4th Top of the Gulf Regatta 2008
AY Race Report 4 & Summary

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Final races, settles the score...
The blustery conditions experienced over the last few days, made way for a light 6 to 8 knot South Westerly breeze and brilliant sunshine replaced the gray overcast sky making it a photographers delight. Skippers where keen to get going as results from today's races were crucial in determining the overall outcome. Some were a little to keen and jumped the start, while others had small incidents around the course which had the jury working overtime so final results could be calculated and trophies awarded at the afternoon presentation ceremony.

IRC Racing
Despite Leray Pascal's Breakaway being recalled at the startline and loosing precious time restarting they managed to work their way back through the fleet to take second place in front of their arch rival David Bell's Magic Roundabout. After playing second fiddle to the leaders all regatta Singapore's Wildon Goh and the SMU Team on Hi Jinks finally took first place in Race Six. We spoke earlier about Leray Pascal's Breakaway needing an extra knot to have any chance but as it turned out it was David Bell's Magic Roundabout that slowed down in the lighter winds to allow Leray Pascal's Breakaway to win the final race and run away with the overall first prize. Although they put in a gallant effort to win race six Wildon Goh's Hi Jinks had to settle on third place overall by the end of the day.

Platu One Design - Coronation Cup
Coming into the final day several boats had a chance of winning the coveted Coronation Cup title. A cat and mouse game ensued during the pre-start and covering tactics played a big part up the first beat. As spinnakers where hoisted the familiar Raimon Land "The Lofts" was first up and it was highly unlikely that from here on in Scott Duncanson would surrender the lead. Hot on there tail defending champion Wiwat Poonpat on Naiad where determined they are not going to give up easily. However closing in on the finish Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Lofts" sailing some hot angles clinched the race and as Naiad dropped back to fifth they handed the overall title over to Ferret "The Lofts". In the final race Wiwat Poonpat's crew on Naiad put in a brave effort to take first place but the damage had already been done. Fourth place for Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Lofts" helmed by Scott Duncanson was enough to take the title. A mixed bag of results for Andy Whitbolirne's Gulf Charters had them leading the regatta in the early stages but dropped down the order towards the end and just managed to cling onto third place overall.

Multihulls
Close jockeying around during the pre-start saw the eleven multihulls hitting the line almost in unison. Simultaneously as the recall signal sounded the radio crackled that two boats where over the line. Bob Garner's Blade Runner and Mark Pescott's overall leader Sea Property cut their way out of the pack and made there way back to the start line. All eyes at both ends of the line looked on as they returned but amazingly Sea Property did not completely exonerate themselves or respond to a further radio call that one boat was still On the Coarse Side. They had run their race and left the way open for other competitors to take the title. Olaf Reese's trimaran Voodo Dolls took the honours in race six but as Krirati Assakul's catamaran Sonic claimed second place and has finished all races in the top three, saw them rise to the top of the table. To add insult onto injury Krirati Assakul's heavy displacement Sonic went on to win the last race and the overall class title in front of the lighter and quicker opposition. Khun Chaiek's Zenith helmed by Henry Kaye has been nipping on the heels of the leaders all regatta and two third places today sees them finish up in second overall. After their earlier demise Mark Pescott's Sea Property could only salvage third spot despite being the fastest boat on the water.

Cruising
After a bad start Alvin Ong's SMU Team from Singapore on Amanda have scored three wins in a row. Today was no different and with an additional 1, 2 score line secured first overall and became popular winners of the coveted title. Weera Leksomboon's Fun Wes is one of the smallest boats in the fleet and did one better than yesterdays second place to triumph in the final race. Never far from the lead the Gulf Charters Team on Contenza hung on in to secure second overall. Looking very distinguished with yellow sails Testsuo Ogino's Melissa started of with a win but as the series wore on fell of the pace to end up in third overall.

Sportsboat
Since withdrawing from the first two races Kipsan Beck's Pornstar has held it all together and scored five wins on the trot to go to the top of the leaderboard. Although it seems Ian Day's Team Simpson Marine was completely outclassed, they have overcame a steep learning curve and kept Pornstar honest in a two horse race.

 

National Optimist Championships
Nuppakao Poonpat from the Junior Sailing Squadron of Thailand kept up her top performances to triumph in front of 125 mixed competitors. The National Championships trophy stands almost as big as her and judging by the applause she received at the prize presentation, young Nuppakao has become the pride of the nation. Winning sailing championships must run in the family as her older sister Benjamas (nicknamed Nhueng) won consecutive titles before she got to old for the class.

