Cup Regatta 2000
The Regatta in its new time slot of early March attracted a smaller fleet than usual, but maintained its competitive edge and international competitiveness at the top end of the IRC Racing Fleet. The Keelboat Racing started on Tuesday 7 March, which allowed a number of crew to compete in the first race having flown in from the SORC Regatta in Florida.
The Regatta had started on Saturday 4 March with 3 days of 420 competition. The Philippine Sailing Association and the Subic Bay Yacht Club provided the boats. In winds from 5 to 12 knots there was some exiting racing, with the fleet being dominated by the Wilmott brothers from Australia. Having recently competed in and won the trials for the Australian 420 team for the Olympics it was no surprise when the Wilmotts won all of their races.
The main Regatta consisted of 3 classes. Open Racing Class, Ocean Cruising Class and Platu 25 Class.
Open Racing Class
The Open Racing Class had no restrictions on professional crew and attracted many of the previous winners to return including Subic Centennial the 1999 winner, Karakoa- Clariden the 1998 winner and Hi-fidelity the Lipton Cup winner and Kings Cup Champion from 1999
Racing consisted of 3 days with 2 windward leeward each day and 2 days with longer round the islands and bay races. The lighter Sydney 46s reveled in the 10 to 15 knot winds, but David Kongs new Hocus Pocus 2 an X612 was never able to show her true potential in the comparatively light conditions.
A very close battle ensued between the 2 Sydney 46s helmed by Neil Pryde and Jamie Wilmott with an Americas Cup stile dial up start at the beginning of the last race, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the other competitors, some of whom were so distracted they themselves were late at the start.
In the end Neil Pryde, who has now won every Regatta in Asia except the Presidents Cup was just beaten by the Philippine based Subic Centenial Team.
On the Water Race Management
The well practiced Manila Yacht Club Race Team headed by Lionie Francisco came under the direction of Principle Race Officer John McLellan from New Zealand for the 4th year and his assistant for the last 4 years and Regatta Race Officer for the last 7 years, Allan Lundy from Manila. John managed to contain his exuberance following the Kiwis Americas Cup victor very well and only on one occasion was seen to appear in a black t shirt carrying typically kiwi sporting comments regarding their new name for the trophy.
In addition to the Race Committee Boat from Manila Yacht Club the Committee had the use of a fleet of boats from SBYC organised by Danny Calapatia, the Marina Manager and kept supplied by Zeni Krug.
Shore Based Race Management
As usual Peter Capotosto took over the responsibility of Race Committee Chairman for the keelboat section of the Regatta to allow organizing Chairman Jerry Rollin to go racing on Irvmiren. Peter was ably supported by Shelley Deakin (with baby Alex in constant attendance) and by Connie Magtibas of the Manila Yacht Club Race Office. Connie was this year assisted by Russel Saustino and Guen Cerillo.
Ocean Racing Class
Ocean Cruising Class raced the same courses as the Open Racing Class and overall results were computed for the interest of the competitors. The competitive Swan 68 of Andy Soriano Irvmiren dropped out of contention for honours when during the first race on the last day a $5 O ring gave way releasing all the backstay hydraulic fluid. The class became a battle between Vixen, Vivaldi and Stripped.
Platu 25 Class
The Platu fleet was provided for the competition by Subic Bay yacht Club, the Philippine Sailing Association and the Manila Yacht Club. The fleet competed in a total of 9 races of which all results counted. The biggest upset was seen with the poor showing of Mark Haswell, winner of the last 2 Kings Cup Platu Regattas. This however did allowed the visiting teams from Singapore and Australia and the local teams to fight it out for the winning slots.
Centennial Nathan Wilmot 6.75 pts 1st
PYS Cruising Class
The local Cruising fleet joined the Regatta for the last 2 days and produced some exiting races in 2 long courses around Subic Bay. They raced under the Portsmouth Yardstick System as defined by the Regatta Rating Committee.
