 26th July. The Rolex China Sea Race returned in April and became the tenth event on the program. All other events on the annual Asian sailing calendar remained the same as last season.

AYGP comes alive
We also like to keep our readers up to speed, by generating monthly AYGP Newsletters with all the finer points on the upcoming events, expert analysis, race results plus links to the Progressive Pointscore (Below). Goto the latest AYGP Newsletter or the AYGP Update which notify's sailors when the regatta Photo Galleries are posted online after each of the ten selected regatta/races that score points.

Skipper Rankings
Yacht Rankings
How the points are awarded?


Ray Roberts - 25 pts
Neil Pryde - 20 pts
Frank Pong - 3 pts
Chris Meads - 2 pts

Matt Allen - 2 pts
Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth - 2 pts
Peter Ahern - 1 pt
Sam Chan - 1 pt
Bill Bremner/Andy Cocks - 1 pt
Geoff Hill - 1 pt
Ray Ordoveza - 1 pt
Robert van Paridon 1 pt

15th Singapore Straits Regatta

 

 


Evolution Racing TP52 - 22 pts
Hi Fi
Welbourn 52 - 20 pt
s
Jelik III 75ft R/P - 3 pts
Evolution Sails
DK46
- 3 pts
Full Metal Jacket Corby 43 - 2 pts
Ichi Ban Beneteau 44.7 - 2 pts
EFG Bank Mandrake Mills 51 - 2 pts
YO!2
Farr 40
- 1 pt
FfreeFire 52 TP52 - 1 pt
Foxy Lady IV TP52 - 1 pt
Strewth TP52 - 1 pt
Karakoa Excel 53 - 1 pt
Tantrum Beneteau 44.7 - 1 pt

Raja Muda Selangor Int Regatta Race Reports

 

 

 

2009/10 AY GP Championships (10 Events)

Six Senses Phuket Raceweek
1st Ray Roberts DK46 Evolution Sails - 3 pts
2nd Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 2 pts
3rd Peter Ahern Farr 40 YO!2 - 1 pt

China Coast Regatta
1st Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 3 pts
2nd Chris Meads Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket - 2 pts
3rd Sam Chan TP52 FfreeFire 52 - 1 pt

20th Raja Muda Selangor Int Regatta
1st Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 3 pts
2nd Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 2 pts
3rd Bill Bremner/Andy Cocks TP52 Foxy Lady IV - 1 pt

23rd Phuket Kings Cup Regatta
1st Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 3 pts
2nd Frank Pong 75ft
R/P Jelik II - 2 pts
3rd Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 1 pt

8th Royal Langkawi Int Regatta
1st Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 3 pts
2nd Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 2 pts
3rd Frank Pong 75ft R/P Jelik II - 1 pt

16th Singapore Straits Regatta
1st Ray Roberts DK46 Evolution Sails - 3 pts
2nd Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 2 pts
3rd
Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth Mills 51 EFG Bank Mandrake - 1 pt

Rolex China Sea Race
1st Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 3 pts
2nd Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 2 pts
3rd
Geoff Hill TP52 Strewth - 1 pt

Commodore's Cup - Subic Bay
1st Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 3 pts
2nd Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 2 pts
3rd
Ray Ordoveza Excel 53 Karakoa - 1 pt

6th Top of The Gulf Regatta
1st Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 3 pts
2nd
Matt Allen Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban - 2 pts
3rd
Robert van Paridon Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum - 1 pt

9th Sawadee.com Regatta, Samui
1st Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing - 3 pts
2nd Neil Pryde Welbourn 52 Hi Fi - 2 pts
3rd Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth Mills 51 EFG Bank Mandrake - 1 pt