Summary
Being a combined event with anything from Optimists to ocean going yachts makes the TOTGR very unique amongst Asian regattas and certainly one of the biggest in the region. It also gives the young kids a chance to mix with adults and an excellent opportunity to see the bigger picture of what the sport has to offer. An interesting story was relayed to me from the protest room, about two Optimist sailors putting forward their side of the incident and honestly answering questions plus how the International jury avoided intimidating them while conducting the hearing. It's a pity it could not be videoed and posted on U-Tube as it could serve as a good reminder to seasoned sailors on how to behave politely and not let egos get in the way of the facts. A bit like the reverse psychology used by the John Gleese management videos to solve simple every day situations.

Although Ocean Marina maybe off the beaten path for International yachts and the TOTGR considered difficult to fit into an already full racing time table, any sailors looking for top class racing with excellent Thai hospitality and social life thrown in, should mark early May in the diary and make every effort to attend this annual yachting bonanza that caters for all comers.

More detailed info and results will be posted at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com

Goto 2008 Photo Gallery Here...


4th Top of the Gulf Regatta 2008
AY Race Report 3

Saving the best till the end...
Things have settled down some what after yesterdays agonizing long evening in the protest room. The international jury led by ISAF rules expert and last years America's Cup Jury Chairman Brian Willis (Remember Him?) ruled that the race committee where not at fault and boats that went to the wrong mark in the Platu and Cruising Classes must either retire or be disqualified if they have not done so already. This puts a different spin on the overall results and as promised today's report takes into account the race four and five results and how they have affected the overall standings.

IRC Racing
Leray Pascal did finally find top gear on Breakaway to score two first and fastest's in a row and narrow the points difference to one point with one race day remaining. A lengthy wrap with the spinnaker in race four and dropping down to fourth place in race five sees David Bell's Magic Roundabout suddenly take a turn for the worse after establishing a commanding lead. With a 3, 2 score line Singapore's Wildon Goh and the SMU Team have probably cemented third spot but will have to keep an eye over their shoulder on Pote Suyasinto's Le Vent that managed to score third place today and expects to do better again tomorrow.

Platu One Design
Despite yesterdays retirements and disqualifications the top racers always seem to rise to the occasion and be amongst the leaders on the overall pointscore. As five races have now been completed the drop race is introduced. Everyone has had a bad result somewhere along the way and after discarding there worst result the cream always seems to rise to the top. Defending champion Wiwat Poonpat on Naiad has rebounded after their first race disqualification with two first places in a row to put them in second overall. Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Lofts" helmed by Scott Duncanson scored second today and after discarding yesterdays disqualification makes them the overall points leader by two points with one day left to go. An incident occurred involving two boats when the granny rail broke while the crew were hiking hard and left several crew members in the water, one of which was recovered by another boat and is asking for redress from the jury which may have an affect on the race five results and overall points. Marco Belonje on Lee Marine Express provisionally took third spot in race five but will have to do a lot better if they expect to better Andy Whitbolirne's Gulf Charters for the third podium spot.

Multihulls
Since recovering from the broken halyard during race two Mark Pescott skippering Sea Property has scored three wins in a row to take a commanding lead in the multihull class. Krirati Assakul's catamaran Sonic has finished on the podium in every race and second place today has them pushing for a top three finish in the overall stakes. Bob Garner's third place for Blade Runner is the best of the trimarans and as Henry Kaye's Zenith is presently holding second overall has fallen of the pace they are seriously looking at replacing them on the podium after tomorrows final races.

Cruising
As all yachts are either carrying a Did Not Finish or have Retired from an individual race the present results are based on their on the water performance which is a fair and equitable way to determine the points before the drop race is introduced. The Gulf Charters Team on Contenza had a good day making up for yesterdays retirement to score first place and put themselves back into overall contention. Weera Leksomboon's Fun Wes is one of the smallest boats in the fleet but managed to take second place in front of the bigger opposition. Third place for Alvin Ong's SMU Team from Singapore on Amanda added to their first place for sailing the correct course yesterday sees them hold a slim one point lead at the top of the podium. They have a job on their hands if they are to retain the lead and will have to call on all their new found management skills to hold onto this one.

Sportsboat
First place for Kipsan Beck's Pornstar makes it three on the trot since the disastrous first day when the mainsail came tumbling down. Ian Day's Team Simpson Marine has had to play second fiddle since Pornstar's return but despite all that has gone on share equal points to be tied at the top of the two boat class. Tomorrows final races will be the decider on who takes home the silverware.

The final day of racing continues on Monday which is a public holiday in Thailand to celebrate the King's Coronation Day. The keelboats and multihull's have two windward / leeward races scheduled which will decide the winners in most classes. The Off the Beach Classes finish up with an extensive program of races and as fronting up in an 80ft motor vessel on the dinghy courses is considered a bit of an overkill the assembled media team have found it difficult to cover these classes. Final results can be found on the TOTGR 08 web site and a summary will be included in tomorrows final Race Report.

