AY Race Reports 2007 - 08 News and Views

2007 - 08 Season
News & Views

001173 - July Alinghi SUI 100 win the 32nd America's Cup by 2 secs
001174 - August Franck Cammas Groupama 3 claims 24hr & Atlantic records
001175 - Sept Rise up as Dato' Peter Gilmour
001176 - Oct Which event is the biggest regatta in Asia these days?
001177 - Nov Beijing Olympic Games specialized media coverage
001178 - Dec Sailing bonanza in SE Asian waters

001179 - Jan New Year Taking the Racing Class to New Dimensions
001180 - Feb Boost for Keelboat racing from yacht clubs and national authorities
001181 - Mar Monthly Photo Gallery
001182 - April Ray Roberts Quantum Racing Skipper and Yacht of the Year
001183 - May Sailing action now swings over to the Gulf of Thailand
001184 - June 100th Edition of the News & Views

AY Photo Library
AYGP Photo Galleries
2003/04,
2004/05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009/10
2010/11 2012/13 Annual Winners

2007 - 08 AY Race Reports - News and Views articles

Koh Samui Regatta - All over bar the shouting...
Frank Pong's Jelik led the fleet around the course but with the 50 footers hot on his tail was bound to finish up done the order. So who was going to pick up the coveted title? Neil Pryde's Hi-Fi crossed the line one minute and twenty six seconds latter and looked to be in the box seat. Fifty five seconds latter Bill Bremner Foxy Lady IV breasted the line after recovering from being called OCS and as they trailed the overall leader by one point could be the biggest threat. Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 was next, closely followed by the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's co-owned Fortis Mandrake. Almost six minutes after Jelik crossed the line Ray Roberts Quantum Racing signed off for the last time. Simon James computer was running hot calculating the results. As there were no more races Ray Roberts top racing crew on Quantum Racing had done enough to capture first place in race six and thereby become the overall 2008 Racing Class winner. AY Race Reports Here..

Top of the Gulf Regatta - Final races, settles the score...
The blustery conditions experienced over the last few days, made way for a light 6 to 8 knot South Westerly breeze and brilliant sunshine replaced the gray overcast sky. Skippers where keen to get going as results from today's races were crucial in determining the overall outcome. Some were a little to keen and jumped the start, while others had small incidents around the course which had the jury working overtime so final results could be calculated. Leray Pascal's Breakaway needing an extra knot to have any chance but as it turned out it was David Bell's Magic Roundabout that slowed down in the lighter winds to allow Leray Pascal's Breakaway to win the final race and run away with the overall first prize. Closing in on the finish Kevin Scott's Ferret "The Lofts" sailing some hot angles clinched the race and as Naiad dropped back to fifth they handed the overall Coronation Cup over to Ferret "The Lofts". AY Race Reports Here... Photo Gallery Here...

2007-08 AYGP ChampionshipsRay Roberts Quantum Racing Skipper & Yacht of the Year...
By winning both the RCSR and PC Judes Echauz Sydney 46 Subic Centennial jumped up to third overall in the 2007- 08 AsianYachting Grand Prix Championships after contesting only two events during the season. Second place at PC for Ray Roberts on the DK46 Quantum Racing puts them five points in front of Frank Pong's R/P 76 Jelik. With only the Koh Samui Regatta left to run this season they have an unbeatable points lead and will be crowned the 2007-08 AY Skipper and Yacht of the Year at Koh Samui. This is no easy task as Ray and his very talented crew have scored three victories and two second places at eight of the selected top flight Asian events that make up the Championships. This is the first time they have won the coveted title in the five years it has been awarded, although they have come close on several occasions. Browse progressive AYGP Championship scores throughout the year here...

President's Cup - Judes Echauz Subic Centennial - 2 wins in one week
After an hour and a half wait for the sea breeze to come in, the two remaining races to decide this years champions could get underway. It was all worthwhile as the building breeze produced some great sailing conditions that settled the intense rivalry developing between competitors and prove a fitting end to a tough regatta.Coming into the final day Judes Echauz Sydney 46 Subic Centennial held a comfortable 6.5 point lead. When they corrected out with first place in race five the engraver got to work on the overall trophy. They must be very happy as it is the second major Asian race/regatta victory for the Philippine boat in the same week. Goto AY Race Reports Here...