Race Reports & AYGP related News

AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awardsRay Roberts and Evolution Racing clean up in Samui...
By AsianYachting Event Media
June 5th:
Despite almost wiping out the bowsprit on the startboat in the prestart maneuvers and coming close to ending their challenge for the title, Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing went on to finish both races, a mere boat length in front of arch rival Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, to claim the trifecta, Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui Racing Class title as well as pick up both the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards. Talk about close, it does not get much closer than that! Having that little edge going upwind makes all the difference and despite Neil Pryde employing close covering tactics and splitting to either side, when the boats came back together again, it was Evolution Racing that prevailed over Hi Fi. Also after Hi Fi's rating was increased by the IRC during their annual renewal to be the same as Evolution Racing it seems to have demoralized the Hi Fi crew a little.AYGP Photo Gallery on Facebook

However they did not have it all their own way as Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II jumped up to claim a win in Race 9 and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Mills 51 EFG Mandrake slotted into second place. This result had a few heads turning and some pointscore recalculations to see what could happen on the last race of the regatta. All bets were off when Frank Pong steered Jelik II down the wrong side of the finish boat and failed to correct the mistake. Undeterred the dueling duo carried on gybe for gybe in close quarters right down to the finish line, when Roberts took the advantage and crossed a few seconds in front. Wow! What a race and the spectators gave a sigh of relief as they were held in suspense throughout the thrilling final. Goto AY Race Reports and AYGP Photo Gallery on Facebook of the trophy presentation.

May AYGP UpdateMay AYGP Update - The show must go on...
Despite the present unrest in central Bangkok and International travel warnings being posted for Thailand, the rest of the country is not affected and enjoy the warm hospitality that the Thai's are famous for. As in most political protests the disturbance is centered in the main streets and the extensive International media coverage focuses on the violence and ignores the general public's opinions or the peace and harmony experienced in the rest of the country. On a recent trip to Pattaya via the Bangkok airport there was no sign of any unrest, other than complaints that there is a drop in tourist numbers, it is business as usual. Nation wide the airports are open and popular tourist destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui are serviced by direct International flights from neighboring countries which avoid Bangkok if there are any concerns to be had. As a consequence the estranged circumstances will not stop organised activities and International events in the out lying provinces going ahead, so as they say on broadway "The show must go on." More Asian Regatta News on up and coming events in Thailand can be found in the May AYGP Update

Ray Roberts is the AYGP Skipper of the Year
TOTGR Race ReportsAfter winning the Top of the Gulf Regatta, Ray Roberts holds an unbeatable points lead in the AYGP Skipper of the Year award. As Neil Pryde elected not to race at the TOTGR he left the door open for Roberts to run away with the coveted prize. However all is not lost as Evolution Racing only has a one point lead over Hi Fi in the Yacht of the Year award, leaving it open for the taking at the season ending Sawadee.com Regatta Samui (May 31st - June 5th). Second place for Matt Allen's Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban and third for Robert van Paridon's Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum makes them the 12th and 13th skipper and yachts to score precious points in the AYGP Championship. Neil Pryde and Ray Roberts have been going blow for blow at most the regattas this year and by mid season they opened up a substantial points lead over the rest of the racing class yachts vying for the honours. Although the Koh Samui results will determine the eventual outcome but based on the effort and wonderful achievement shown by the dueling duo it would be quite fitting for them to share the awards between themselves. Goto AY Race Reports... or browse the AY Photo Gallery Here...

Commodore's Cup - Neil Pryde Hi Fi -1, Ray Roberts Evolution Racing - 2
Commodores Cup Race ReportsDespite the controversy that surrounded organisng the Commodore's Cup in the Philippines, ten formidable yachts lined up in the racing class. With nine 50 plus footers, must equal the most at any regatta this season and given the changing nature of the breeze in Subic Bay, everyone had a chance and the title was open for the taking. Historically the local Philippine yachts with low IRC ratings have done well here because they have held their time on the bigger boats especially in light airs. In the early stages Jude Echauz's Sydney 46 Standard Insurance Subic Centennial, helmed by Aussie Jamie Wilmot showed she still has what it takes to be amongst the leaders. However this year it was Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa helmed by the yachts designer Alan Andrews that came to the fore in stronger breezes and scored third overall plus become the 10th skipper and 11th yacht to score points in the annual AYGP. After an up and down sort of regatta, then like cream rising to the top, the two combatants leading the AYGP scoreboard, somehow pulled off another magnificent 1 - 2 on handicap. So now, after the Commodore's Cup, Neil Pryde closes to within 1 point of Ray Roberts in the Skipper of the Year and Hi Fi takes a two point lead over Evolution Racing in the Yacht of the Year awards. With only 2 events to go it looks like these two will be battling it out till the very end. Access Race Reports Here... Goto Zed Avecilla & Chaos Photo Gallery