As is now expected the social scene was active and exiting. As the Regatta has moved away from Easter, which is the busiest time of year, competitors were give the free run of the first class facilities of the Subic Bay Yacht Club. The central gathering point was the Boathouse, organised under the watchful eye of Ed Matias (Food and Beverage Manager) and Lot de Leon of SBYC. Here a heavily subsidised bar and snack service was available all day. Daily awards were presented to the winners, by the Sponsors, with the Organising Committee Chairman Jerry Rollin in his familiar role as MC.
It has now become a tradition of the Regatta that many crews meet for breakfast at the Subic Bay Yacht Club to enjoy the enormous buffet spread before going out to race. Once again Mari Vargas the Club Manager and Cynthia Rondel in charge of administration ensured that everything was up to the usual high standard.
The Welcome Cocktail Party was held in the SBYC Piano Lounge and featured a presentation of Philippine Cultural Dancing provided by the Department of Tourism. Andy Soriano and Vic Vic Villavicencio presented all participating yacht owners with a bottle of Champagne engraved with the Regatta Logo and dates. Andy then presented Vic Vic with his own bottle of Champagne to show the gratitude of the Organising Committee to him and the Subic Bay Yacht Club for their support of the event.
The Presidential Awards Dinner was once again held beside the pool with President Estrada being represented by Secretary Vicente Rivera of the Department of Transport and Communications. The Secretary was assisted in the presentations by the hosting Clubs Commodores Vic Vic Villevecenco and Mike Zosa and by Manila Yacht Club Sailing Director Andes Soriano.
Once again Cynthia Norton assisted by Michael Deakin, the new Manila Yacht Club Manager, the Socials Committee, Subic Bay Yacht Club and the Sponsors excelled themselves provided a sumptuous buffet, all the drink you could consume and 2 great bands (Sabor Latino and K O Jones) all for $25. Partying went on well into the night.
The Organising Committee had worked very hard to attract sponsors to the event and were very successful. The Major Event Sponsor was International Container Terminal Services International (ICTSI), whose sponsorship included providing the new Presidents Cup replicas that where presented to the top three yachts in each class.
Additional sponsorships came from: Nestle Philippines, Coca Cola, Tanduay Rhum, Philippine Sports Commission, Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises, San Miguel Corporation, Qantas Airways, British Airways, The Hive 100.3, Anthonys Wines and Spirits, Compaq Computers, Tabaqueria de Filipinas inc, Neil Pryde, Subic International Hotel, Sperry Top-sider.
Under the direction of Terri Razon, part of the sponsors contributions were channeled into the supply of trophies for each class and for each race. We saw imaginative engraved trophies of cut glass, pewter mugs, silver bowls, ships bells and champagne bottles.
Summary of Regatta 2000
Although the 15 to 20 knot winds that were expected did not appear during the event they did appear the week before and soon after the event. The conditions during the event with winds between 7 and 12 knots did provide exiting conditions for racing. Some races were delayed to allow the wind direction to settle and the very last race of the regatta was cancelled when the NE winds were not able to overcome the sea breeze and the wind direction and velocity refused to settle.
The move away from Easter did mean that the fleet was smaller than in previous years as some of the Hong Kong boats chose to compete in the China Sea Race to Subic at Easter and not in both events. Separating the two events does not benefit either event and the Organising Committee hopes that discussions will bring the events back together again for the next China Sea Race in 2002.
Advantages seen for the move away from Easter were a steadier wind allowing most races to get away on schedule, access to all the facilities of the Subic Bay Yacht Club throughout the Regatta, which has to be restricted when the members are using the facilities over Easter.
The Organising Committee decided, taking all matters and views into consideration, that the event would take place during the same time slot in 2001. As 2001 is the year of the San Fernando Race it is expected that the Asian racing fleet will come to the Philippine in early March for the Presidents Cup and either remain cruising in Philippine water or if they want to sail to Hong Kong to compete in the San Fernando Race over Easter.
Presidents Cup 2000 Steering Committee
Chairman Andres Sta. Maria
Regatta Organizing Committee