Rolex China Sea Race - Subic Centennial Overall IRC winner
The land-sea breeze off the Philippine coast saw fortunes won and lost for the potential handicap winners in this 565nm Asian classic. At the finish, local enthusiasm and passion for sailing is evident, so it seemed fitting that the overall handicap winner was the Philippines entry, Subic Centennial, co-skippered by Judes Echauz and Vince Perez and their young crew of Filipino sailors. They won the China Sea Race in 1998 with the same boat, and ten years later decided it was time to try again. Paul Bankowski's crew made the most gains on the final day on the Kerr 11.3 Jaywalker to fill second place overall as well as claim the IRC Division B title. Chris Meads Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket excelled in the heavier conditions but finding a private parking lot slowed there progress and relegated them to third overall by twelve minutes. Daily Reports, results with links to Rolex photo gallery Here..

The Lofts Southshore Wins Platu Open 2008
Over 120 sailors enjoyed 2 days of racing for the Platu Open 08, the first event of a 5 regatta championship series taking place this year. After seven races Scott Duncanson and Rolf Heemskirk's Malaysian based team remained tied on 13 points, so a countback was left to decide the winner. With 3 wins, Scott Duncanson's The Lofts Southshore team were crowned winners by the tightest of margins. 'I'm not sure we were the best boat out there, Rolf Heemskirk was more consistent than us' admitted Duncanson.  'He's a great sailor and competitor, so we look forward to racing him again in the Platus later this year.' Next up is the Coronation Cup, as part of the Top of the Gulf Regatta from May 1-5. 'We expect the full Thai Platu fleet of 17 boats to be competing and already have a waiting list for charter boats,' said an enthused event organiser and Thai Platu fleet captain Kevin Scott. Goto Platu Open 08 roundup & results here...

Monthly Photo Gallery "The Best pics from Feb 08"
Sharing some photos gathered whilst preparing the March News and Views over the last month from the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, Finishers of the Barcelona World Race, Clippers in Qingdao, Farr 40's Sydney harbour, Gitana 13 crew flying, Franck Cammas and the capsize and recovery of Groupama, Laser Worlds and Masters, Primo Cup, David Vann on Tin Can, Warren Jones Youth Regatta, Yngling Teams at Worlds and plenty more... Click Here

Frank Pong's Jelik sets new Boracay Race Record
In the 204 mile Manila to Boracay Race Frank Pong's Jelik won the Standard Insurance trophy for line honors and the Kellet Island trophy for the overall title in a record time of 19 hrs and 6 secs beating his old record on Boracay of 19 hrs and 48 mins. Subic Centennial 2nd, Karakoa 3rd. In IRC B, Jun Avecilla's Selma Star was victorious, finishing the ordeal in 32hrs 38mins winning over Challenge and Sandoway. It was a rough and tumble, wet, wild and cold overnight race with rains and winds over 27 knots and 6ft swell that caused Doni Altura’s J35 Vivaldi to dismast and withdrawal of a couple of yachts from the pounding in the treacherous Verde Passage. Defending Manila-Boracay IRC B winner, Irresistible was supposed to join the race but on the way to Manila from Coron where she is based dismasted off Fortune Island.

Phang Nga Bay Regatta concludes on a high note.. here...
Phang Nga Bay Regatta 08The Phi Phi to Phuket leg is a little reminiscent of the early King's Cups and of all days the North Easterly arrived with avengeance and gave the boats a quick ride back home. Roger Kingdon's Firefly 850 catamaran Moto Inzi completed the 30 mile course in 3 hours and 40 minutes to make it 4 wins out of 4 races and win the Firefly One Design title by a country mile. Hans Rahmann's 70ft Yasooda was next to finish but had to yield 20 minutes to the smaller 8.5m (28ft) and extremely quick Firefly cats. By two in the afternoon all boats had finished the regatta which started out slowly and ended with a rip roaring sleigh ride across the Andaman Sea
. AY Race Reports here... and Photo Gallery here...