Neil Pryde & Hi Fi take the Rolex China Sea Race daily double...
Rolex China Sea Race ReportsOver the years all the winners of the 565 mile Rolex China Sea Race have expressed how they pre-planned their course with weather routers and stuck firmly to the game plan to be successful. This year is no exception and despite all the best laid plans of man or mouse it really depends on the weather and timing as the leaders close in on the last 100 miles to Subic Bay. Two years ago Subic Centennial picked up a favourable inshore breeze to eclipse Hi Fi for the handicap honours. This time there was no chance of that being repeated. Neil Pryde and the Hi Fi crew have a little edge in close reaching conditions and managed to take out the daily double in fine style. A little further out to sea Ray Roberts Evolution Racing were never far behind to finish 2 hours after Hi Fi and had to settle on second place overall on their first attempt. These two have been going blow for blow all season and now Neil Pryde closes to within 2 points of Ray Roberts in the AYGP Skipper of the Year and Hi Fi takes a one point lead over Evolution Racing in the Yacht of the Year award with 3 events left to run. Third place for Geoff Hill's TP52 Strewth makes them the ninth skipper and tenth yacht to score points in the annual championship. Goto: RCSR - Race Reports Goto Rolex/Daniel Forster Photo Gallery

2009-10 AYGP March Newsletter2009-10 AYGP Going down to the wire... March Newsletter
There comes a time during every theatrical performance when the actors strike out and show their true intentions as the drama unfolds. The same can be said about the competing teams in the AYGP this season. After trading blows at the Langkawi and Singapore regattas, Ray Roberts took a three point lead over Neil Pryde in the Skipper of the Year award and has tied his TP52 Evolution Racing with Hi Fi on 12 points in the Yacht of the Year award. Ray Roberts has chosen not to defend the Brisbane Gladstone Race title that he has won two years running in favour of contesting the biannual Rolex China Sea Classic. Both are held over the Easter break and are icons of the Austral-Asian yachting scene. Neil Pryde is a veteran of 18 China Sea Races, with two wins under his belt and line honours as recently as 2008. The RCSR is one race that has eluded Ray Roberts grasp in Asia that he would dearly love to rectify. This will not be easy as the race is very strategic for tacticians and navigators, experience normally counts as there is usually a minefield of shifty light conditions to contend with as the yachts close in on the Philippine shoreline. Full details and more in the March Newsletter...

AYGP Championships - March 2010 AY News & Views
March 2010 AY News & Views The 2009-10 AYGP now swings over to the South China Sea and March is the month big boat owners spend repositioning and completing further modifications to their boats before the final four events get underway.
Full scale battle resumes on April 1st with the classic 565nm Rolex China Sea Race between Hong Kong and Subic Bay in the Philippines. We then go straight into the Commodore’s Cup (April 6th - 10th) in Subic Bay which caps of the Philippine escapade in style. After traversing the entire length of the South China Sea to Ocean Marina in Pattaya, Thailand, the Top of the Gulf Regatta takes place from 1st to 5th May and is open to all forms of racing craft including monohull, multihull and dinghy classes. The final event on the AYGP Championship is the Sawadee.com Regatta on Koh Samui, Thailand (May 31st - June 5th) which is turning into a festival of sail and the spectacular prize presentation on the majestic lawn setting of the Centara Grand Beach Resort should not be missed. Small keel boat enthusiasts take center stage this month with the first of 4 events that make up the Quantum One Design Platu Championship 2010. First off the rank is the OPEN Championship of Thailand from 11/14th March at Ocean Marina Yacht Club (OMYC) Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand. Goto March 2010 AY News & Views

