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Subic Bay Yacht Club - Commodore's Cup 2011
Race Report 3
2010/11 AY Grand Prix Championship Event

Final day 4 settles the arguement...
by Jeremy Simpson

30th April 2011: It was a fine and blustery day out on Subic Bay. High clouds and brilliant sunshine, with the wind seldom less than 12 knots promised another cracking day on the water. Race Officer Jerry Rollins placed the windward mark at two miles almost due East of the start and got IRC Racing class off on time at 1130 for the first of two windward-leewards. Boracay was away first followed by Subic Centennial and Ffreefire. The story was the same for both race 5 and race 6. In the absence of any whoopsies, the disparity in boat sizes gave the inevitable result of Boracay first across the line in front of Ffreefire and the Sydney 46, Subic Centennial. However, the Reichel Pugh 76 had to be a country mile in front to beat the other two boats. In Race 5 the results were first Subic Centennial, second Ffreefire and Boracay third by seven minutes. However, in Race 6, for the first time in the regatta, Boracay pushed Sam Chan's TP52, Ffreefire back to third place on corrected time to take second by 55 seconds, and only 13 seconds behind Subic Centennial.

Results overall gave Frank Pong fourth and third place (how often could that happen?) with Mui-Mui and Boracay, Ffreefire second and Judes Echauz' Subic Centennial cleaning up again, with four firsts and a second.

There was a little more excitement, for some, in IRC1, also sailing windward leewards. The wind was building a little and there were plenty of gusts of 20 knots and more. Again Subic Bay's 30° wind shifts kept tacticians on their toes. After the clean start Challenge took off to port and Sorcerer covered. At the top mark on the second rounding, Austen Chamberlain in Sorcerer didn't have enough spells in his magician's box to keep his kite together and it gave up the ghost - for good. Selma Star, helmed by co-Sponsor and co-Chairman Ric Sandoval was practicing her broaches and Chinese gybes, although she managed to keep all of her crew on board - not like in Boracay!

Veteran Doni Altura sailing his J35 Vivaldi wrestled with an unruly headsail at the top mark while being locked down by heavy traffic. It took two 360's to get out of the mess. The X452, Challenge, took line honours again, with another first place on handicap, followed by Sandoway and Vivaldi only 5 seconds behind - in spite of his delays. Rags moved up for the first time in the regatta, to fourth place - the combined 350 years of experience, shared between just five crew finally paying dividends!

Race 6 saw Klaas Husijes in the Bashford 36, Sandoway, off the line first followed by C! Calibre Selma Star, Vivaldi, Sorcerer and Rags. Martin Tanco, in Challenge, with an armful of firsts chose to DNS. There were less incidents on the course but Sorcerer's tactician, Martyn Willes was laid out by a blow to the head by a UFO that looked a bit like a flying winch handle. He recovered quickly but Sorcerer's tactics didn't improve! Jun Avecilla helming Selma Star took first place followed by Vivaldi and Alan Burrell's Farr 36, Rags, on the podium at last.

Overall results saw Doni Altura's Vivaldi in third place, C! Calibre Selma Star in second and Martin Tanco's Challenge cleaning up with four firsts and a second.

PY Cruising were spared the windward-leewards and sailed round the Bay again. David McKenna's Jeanneau 42 led the boats off, with the Platu Luzviminda and Jeremy Simpson's Shibumi seconds behind. Serenity's start was not as hot as usual. At the windward mark, the order was the same, but the boats were still sailing in close company. The kite leg down to Mayanga began to get more demanding as the gusts increased in frequency and strength causing Shibumi and the Platus to broach more than once. Luzviminda was laid all but flat by one gust. Joe Hagedorn joined the racing today, bravely sailing a Platu with only three up in very testing conditions.

All boats fought with their kites up the long reach to #12 buoy by Hanjin, but Rapparee XXX cleared the turn mark cleanly way ahead and wasn't seen again. The wind eased a little at the finish by "Marina" with JR Villena in the Platu beating Serenity and Shibumi over the line by less than two minutes.

After an unenthusiastic attempt to spoil International Juror, Tom Sheppard's holiday in Subic, there was a little bit of handicap shuffling leaving Rapparee at first, Shibumi second and Luzviminda third.

Overall Cruising class results placed the Warwick 42, Shibumi, third, JR Villena bravely holding on to second place in the little Platu and Garry Kingshott's Beneteau 42, Serenity, ably helmed by Ray Wolfe taking first place.

The Commodore's Cup, was presented by Ricky Sandoval to Judes Echauz and Subic Centennial at the Prizegiving in front of the Subic Bay Yacht Club. Thanks were given to the sponsors of the event and to Jerry Rollins and his crew for the excellent race management.

Subic Bay had served up four days of great racing with brilliant sunshine and flat, blue water, and with wind conditions that gave excitement and demanded attention.

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