let up even on the final day...
25:02:2011 This time of the year, Boracay must be one of the windiest places in the world. All day, all night the breeze rarely drops below 15 knots. Even the shrubbery on the windward side grows with a permanent lean to leeward. Today was no exception. An early morning storm swept through and raised the average wind speed to 25 knots and gusting over 30 knots. Concerns were expressed that the upper wind range for racing yachts was being reached. Despite all this, the remaining yachts left standing proceeded onto the course for the final two windward/leeward races to complete the regatta. Sam Chan's TP 52 Ffreefire had already clinched the racing class title but the remaining two podium places were still open for the taking, as Frank Pong's 75ft Reichel/Pugh Jelik II and Ernesto Echauz's Sydney 46 Centennial were tied on ten points. Proceed with caution became the order of the day.
Every start, Ernesto Echauz's Centennial helmed by Allan Balladares has timed their run into the line with perfection and taken the windward berth next to the start boat. This gives them a slight advantage and leaves the others to play catchup on the first part of the windward beat. Frank Pong's Jelik II stretched the lead at every mark and what seemed like a flawless race in the tough conditions crossed the finish line with the smaller Centennial trailing a complete leg behind. All regatta the crew work on Sam Chan's Ffreefire has carried them though to victory but today a few cracks were appearing with the spinnaker handling and noticeably a larger gap than normal back from the leader. As Centennial crossed the finish line, a quick calculation revealed they had won the race by 14 seconds from Jelik II and Ffreefire in third. One up and one to go. If Frank Pong could squeeze an extra bit of speed out of Jelik II and win the race they still have a chance at second overall.
A radio call from Ffreefire revealed that they would not be competing on the last race, which left Centennial and Jelik II to fight it out in a final showdown. Once again Centennial took the windward berth and worked tirelessly through out to stay on the pace. As Jelik II approached the finish line, Frank Pong kept poking her up after slightly overlaying the gybe point, when all of a sudden the large checkered police car spinnaker exploded into several pieces. Taking care not to repeat the Race 3 disaster the crew on Centennial have perfected their spinnaker handling and gybing angles to romp home in grand style. Cheers and high fives as they crossed the line and knew that they have won the race and secured second overall.
Sam Chan's TP 52 Ffreefire has won the inaugural Boracay Cup plus the Boracay Cup Series, that includes the Subic Boracay Race and awarded the magnificent new Perpetual Trophy created by the Governor of Aklan Province, Carlito Marquez in cooperation with Vice Gov. Billie Calizo and Cong. Joeben Miraflores.
The two finalists in the IRC 1 Class wisely reefed the mainsail and carried small working headsail's. With four wins in a row, Claudio Altura's J35 Vivaldi did not need to take any chances as overall victory was already in the bag. After the Race 3 Chinese gybe chaos, Jesus Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star proceeded with caution and bravely flew the spinnaker with only a few minor flaws to go on and win both races today. Avecilla said latter "no guts no glory".
More details on the Subic Sailing Website http://www.subicsailing.com/index.html
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