16th Singapore Straits Regatta16th Singapore Straits Regatta - It's Evolution Racing by a whisker...
Once again it came down to a final day showdown in the Racing Class. Both crews on Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing and Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi were pumped up and raring to go. As the two boats surged into the finish line the watch keepers were poised with their fingers on the button. In a cloud of spray Evolution Racing crossed the line and Hi Fi followed 38 seconds latter. In what seemed like an eternity, finally the thumbs up sign came from the Evolution Racing tactician that they have firmly sealed first place in the record books. After putting up a brave fight Neil Pryde's Hi Fi had to settle on second place and Nick Burns / Fred Kinmonth Mills 51 EFG Bank Mandrake managed to slip into third overall and become the 8th skipper and 9th yacht to score points this season. This result lifts Ray Roberts to take a three point lead over Neil Pryde in the Skipper of the Year award and tied his TP52 Evolution Racing with Hi Fi on 12 points in the Yacht of the Year award. Both Roberts and Pryde have taken a commanding lead in this seasons pointscore and with four events to go it will take a herculean effort for anyone to topple them. With four events left to run, it could also come down to which regattas the dueling leaders choose to contest from now on in. AY Race Reports & Summary Here... or goto the SSR Photo Gallery

Royal Langkawi Int Regatta - Ray Roberts makes it five wins in a row...
Royal Langkawi Int Regatta Race Reports After the nail–biting end to the Royal Langkawi International Regatta, Ray Roberts (12) takes a two point lead over Neil Pryde (10) in the Skipper of the Year award. As Roberts changed boats after the first event, his TP52 Evolution Racing (9) has closed in to be one point behind Pryde's Hi Fi (10) in the Yacht of the Year award. Frank Pong and his 75ft R/P Jelik III (3) added another point to their tally for third place in Langkawi and takes over third place in the AYGP. Although we are only half way through the season both Roberts and Pryde have had an extraordinary season going head to head at each of the regattas to take a valuable lead in the pointscore. They are constantly working on boat modifications and optimising their performance to suit the expected conditions. This dedication is the driving force of the racing class and has provided some exceptionally close and exciting racing as witnessed during the last race in Langkawi which went down to the wire. Goto AY RLIR Photo Gallery Goto January Newsletter

2009-10 AYGP ChampionshipRoyal Langkawi Int Regatta - Jan Update...
As most people in the northern hemisphere are shivering in freezing cold weather conditions, we are walking around the marina in T-shirt, shorts and thongs getting ready for next weeks Royal Langkawi International Regatta in Malaysia. This is the fifth event on the 2009-10
AYGP Championship, where Mohd Razali Mansor's Royal Malaysian Navy Farr 520 Zuhal will be taking on three stalwarts of the Asian racing class, that have dominated proceedings for the last decade or two. Neil Pryde, Ray Roberts and Frank Pong have each won the annual AY Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards at least once, worn the Blue Blazer plus drank from the Perpetual AY Cup traditionally filled with chilled champagne at the season ending celebrations on the magnificent lawns of the Centara Grand in Koh Samui. Razali's crew may have a mountain to climb to overcome these professional racing teams but the experience gained will surely help their competitive spirit and improve crew drills for the often new trainee's onboard. Goto January AYGP Update...