Francis Joyon pulverizes solo, non-stop RTW record
The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified the new Around the World Singlehanded record set by Francis Joyon (FRA) onboard the 98-foot trimaran IDEC. Finishing on January 19, 2008 in Brest, France, the new record is 57d 13h 34m and 6s at an average speed of 15.84 knots. The previous record was set November 2004 by Ellen MacArthur (GBR) onboard "B&Q" in a time of 71d 14h 18m 33s. -- http://www.sailspeedrecords.com Throughout the passage, IDEC sailed "cleanly", without the use of any fossil fuel (no engine), generating its own energy with a wind turbine and solar panels.

Monthly Photo Gallery "The Best pics from Jan 08"
Sharing some photos gathered whilst preparing the Feb News and Views over the last month from the SAIL Melbourne, Australia Day Classics, Ben Ainslie & Finn Worlds, Clippers in Singapore, Skandia Geelong Race Week, Franck Cammas departs on Groupama, Fedor Konyukhov departs on Trading Network Alye Parusa on Antarctica Cup race track, Francis Joyon returns on IDEC, Damage to Sodebo, Alinghi cat racing, Sportsboats in Pattaya and plenty more... Click Here

AYGP Championships - Ray Roberts takes a Quantum leap to the top
2007-08 AYGP ChampionshipsAfter winning the Singapore Straits Regatta Ray Roberts and his DK46 Quantum Racing (11 points) take a clear three point lead over Frank Pong's 75ft R/P Jelik (8 points). Second place for Neil Pryde's newly converted Welbourne 52 Hi Fi Team Pryde sees them climb up to three points but with only three regatta's left to race this season will find it difficult to close in on the leaders. Third place for the Bremner/Cocks/Singh newcomer TP52 Foxy Lady IV is a welcome addition to the rankings and despite being out of reach of the leaders is expected to shine at the season ending Koh Samui Regatta (1st - 7th June). Apparently Ray Roberts may not be able to contest the China Sea Race and Frank Pong is embarking on an European racing campaign during Koh Samui. This leaves the way open for the likes of Sam Chan's TP52 Ffreefire 52 and the Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns owned Farr/Mills 51 Mandrake to improve there standings and stage a final push for the coveted title. Browse progressive AYGP Championship scores throughout the year here...

14th Singapore Straits - Ray's Quantum leap...
With the return of the North Easterly a promising final day of racing was in store. Race five got away briskly but the wind decided to play havoc with the race officials by swinging back and forth between North and East throughout the afternoon. On the second round Ray Roberts elected to do a gybe set on Quantum Racing at the top mark and found more pressure to seaward of the leaders that chose to hug the coast. By the bottom mark they had overtaken both Mandrake and Foxy Lady IV plus closed the gap on Hi Fi Team Pryde. That was the decisive moment in the yacht race and regatta series all sown up after five races. AY Race Reports... Go directly to the SSR 08 Photo Gallery

RLIR 08 Photo galleryRLIR 08 - Ray Roberts Quantum Racing makes it 3 in a row...
After a short delay for the wind to increase, racing got underway on the final race of the regatta. Once again the course was set close to Kuah town and the spectacle could be viewed from the balcony of the yacht club and hotels lining the shore. Although it was not widely reported Ray Roberts on Quantum Racing had narrowly won the event yesterday. Making it three in a row. Neil Pryde's Hi Fi Team Pryde won the final race and is very pleased how they have sorted the new boat out to finish third overall and is looking forward to their next encounter. Frank Pong's Jelik dipped in form yesterday with two fourth places that after the drop race was included made it impossible to regain top spot and had to settle on second overall. AY Race Reports... Go directly to the RLIR 08 Photo Gallery

AYGP Championships starting to take shape...
Frank Pong's convincing win on Jelik at the 21st King's Cup spirals them to the top of the 2007-08 AYGP Championships table with six valuable hard earned points.
After three of the eight rounds of the AYGP Championships are completed, a three way battle is emerging at the top of the table. Second place for Ray Roberts Quantum Racing plus the Raja Muda win puts them in second place and only one point adrift of Jelik. Although Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns co-owned Fortis Mandrake (3 Pts) did not score any points at the King's Cup they are within reach of the leaders and always ready to strike. Third place for Stephen Reith chartering the Sydney 40 Foxy Lady III sees them enter the pointscore race for the first time. The battle at the top is expected to continue at the Royal Langkawi Int Regatta and Singapore Straits in January. Progressive AYGP Championship scores throughout the year are posted here...