More detailed info and results are posted at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com

Goto 2008 Photo Gallery Here...


4th Top of the Gulf Regatta 2008
AY Race Report 2

Drama on the high seas...
Persistent 15 to 20 knots of wind has caused havoc amongst some of the yacht crews not used to racing in these conditions. Wild broaches, wrapped spinnakers, Man Over Board, shredded sails were only some of the more noticeable items seen from the press boat. To cap it all off, most of the Platu fleet did not take full notice of the course change for race four and headed out to where the previous windward mark was laid and rounded what became the wing mark for the multihull class. Only five yachts rounded the correct mark on the first beat to sail the correct course and where recorded as finishers. Despite rounding the correct windward mark on the next two beats most skippers did not realize the error of there ways and eventually forced to either retire or be disqualified. The one meter chop whipped up by the wind is a bit bumpy going upwind but provides for some exhilarating rides downwind. As the Race Four results are subject to protest and lengthy deliberations are taking place at the time of going to press this Race Report only contains race three results.

IRC Racing
David Bell's Magic Roundabout continued on their winning ways and added a further win to there tally, making it three wins out of three races. Leray Pascal's bigger Breakaway still managed to take line honours but misses out by only a couple of minutes on handicap and will have to find an extra knot of boatspeed if they are to make in roads on Magic Roundabout's lead. Singapore's Wildon Goh and the SMU Team claimed third spot on the chartered Hi Jinks.

Platu One Design
Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Lofts" helmed by Scott Duncanson have been at the top of their game around Ocean Marina for some years now and showed their pedigree by winning Race Three but may have come unstuck in Race Four despite leading the fleet across the finish line. After being disqualified from first place in Race One, Wiwat Poonpat's defending champion crew on Naiad rebounded with second place and as they are one of the five boats that rounded the designated windward mark may have put themselves back into overall contention. Andy Whitbolirne's Gulf Charters scored third place in Race Three and may carry forward a slight edge in the overall pointscore but was one of the boats that rounded the wrong windward mark in Race Four. As the series continues it may come down to the drop race to determine the overall winner.

Multihulls
Mark Pescott skippering Sea Property had the Firefly 28 back on the pace and despite misinterpreting the course had enough time up his sleeve to rejoin the race to take first and fastest by a country mile. Henry Kaye this time skippering the Cosair 28 Zenith stayed in the running with second place and showed some remarkable bursts of speed despite the aging dacron sails. Krirati Assakul's heavier displacement catamaran Sonic fully powered up is a sight to behold and third place keeps them on the podium but completely destroying two spinnakers during Race Four may see their chances fall by the wayside.

Cruising
Only one race, a simple 8nm beat out to sea and run back via a few islands was scheduled for the cruisers. Even then some made a hash of it by mistakenly rounding the wrong windward mark, then proceeding onto the islands and returning to the finish. As no race official witnessed this incident it was left up to the individual boats to either withdraw or be protested by the competitors that completed the correct course. The busy protest committee have decided to open the hearing tomorrow morning before the boats head out for Race Four.

Sportsboat
After repairing the main halyard Kipsan Beck was back out on Pornstar to secure first place and finished way in front of some of the much bigger racing class yachts that they started with. The only other competitor in the class is Ian Day's Team Simpson Marine who found the going difficult in the heavy conditions and will have to fight hard to keep their overall lead if Pornstar manages to hold everything together.

 

Off The Beach Classes
Over 170 boats in four classes hit the water in Optimists, Beach Catamarans, Super Mott and 420 Dinghies. Malaysian sailors Nik Ashrhf Qhedi on a catamaran, Ku Anas and G. Kuzamil on a 420 did the best of the International teams represented here to finish on the podium. A young Thai girl Nuppakao Poonpat is a rising star to take the lead in the National Optimist Championship in front of 126 other competitors.

Racing continues on Sunday with one long passage race for the keelboats and multihulls. The Off the Beach Classes continue on with an extensive program of races and as the courses are laid in front of the marina breakwater anyone visiting Pattaya over the long weekend are welcome to come down and watch the young sailors in action.

More detailed info and results are posted at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com

Goto 2008 Photo Gallery Here...


4th Top of the Gulf Regatta 2008
AY Race Report 1

And they are off, faster than a Thai girls nightie...
Ten knots of wind increasing to fifteen during the afternoon saw race one completed very quickly, so PRO Gerry Rollin's opted for the 17nm point to point course for race two. A couple of Platu 25's were judged prematurely over the start line and despite several yachts suffering main halyard breakages and sail damage forcing them to retire, the rest of the fleet experienced hair raising downwind rides and fantastic tropical sailing conditions.

