Challenging conditions flavour of Day Two at Top of the Gulf Regatta 2011


Shifty and light winds were the order of the day on Day Two of the 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta, held at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand. The conditions proved a test of tactics and team work (and patience) as all classes got away after a delay on windward-leewards. Race 1 for Ocean Multihulls and IRC Racing 2 saw the course shortened, while all other classes finished.

The wind Gods didn’t return to the party and after a wait for the offshore winds to fill-in, PRO Simon James called it a day and cancelled the rest of the day’s racing programme.

Team Premier, from the UAE, leads the IRC Racing 1 class after Day Two.

In IRC Racing 1, the tussle of the top three – Evolution Racing, Hi Fi and Team Premier – continued and ended in the protest room, with the protest subsequently being dismissed. Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi crossed the line first and took the handicap honors from Ray Roberts on Evolution Racing and Johannes Waimer on Team Premier.

The IRC Racing 2 boats saw their planned three laps reduced to two as the wind died out towards the end of Race 1. While Katsu (Ben Copley) took line honors he was relegated to third on corrected time behind Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) and Jing Jing (Rick Pointon), first and second respectively.

In IRC Racing 3 Royal Thai Navy 1 (Damrong Sirisakorn) continued their winning ways with another first keeping a clean sheet of three-out-of-three so far in the series. Hi Jinks (Surapol Tippawongse) took second from Magic (David Bell) in third.

San Sanook  (Andrew Watt) jumped up from a fourth yesterday to take first place on corrected time today in the Cruising class, from Amanda (Lennart Fahlgren) and Japanese entry Tai Two (Sadunori Osada) in third.

The Platus were looking forward to getting in two or three races today, but conditions only allowed for one and with some poor spinnaker work, a number of boats slipped down the placings. Magic Dragon (Maximillian Soh) and their SMU crew took their second first place with The Ferret (Scott Duncanson) in second and Luck Lady (Kenta Inaba) in third. After a fifth place in the first race of the series yesterday, last year’s Coronation Cup winner The Ferret, is getting her challenge back on track with two subsequent second place finishes.

The shortened course for the Ocean Multihulls didn’t dampen the competitive enthusiasm with The Sting (James Haste) coming to the fore taking her first win of the series from Bladerunner (Alan Carwadine) in second and Cedar Swan (Radab Kanjanavanit) third.

The international fleet of 130 battling for the Thailand Optimist National championship title are giving no quarter. Due to the light winds today, only two out of three planned races were completed. Coming into the day leading the series standings, 12-year-old Pongsapat Pumyam could only manage a fifth and seventh in the tricky weather conditions today, but managed to hold on to his series lead by a single point. Sarawut Phetsiri kept the pressure on with a second and first today, tied in second with Chaninat Poolsirikot who scored a ninth and second place.

Provisional series results after Day Two: in IRC Racing 1 Team Premier (1), Evolution Racing (2), Hi Fi (3); in IRC Racing 2 Ichi Ban (1), Jing Jing (2), Katsu (3); in IRC Racing 3 Royal Thai Navy 1 (1), Hi Jinks (2), Magic (3); in Cruising Amanda (1), San Sanook (2), Free Wind (3); in the Platu class Magic Dragon (1), Naiad (2), The Ferret (3); in Ocean Multihulls Bladerunner (1), The Sting (2), Cedar Swan (3); in the Thailand Optimist Nationals Pongsapat Pumyam (1), Chaninat Poolsirikot (2), Sarawut Phetsiri (3).

Races continue today, May 2nd, off Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand.