Monday, May 7, 2012

Shakeup To Leaders On Day Three at Top Of The Gulf Regatta - Thailand

The penultimate day saw some changes to the leader board and the conclusion of the dinghy classes. The drop race will come into play tomorrow adding spice to the proceedings as a number of classes are set to go right down to the wire.
Photo: Guy Dowell
The top fleet in IRC 1 Class were sent on a single, long coastal course today. After more than four hours on the water for some, less than 15 minutes separated the top five on corrected time, with HiFi taking both Line Honours and the handicap win. Wan Marang, skippered by Kevin Whitcraft, performed well over distance and scored a second place ahead of Jing Jing, skippered by Rick Pointon, in third.

The Japanese crew on Karasu lead the standings going into the last day with still lots to play for as the final day's performance, together with the introduction of the drop race, will determine the class winner.

The longer distance coursed favoured El Coyote, skippered by Gary Baguley in IRC 2 Class as they overhauled David Bell's Magic by a little over one minute on corrected time to take the sole win today. Magic took second and remains top of the series, with Le Vent, skippered by Pote Suyasinto securing third today.

Gregory Ho Thian Yew and crew on Hi Jinks put in a fantastic performance in the IRC 3 race today. After being called over the line at the start, they returned, re-crossed and headed off trailing the fleet. Good team work and smart tactics saw Hi Jinks pull themselves up the fleet to take Line Honours and the handicap win from Royal Thai Navy 1, skippered by Wiwat Poonpat and Royal Thai Navy 2, skippered by Nattapol Srihirun in second and third respectively.

Peter Herning and his crew on Kirifiki continued their winning ways with another win today, making it four from four in the series so far and what appears to be an unassailable lead. Andrew Watt on San Sanook scored another second place ahead of Reef Knot, skippered by Eric Habers.

Principal Race Officer Jerry Rollin, gave the Sports Boat Class two races today and Crime Scene, skippered by Noel Leigh-Smith showed the six-strong class a clean pair of heels with two bullets. Brace Brace Brace, skippered by Paul Murphy, however, scored Line Honours in both races and a second on corrected time in Race Two. Hello Kitty, skippered by Miki Munchasa, scored a second in Race One and a third in Race Two to leave them fourth in the series, while Porn Star, skippered by Kipsan Beck scored a 3 and 4 to hold onto second place going into the last day with the drop race yet to be applied.

The Platus completed three races today and the top two, The Ferret, skippered by Chris Way and crewed by the Easy Tiger Racing team, and Nataya, skippered by Rolf Heemskerk, have started to break away from the rest of the one-design fleet.

The Ferret and Nataya traded places in the first two races with a 2,1 and 1,2 respectively, with Short Time, skippered by sail maker Ian Short scoring two third places.

Naiad, skippered by Russel Ken took the win in the final Platu Class race today, with The Ferret in second and Nataya in third. However, The Ferret was called OCS and due to some confusion with the radio call, boat identification and flag movement on the race committee boat, were allowed redress by the Jury and awarded a four-point penalty meaning a sixth place in the final race. As a result, Nataya moved up to second in the last race and Magic Dragon, skippered by Shaun Toh and his SMU crew into third. Taking into account the drop race, The Ferret slips down into second in the Series behind Nataya, going into the final day tomorrow.

In the Ocean Multihull class, the smallest boat in the fleet, the pocket-rocket SeaCart 26 Sweet Chariot, skippered by John Higham, stretched her legs to take Line Honours by over 50 minutes and the handicap win from Andrew Stansky's Fantasia in second and David Race's Free Wheeler in third. There is still all to play for with Sweet Chariot taking a two point lead into the final day after the drop race has been accounted for.

The Open Multihull, Single-handed monohull dinghy, and Double-handed monohull dinghy classes completed their three-day series today and were awarded prizes at Ocean Marina Yacht Club.

Team Damrongsak Vongtim and Michapa Weiwai scored six wins out of nine in the Open Multihull series to take an easy victory over Teerapong Watibunrueng and Narissara Usawat in second, who beat Gareth Owen and Bobby Freifel by one point into third place overall. Hot on the heels of his TOG Regatta win, and following the selection of the Nacra17 as the Mixed Multihull class for the 2016 Olympics, Damrongsak announced his intention to compete in the Rio Olympics.

Twenty-nine sailors took part in the the Single-handed monohull dinghy class, a combination of Laser Radial, Laser Standard and Laser 4.7. After nine races, Supakorn Pongvichien proved true good for the international fleet finishing six points ahead of Nut Butmarasri in second and Azri Bin Suhaimi in third.

The team of Navee Thumsontorn\ Tanapong Kamolwat reigned supreme in the Double-handed monohull dinghy class, scoring 1,2,2 today. Second place overall was won on count back by Tenku Muhammad Othman\ Mohd Sollehuddin Bin Ismail, beating Tatsapon Mahawichean\ Chaichanawut Deenak into third.

Navee Thumsontorn, after winning the Top of the Gulf Regatta for the fourth time, said “I have gained extensive experience and developed my sailing skills competing in the Top of the Gulf Regatta, and I am planning to train in 470 to compete in the upcoming SEA Games.”

The 2012 Thailand Optimist Championship also concluded today after three days of tough racing and mixed conditions. Going into the final day, 2011 national champion, Chaninat Poolsirikot had a one point lead over Sarawut Phetsiri, with Pongsapat Pumyam a further two points back in third. All was to play for and Sarawut got off to a good start with a win in the first race from Malaysian entry Connie Riverra Tsen in second and Suthon Yampinit in third. In the second race, the top three tracked each other around the course and Chaninat fought back with a second place finish, behind Sarawut in first and Pongsapat in third.

The title went down to the wire and was decided in the final race of the series.

Markey Lilienthal saved his best for last securing a win in the final race ahead of Sarawut in second and Nopporn Boonchard in twelfth. Sarawut's second was enough to take the overall title with Pongsapat in second and Chaninat third.

The 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta continues tomorrow for the keelboat and multihull classes at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand.

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