IRC Racing
After a few handicap tweaks during the off season David Bell's Magic Roundabout scored two bullets out of two races and here on in will be a force to be reckoned with. Despite taking two line honours Leray Pascal's bigger Breakaway had to settle on two second places after handicaps were applied. Third places were shared between Dick Sanders Thai Raver in Race One and Singapore's Wildon Goh skippering the chartered Hi Jinks on this occasion.

Platu one design
The hotly contested Coronation Cup saw the provisional race one winner disqualified over a port/starboard incident, which opened up a flood of different place getters to fill the podium places. Nick Henley's The Weasel came out on top for race one and popular Thai skipper Jaray Tipsuk on Pine-Pacific scored second place but did not finish race two. Andy Whitbolirne's Gulf Charters third place plus a resounding first place in race two has them posted as overnight class leaders going into the second day of racing. Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Loft" named after the regattas main sponsor, Raimon Land climbed back into contention with second place in race two as did the co-owned Jakobsen/Semple Emma Mathilde XX with third place to keep them in the early running.

Multihulls
A big influx of 28', 31' and 37ft Corsair trimarans being built in Vietnam, added together with several Farrier tri's, Firefly and Crowther catamarans has bolstered the multihull class to eleven entrants. Designer Mark Pescott skippering Sea Property saw the Firefly 28 show the fleet a clean pair of hulls to convincingly take race one but retired in race two with a broken main halyard. Henry Kaye's crew drew on there extensive experience to place Zenith in second place, then dig even deeper to score first in race two to take the overall lead. Krirati Assakul's heavier displacement catamaran Sonic reveled in the strong breeze to score third and second places in front of the light weight flyers. Richard Simpson lifted the Dingo crews spirits with third place in race two and expects them return the favour over the coming races.

Cruising
The six yachts experienced a very up and down day in the results department. Testsuo Ogino's Japanese crew on Missy started of the day winning race one but were forced to retire from race two after rounding the island mark the wrong way. The Gulf Charters Team on Contenza had a good day with second and third places to make them joint overnight class leaders with Paul Reeves Sweline One, also from the Gulf Charters stable who posted the same result but in the reverse order. After scoring a Did Not Finish in Race One, Alvin Ong's SMU Team from Singapore rebounded by putting Amanda on the top of the race two score sheet.

Sportsboat
With the Platu's sailing One Design for the Coronation Cup the Sportsboat Class is down to two entrants. Kipsan Beck's hot favourite Pornstar suffered a broken halyard which left the way open for Ian Day's Team Simpson Marine to complete the course alone. Overnight repairs have been completed on Pornstar and they live to fight another day

Racing continues on Day Two with two windward/leeward races scheduled. If the breeze stays in, which is apparently from the tail end of Cyclone Nargis we can expect some more fast and furious action in front of Ocean Marina. This could prove interesting as the Optimists, off the beach cats and windsurfers begin there assault on the respective National Championships and TOTGR trophies.

More detailed info and results are posted at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com


4th
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2008
AY Pre - Regatta Report

TOTGR Welcomes all sailors...
A busy day was in store for the organisers and sailors at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya. While Skippers and crew registered on, the backyard boys launched the fifteen strong Platu 25 fleet in readiness for tomorrows Day One clash for the prestigious Coronation Cup. Neil Maniquiz from the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital also have some pretty nurses on hand ready to take blood pressure and perform other medical checks before the sailors get amongst the action. The marina is a hive of activity with last minute preparations on the berthed boats and the youngsters rigging up the dinghy classes looking like a swarm of ants at work. The wind is up and several yachts are out having trial runs. The highlight of the day was being greeted at breakfast with champagne and orange juice. If that's the standard being set off the water then we can look forward to some further surprises on the water.

The annual Top of the Gulf Regatta is Ocean Marina Yacht Club's signature event. Over 400 competitors on 200 boats ranging from optimists, off the beach cats, windsurfers, sportsboats to ocean going multihulls and keelboats come together to make Ocean Marina the center of yachting activities in the Gulf of Thailand. The National Optimist Championships and the long standing Coronation Cup for Platu 25 keelboats, is also the second event of the 2008 One-Design Platu Championship Series are being contested within the nine classes along with the TOTG trophies. Organisers expect the action to be fast and furious between the International teams that have come from Singapore, Japan and Malaysia and the local suspects who wont give an inch away on there home waters. Cyclone Nargis which has developed in the neighboring Bay of Bengal is expected to cross the coast of Burma tonight and organisers are expecting some effects from the tail end of this low pressure system over the next few days.

More detailed info and results are posted at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com

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