Neil Pryde & Hi Fi close in after King's Cup.
King's Cup Champ 09After clearly winning the King's Cup, Neil Pryde jumps up the AYGP Championship points table to be only one point behind Ray Roberts in the Skipper of the Year and his custom Welbourn 52 Hi Fi takes a two point lead over Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing in the Yacht of the Year. Frank Pong's 75ft R/P Jelik II pushed hard at the front of the fleet and bounced around the podium places all week, to finish up with 2nd overall and enter this seasons pointscore with 2 points. By not racing Hi Fi in the last race, Pryde left the door open for Roberts and Evolution Racing to score two wins on the day and after a slow start to the regatta managed to slip into 3rd overall and score one valuable point, which may make all the difference at the end of the season. As we are only 1/3 of the way through the season there is still plenty racing to come and points for the taking. Judging by the way things have panned out after four AYGP events, the eventual winner is already on the board, but which one will it be?

20th Raja Muda - AY Race ReportsRoundup after Raja Muda & before King's Cup
25:11:09 After missing out on the China Coast Regatta, Neil Pryde and Hi Fi struck gold at the Raja Muda and kept pressure on Ray Roberts, who is presently leading the AYGP pointscore on both fronts. The change in boats has
Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing tied on 5 points with Pryde's custom Welbourn 52 Hi Fi in the race for Boat of the Year. Judging by their performance and willingness to optimise their boats for speed and IRC ratings, the race is on with a vengeance to capture the title. Third place for Bill Bremner/Andy Cocks TP52 Foxy Lady IV has them entering the pointscore at an early stage in proceedings this year. After three regattas already six skippers and seven boats have thrown their hat into the ring and shown their intentions. On the King's Cup provisional entry list all 8 boats that contested the RM are fronting up for the KC next week. They will be joined by 2 new boats to the region, Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 and Andrey Arbuzov's Elliot 46 PH Plus that are very slippery boat designs in the right conditions. Chris Meads custom Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket with renown Kiwi Chris Dickson on the helm snatched 2nd place at the CCR in Hong Kong and are rumoured to be teaming up again for the KC. They could just be in with a chance and cause some almighty upsets along the way. The swelling of the ranks to 11 racing class yachts is marvelous and attracting top International crews to the region will ensure that the good word on Asian events reaches out to the sailing world.

Record fleet for Raja Muda Regatta & 20th celebrations
20th anniversary this yearNine formidable racing teams are contesting the high performance Racing Class IRC 1 and also competing for valuable points in the 2009-10 AYGP Championship. For the first time in Asian history four TP52's Geoff Hill (Strewth), Bill Bremner (Foxy Lady), Ray Roberts (Evolution Racing) and Sam Chan's (Ffreefire 52) will be lining up against Neil Pryde's custom Welbourn 52 (Hi Fi) and Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth custom Mills 51 (EFG Bank Mandrake) on the start line. Neil Pryde, Ray Roberts and Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth are former Raja Muda Cup winners who rank the event format as one of their favourite's and return year after year just to try once more. With the NE Monsoon arriving early this year and if it continues with strength into next week, veteran campaigner Frank Pong's (Jelik III) at 75ft is the biggest boat and long overdue to convert the three passage race line honours into handicap wins and most likely to run away with overall victory. Making there first appearance together is Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40MOD (WINDSIKHER) and Rodney Keenan's tweaked up Farr 11 (TAZO TOO) built in Dubai by Premier Composite Technologies. What looks like a scaled down Volvo 70, TAZO TOO has a canting keel, twin rudders and daggerboards on a 36 footer has caught the measurers eye and will have to go like a bat out of hell as they have to beat the TP52 over the line to have any chance on handicap. Everyone is looking forward to the 20th reunion celebrations... So Bring it on! Everything is on the updated website http://www.rmsir.com or by Emailing info@rmsir.com