Taking the Racing Class to New Dimensions
Incessant phone ringing woke me from the post AY Boxing Day BBQue slumber to let me know that Neil Pryde's newly converted HI FI Team Pryde was making a pit stop at Admiral Marina in Port Dickson on its way to the Royal Langkawi Int Regatta (5 - 11 Jan) Wow! and what a conversion it has turned out to be. It looks nothing like it used to with two distinct chine's running along the hull, making it very hard to identify anything other than the mast and boom that may have belonged to the earlier Farr 52 OD that it once was.

Whose going to which regatta?
With the introduction of Chris Meads swish looking Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket at the Kings Cup last year and the arrival of Ben Copley's new Club Swan 42 Katsu, the racing class is rapidly expanding and taking on a new dimension by introducing shear out and out racing machines. It's anybodies guess just how much longer Frank Pong's 75ft R/P Jelik and Ray Roberts DK 46 Quantum Racing will remain at the top of the 2007-08 AY Grand Prix Championships. Aussie Peter Ahern returns in Langkawi with his Farr 40 YO!2 and the Royal Malaysian Navy are fielding the Farr 520 Zuhrah and the DK46 under RMN-JB. With mainland China's Adam Ng's Judel/Vrolijk 52 Microlab Moonlight Shadow and Vincent Chan's Titan 36 Matahari boosting the numbers, the decision to bring the dates forward to improve the standard of racing class entrants is clearly paying dividends. Bill Bremner's TP52 Foxy Lady IV has arrived in Singapore for Christmas and the lengthy task of putting the keel on, re-rigging and other preparatory jobs before launching are underway in earnest. After claiming 3rd place overall and Class A victory, plus enduring another agonizing finish to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race four days ago, will Ray Roberts be able to turn his crew around and front up in Asia so early in the New Year? It is our intention to keep the present momentum going by posting a transcript on the Capt Marty - AsianYachting blogsite at http://asian-yachting.blogspot.com/ and invite everyone to comment and start a forum on who is likely to attend which event.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Round up
The Sydney maxi Wild Oats XI became only the second boat in the race's 63-year history to take three successive line honours when she crossed the line at 10.24am on Friday 28th Dec, nearly three hours outside her own record. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia declared Roger Sturgeon's US STP65 Rosebud overall winner of the race on corrected time, the third American boat and first in 30 years to have won the race. Due to overnight calms, variable and transitional winds in Storm Bay and the Derwent River many skippers were denied the chance of of winning the Rolex watch and the Tattersall's Cup for the overall IRC winner. Sturgeon's Rosebud had an early evening finish and was tied up at Elizabeth St Pier as Ray Roberts' Cookson 50 Quantum Racing, Syd Fischer's TP52 Ragamuffin and Geoff Ross Reichel/Pugh 55 Yendys were rounding Tasman Island 40 miles away into a wall of uncertainty. The three finished closely under spinnakers before a wafting south-easterly just after 3:00am 29th, with Quantum Racing beating Yendys across the line by two seconds and Ragamuffin another 6min 42sec behind, beating them both on corrected time. In the end, Rosebud won on IRC corrected time by 1hr 21min 33sec from Ragamuffin with another 36 minutes to Quantum Racing. All the news, class results and photos at: http://www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

January 2008 Photo Gallery "The Best of December 07" here...
Sharing some photos gathered whilst preparing the Jan News and Views over the last month from the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, SAIL Melbourne, Barcelona World Race and Ecover Transat B to B Dismastings, Jury Rigs, RC44 Dubai Gold Cup, Loic Peyron Gitana Eighty, Hugo Boss, Francis Joyon on IDEC, Thomas Coville on Sodebo, Clipper Race Winners in Fremantle, Neil Pryde's new Hi Fi, Icebergs, Veolia at Kerguelen Islands, Maximus damaged keel, Father Christmas on the docks, Sail Rocket cracks 40kt barrier, Sol Oceans OD, Wot Rocket launched, Wild Oats XI 3rd Line Honours, Rosbud & Quantum Racing battle for Syd - Hobart Handicap honours and plenty more..
Go here...

