6th Top of The Gulf Regatta 2009 & Coronation Cup
6th Top of The Gulf Regatta & 2010 Coronation Cup

“Another AY Grand Prix Championship Event

Another AYGP Event

6th Top of The Gulf Regatta 2010
AY Race Report 4 & Summary

Ray Roberts and Evolution Racing by a whisker...
Another picture perfect day greeted the sailors on the final day of racing. The South Easterly tradewind seems to have reestablished itself and 10 to 15 knots was enough to complete the schedule of races plus the Race 2 resail for the IRC 1 Class. Several classes relied on these final races to determine the podium places as the racing has been that close. In some classes the overnight leaders fell from grace as the favourite's pushed through and reasserted their rightful standings on the podium.

In a surprise turn around in events Matt Allen's Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban won IRC 1, Races 6 and 7 to force the race committee to hold the Race 2 resail. In fairness to the IRC handicap system that is supposed to take into account the different yacht designs and come up with a calculation that fairly works out the speed difference between two vastly different boats. Thus a well sailed Beneteau 44.7 can compete on a equal footing with a professionally sailed fully optimizedTP52 racing yacht. So what seemed to be turning into a walk over came down to a final race showdown. As Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing likes the longer passage race legs they put the pedal to the metal and crossed the finish line 17 minutes in front of Ichi Ban. Immediately the radios came alive requesting finish times and the sound of crunching calculators could be heard above the wind. Eventually a little under two minutes separated the two boats on corrected time, in Ray Roberts and Evolution Racing favour. This close encounter hands the title over to Ray Roberts on their first attempt in the racing class. Robert van Paridon's Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum (Sistership to Ichi Ban) did the best of the rest to hold onto third overall. In the 2009-10 AYGP Championship Ray Roberts becomes the Skipper of the Year and the results of the season ending Sawadee.com Samui Regatta will determine the Yacht of the Year.

With seven wins in a row the Royal Thai Navy 1 skippered by Damrong Sirisakorn made a complete rout of the IRC 2 class. After a slow start to the regatta Gary Baguley's Holman & Pye Coyote has scored four second places to take over second place on the podium. The last few races have not been good for Brad Kirk's Farr 43 Dynamite which has fallen from second to be tied for third with David Bell's Jeanneau 35 Magic Roundabout in the overall stakes.

Seven wins in a row for Kipsan Beck's Shaw 6.5 Porn Star gives them the Sportsboat title by a country mile from Ray Waldron's Phuket 8 Vino.

In the Cruising Division it seems to be a case of the early winners turning into late disappointments. After a slow start to the regatta Tetsuo Ongino's Jenneau 36i Melissa came good with a one, two finish that secures them the title in front of a hungry chasing pack. After winning the final race Tim McMahon's Reef Knot ended up tied on 13 points with Peter Herning's Bavaria 43 Kirafiki and Jean Rheault's Souay 1. On count back through the mixed results Tim McMahon's Reef Knot takes second overall and Peter Herning's Bavaria 43 Kirafiki squeezes into third overall.

A battle royal in the Platu One Design class developed between Rolf Heemskerk's The Fox and Scott Duncanson The Ferret. Heemskerk's crew got off to a wonderful start and held a healthy overall lead after four races. Then the wheels started to fall off. Two fifth places and a disqualification saw them take a dramatic fall as Scott Duncanson and The Ferret scored three wins and secure the overall lead by one point. This left the final two races to determine the title. When PRO Jerry Rollin called The Ferret over the startline everyone thought they were dead and buried but when they came around for the first lap, The Fox led the fleet and The Ferret had managed to clamber back into third place. The positions remained the same as they approached the finish and just after The Fox crossed the line The Ferret got a gust of wind that surfed them past SMU 1 Team Nataya and secured second place in a nick of time. This result tied The Fox and The Ferret on points and a last race showdown was eagerly awaited. The Ferret shot away clearly from the pin end as The Fox was boxed in at the start boat end. As they circulated The Ferret seemed to have the upper hand and crossed the finish line clearly in front of The Fox and to the local fans delight win the title again. Wiwat's Naiad put up a good showing to consistently be niggling the leaders to end up with third place on the podium.

The early Multihull races saw Henry Kaye's Seacart 30 Thor, score a mixed bag of results but they made up for it by posting four wins in a row and run away with the title. Bob Garner's C28R Blade Runner V held on valiantly to an early points advantage and take out second overall. Steadily improving with each race Kirati Assakul's Crowther 42 Sonic steamed home with two second places and lifted themselves to third overall.

Thailand Optimist Nationals
A record line-up of 129 junior sailors with ages ranging from a little over six years up to 16 and national and world champions taking part produced competition of the highest calibre. Now in it's 34th year, the Thailand Optimist Nationals is as competitive as ever with participants from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Belgium. As well as Thai teams from Samui, Phuket (Phuket Yacht Club), the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Junior Sailing Squadron of Thailand (Sattahip Naval Base), Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Ocean Marina Yacht Club. As the eight-race series progressed it became clear the competition for the top places had become a battle of the nations, pitching Thailand against Malaysia.

After a hard fought series the winner, for the third time, was Noppakao Poonpat (THA). Second place went to Tacharin Narbonne (THA) with Malaysian National Team sailor Ahmad Syukri Abduazizl (MAS). The top ten places were filled by six Thai sailors and four Malaysians. Top Thai junior Optimist sailor is Noppakao Poonpat also won the female division from Chaninat Poolsirikot (THA) in second and Kanapan Pachatikapanya (THA) third. In the Under 12 division, Pongsapat Poomyam (THA) took the honours from Jim Vincent (HKG) and Apiwat Sringan (THA) in second and third respectively. Having won the Thailand Optimist Nationals three times, including in 2009, Noppakao Poonpat has gone on to compete in a number of international Optimist events. Her biggest win to date was Gold Medal in the girls division at the 2010 International Optimist World Championship in Brazil. “I'm happy to win the Thailand Optimist Nationals again his year. It is the third time I have won and is my last year as an Optimist sailor,” commented Noppakao. “I will race in two more championships this year – Asian Games and then the Worlds in Malaysia in December. After that I will move on to a bigger boat.”

More TOTGR 2010 news & results can be found at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com
TOTGR Facebook Group at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/TOG-Regatta/179908192379

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