Unique pointscore after two events.
After two regattas a unique situation has developed in the AYGP scoring system. Aussie Ray Roberts has won both events on two different boats and presently leads the Skipper and Yacht of the Year pointscore on both accounts. The Skipper points continue to accumulate for Roberts while the DK46 Evolution Sails and the TP52 Evolution Racing are leading the Yacht category with three points a piece. A stunning performance by Chris Meads’ Full Metal Jacket to secure second overall at the China Coast Regatta has them sharing second place with Neil Pryde's Hi Fi that scored second place at Phuket Raceweek. Third place for Sam Chan's Ffreefire TP52 has them entering the pointscore early in the season and become the sixth boat to score points towards the coveted title. Over the next three months we get down to the business end of the championships with the Raja Muda, King's Cup, Royal Langkawi and Singapore Straits likely to sort out the pointscore. Anyone purchasing Roberts DK46 (Below) will inherit the three points already awarded to the boat and surely is a good incentive for a new team joining the Asian racing scene. Check out the 2009/10 AYGP pointscore as the championship unfolds at: http://asianyachting.com/news/AYGP09-10.htm

China Coast Regatta  Race reportsRHKYC China Coast Regatta - What a difference a day makes...
Day 1 dawned overcast but breezy and PRO Steve Bourne got the IRC Racing division underway on a new format to this popular Asian Regatta. All was up for grabs with Frank Pong road testing Jelik III and Ray Roberts racing the newly acquired TP52 Evolution Racing in her first Regatta. While it was Pong who got the gun, it was Roberts who cleaned up on corrected time, ahead of FfreeFire 52 and Mandrake. On Day 2 the Racing Divisions looked forward to three windward/leeward races. Entertaining One-on-one racing was provided by the 3 strong TP52 ‘class’ within Division A. Chris Meads’ Full Metal Jacket with renown Kiwi AC skipper Chris Dickson on board, finally started to perform to her potential, recording a 1,1,2 for the day. This elevated Meads to 2nd overall and within 2 points of Ray Roberts on Evolution Racing. Mandrake continued her solid form and was in third place overall, level on points with FfreeFire 52. Day 3 saw a windward/leeward race before completing the series with an islands course back to RHKYC Kellett Island. FfreeFire 52, Strewth and Mandrake over the line at the start. Giving the two main contenders a head start, with Evolution Racing taking the race on handicap, just over 90 seconds ahead of Full Metal Jacket and Jelik III taking Line Honours. After discard, this left FMJ 3 points adrift of Ray Roberts’ new TP52 going into the final race of the series. A procession of boats coasted into the finish just outside Lei Yue Mun gap, with Evolution Racing taking first in the A’s giving them the series overall ahead of Full Metal Jacket and Sam Chan's FfreeFire 52 securing third place on the podium. Goto RHKYC Daily Reports Here...

2009/10 AYGP - Sept 09 Update2009/10 AYGP - Sept 09 Update - AYGP comes alive next month
29:09:09: Ray Roberts has completed the purchase of Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling and the re-branded Evolution Racing is reported by sailing coordinator Don Buckley to be in Guilty's hands and already left KK for Subic Bay. They will be joining the bulk of the Racing Class fleet based in Hong Kong to contest the China Coast Regatta, from 16-18 October, which is the 2nd event on the AYGP calendar. The 20th Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta is moving along at a fast clip. Over 50 expressions of interest have been received and past winners, yacht club commodores and Royal dignitaries have been invited to attend a gala reunion and celebrate with a Open House BBQ Party on Thursday 12 Nov at the Royal Selangor Yacht Club in Port Klang. More news Goto the Sept 09 Update...

AYGP Sept 09 NewsletterAYGP - Sept 09 Newsletter - Weighing up the odds for the rest of the season
09:09:09: A lot can be learned on how the 2009/10 season is shaping up by just taking a stroll around the hardstand at Raffles Marina in Singapore. Neil Pryde's beloved Welbourn 52 Hi Fi is again undergoing major surgery in the workshop. The old cabin top has been replaced with a smaller and lighter section plus a new deck layout is being fitted. The keelbulb is being replaced with a heavier new shape by boat builders specially flown in from New Zealand. The ongoing experimental nature on the hull and appendages has led to some huge performance gains in the past. So this round of moving high up weight, down into the keel bulb is also expected to yield good results.They will need as much speed as they can get as at the other end of the boat yard Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling has been sitting idle, waiting for a buyer to come along. It is believed that UK boat manager Taffy and Don Buckley (representing Ray Roberts) are good at spending the bosses money and a deal was settled a few weeks ago. The boat now has a new Evolution Sails branded boom tent and preparations are being made to deliver the boat to Hong Kong for the China Coast Regatta in October. The bigger boats welcome Ray with open arms to join them in the battle for line honours and on a more even footing for the handicap honours. Goto Sept 09 Newsletter...

