places decided in the protest room...
Hannes Waimer's TP52 Team Premier has been firing on all cylinders and set the pace throughout the event, to sail away with the Racing Class title on their first attempt. Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi had to settle on second overall after winning three races and carrying the disqualification. Some new modifications on Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing have not been successful, especially in light winds and third place means its back to the drawing board before Koh Samui. Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 Won Ma Rang notched up fourth place and Johnathan Mahoney's newly acquired Humphrey's 42 Zanzibar in fifth place. In the 2010/11 AY Grand Prix Championship Ray Roberts lead has been whittled down to 2 points in front of Neil Pryde with one regatta remaining. Some new ideas are likely to be thrashed out tomorrow at the Regatta Forum organised by Bill Gasson and a full run down will be coming out latter in the week.
After being reinstated into first place for Race 5, Matt Allen's Beneteau First 44.7 Zhik Ichi Ban makes it five wins in a row to roar away with the IRC 2 trophy. It did not matter that Rick Poulson's J130 Jingjing won Race 6 & 7 as Ichi Ban had already won the title and did not have to race the last race. The results belie the on the water performance as only seconds often separated them after handicap calculations were applied. Ben Copley's Swan 42 Katsu has pushed the envelope on occasions but dropped off towards the end to finish with third overall.
The two boat Sportsboat Class raced in conjunction with the IRC 2 class. Some impressive sailing from the crew on Kipsan Beck's Shaw 650 Pornstar saw them take out the title from Mikael Pophillat's C U Later in second.
Damrong Sirisakorn's Farr MRX 36 Navy I, has scored six wins out of seven races to convincingly win the IRC 3 class. Shoun Toh's X99 Hi Jinks crewed by Team SMU put in a formidable performance and a sting of second places to secure second overall. David Bell's Jenneau 35 Magic scored third and fourth places throughout the regatta to eventually end up in third overall.
First and second places today for Lennart Fahlgren's Tasker 32 Amanda sealed the IRC Cruising Division in fine style. Andrew Watt's Jeanneau 36i San Sanook has scored first and second places but the fourth place in Race 1 has held them back from winning the title and settled on second overall. Simon Denny's Bavaria 39 Reef Knot+ started with a flurry, then dipped in performance and returned to form with second and third today to consequently end up in third overall.
The hotly contested Platu one-design class lived up to its reputation with drama on the high seas in the final three races. Four teams were vying for the top spots at the beginning of the day. The first race saw Rolf Heemskerk's The Fox take first, ahead of Singapore's Maximillian Soh's Magic Dragon and another SMU crew in Wikki. Scott Duncanson's The Ferret was 4th and Japan's Kenta Inaba's Lucky Lady 5th. Lucky Lady continued to improve as the day wore on, recording a third and a win to be provisional winner of the Coronation Cup. However they were subject to a protest for a start line incident and performed a 360 penalty turn instead of the required 720. The successful protest meant that Lucky Lady dropped to second overall, leaving Maximillian Soh's Magic Dragon with the Cup by a single point. Magic Dragon finished the day with a first and fifth to be on 20 points, five ahead of The Ferret (2,4 in the last races) and Wiwat Poontat's Naiad (5,2). Both have a win, but The Ferret has more second placing's and therefore finished with the bronze medal.
The smallest boat in the fleet, James Haste's Corsair 24 The Sting has slayed his bigger counterparts to convincingly win the Ocean Multihull Class. Alan Carwadine's Corsair C28R Bladerunner has led the class but could not convert the handicap results and slipped back to second overall. Radab Kanjanavanit's F9A Cedar Swan dipped in form midway through the regatta but recovered today to ease into third overall.
All the results can be accessed from: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com/results.shtml
2011 news can be found at: http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com
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