Phuket Raceweek - Wonderful end to a splendid regatta...
AY Race Reports26 July: Although the wind eased up on the last day of racing, there was enough for two more races to be run which completes the entire program. Handling the strong incoming current became a big issue and the determining factor in the final results. Certainly in the first race of the day (Race 7) the yachts that went offshore realised their mistake, as the yachts that favoured the Koh Lon shore generally rounded the top mark first. Then it became a matter of either playing catch up or the front runners extending their lead.
Coming into the final day Ray Roberts DK46 Evolution Sails held a slender three point lead over Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi. The discussion over breakfast was "Would this be enough? Could Peter Ahern's Farr 40 YO!2 slot in to create some points separation?" Neil Pryde's crew were up and at it early, with an air of confidence in their stride and struck gold soon after by winning both races today. Only 34 seconds in Race 7 and 41 seconds in Race 8 behind was Ray Roberts on Evolution Sails that reduced the overall points lead down to one, for Ray Roberts to claim the title on his first outing at Raceweek. Talk about coming down to the wire. If that's how it is going to be for the next nine events on the AYGP we are in for a bumper season. Goto AY Race Reports and the SSPR 2009 Photo Gallery

Six Senses Phuket Raceweek - First cab off the rank
We kick of early this year, as SSPRW organisers Image Asia agreed to join in and expect to see some increased AYGP action at the event. 2008/09 Champion Neil Pryde has deferred some modifications to his prized Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, till latter in the year, just to attend Phuket Raceweek for the first time. Similarly the 2007/08 Champion Ray Roberts has forgone defending the Sydney Gold Coast Race title, in favour of attending Raceweek and not letting Neil Pryde get the early jump as he did last season. Ray will be helming the re branded DK46 Evolution Sails (formerly Quantum Racing) which already has an outstanding racing record both in Australian and Asian waters. However they won't have it all there own way as regulars in the racing class include Peter Ahern's defending champion Farr 40 YO!2, and two time winner Scott Duncanson's super fast Phuket 8 Quantum Fusion M will be there to spoil the party. Ben Copely's Swan CS 42 Katsu has racked up a number of second places recently and is long overdue for a win. If Stuart Williamson's Beneteau 34.7 Skandia Endeavour of Whitby can repeat the performance they found in Langkawi earlier this year they could also be a thorn in the side of the favourite's.

Historical data - previous winners
Photo Gallery 2008-09 AYGP ChampionshipsThe AYGP first came together during the 2002-03 season when Peter Ahern and YO! became the inaugural Asian champion skipper and yacht of the year. He then followed it up during the 2003-04 season and Sam Chan's Freefire took out the Yacht of the year with higher points but as he shared the skippers role with his sailing master did not score enough points to become the Skipper of the year. Neil Pryde completed the double during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons with Hi-Fidelity and Hi-Fi Team Pryde respectively. In 2006-07 Frank Pong's Jelik clinched victory as it came down to the last race at the final event at Koh Samui. Ray Roberts DK46 Quantum Racing became the winner of the sixth running over the 2007-08 season after coming close on several occasions. After serious modifications last season Neil Pryde and Hi Fi with a record 20 points have dominated the 2008-09 year to capture the title with two events to run.

This season there are ten selected 5-star AY Grand Prix racing class events, so its anybodies guess who will don the tailored Armani Koh Samui Blue Blazer and receive the Perpetual AY Cup traditionally filled with chilled champagne at the magnificent prize giving party on the lawns of the Centara Grand Beach Resort at the Koh Samui Regatta in June 2010.

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