24th SEA GAMES 2007 - Keelboat Gold goes to Thailand
With the Gold medal already tied up by Thailand, the three other nations left early to prepare for the final day of racing at these games. Singapore had the silver medal in their sights and with the overnight 2nd placed boat, Philippines pushing to retain their placing it was bound to be hot on the start line. At the finish it was Thailand 1st, Philippines 2nd, Singapore 3rd and Malaysia 4th similarly how they finished in the medal standings. Browse Keelboat Photos, Results & full Games Reports...

Phuket King’s Cup - Frank Pong & Jelik...
Ray Roberts knew he had to win both races today to have any chance of regaining the title for Quantum Racing. Approaching the very short startline a tad early with no room for error the bows hit the line as the horn sounded. A few anxious moments before the recall signal sounded which put an end to their title chances. Frank Pong's very powerful Reichel-Pugh 75 Jelik continued to defy the pundits and set off with blistering pace to claim two bullets, bringing his tally to six wins out of eight races and for the first time take home the coveted 2007 title. Forth and second place keeps Quantum Racing in second overall and two fifth places for Stephen Reith's Foxy Lady III is enough to score the third podium place. AY Race Reports... or check out the KC07 Photo Gallery

Monsoon Cup 2007WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR - MONSOON CUP 2007
TEAM PINDAR TAKE MONSOON CUP TITLE and wrap up WMRT title
The Malaysian kettle drums thundered as Team Pindar – Skipper Ian Williams, Bill Hardesty, Mark Williams, Mark Nicholls and Simon Shaw paraded from the dock to the awards podium after winning the final match of the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu, Malaysia by defeating immediate past World Champion, Dato’ Peter Gilmour of PST. “What a fantastic event,” said Williams, "We are absolutely blown away. Today we thought we had a speed edge and so we could put the pressure on when we were behind. The conditions were pretty tricky but in all honesty have been brilliant for the past four days." Team Pindar was awarded the Monsoon Cup and their purse of MYR250,000 ($100,000) by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Goto full Results and Race Reports

Raja Muda Selangor Int Regatta 07 - Ray Roberts on Quantum Racing
Full of confidence Ray Roberts DK46 Quantum Racingwent out and scored two wins out of two races and convincingly became the 18th winner of the Raja Muda trophy. Despite Dr Ian Nicolson's Dubois 80 Intrigue winning the final inshore race, 2nd place for Hans Rahmann's 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda was enough for them to win the overall IRC Class 2 title. Two first places today for David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra sealed the fate for the IRC Class 3 racers. Aquavit IV the Elan 340 skippered by Bob Howison has steadily picked up four wins during the regatta to stay on top of the IRC Class 4 leaderboard. AY Race Reports here... Check out the AY Photo Library pages or access RMSIR07 images directly at: http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?RMSIR07

Beijing Olympic Games specialized media coverage
The IOC has granted
AsianYachting.com accreditation to cover the Olympic sailing competition in Qingdao from 9th - 24th Aug 2008. We are indeed honoured and now in a position to offer National Sailing Authorities and International Media outlets exclusive coverage of selected sailors and classes during the event. All we ask, in return, is to sponsor the full round trip to China for our erstwhile yachting writer Capt Marty. The service would include taking photos during the racing, writing daily Race Reports then posting them on the AY website and emailing out to the AY Circulation List. The Race Reports can be tailored to suite the clients requirements and include sponsors advertising with links to there websites. Interested organisations in taking up this exclusive offer are asked to email: info@asianyachting.com with Olympics 2008 - AY Sailing Coverage in the subject line.

Who has the biggest One Design fleet in Asia?
Event media at the inaugural China Cup Regatta claimed that the 11 Beneteau 40.7's racing there was the largest ever One Design keelboat fleet to set sail in Asian waters. After it was splashed over the news headlines Morten Jakobsen was quick to point out that in HK there are significantly larger fleets of Etchells and at his home club, Ocean Marina in Pattaya, Thailand, they regularly have 15 or more Platus competing at major events. He also went on to say that a new 5 regatta series is being planned for the Platu class next year. First of the rank is the Open Thailand Platu Championship in March 08 followed by the Top of the Gulf - Coronation Cup in May. International teams have expressed interest in joining and there are still some boats available for charter on a first come first served basis. More on The One Formula Platu Championship Series 2008 will be incorporated into the http://www.topofthegulfregatta.com site to promote the clubs activities.

A tourism and yacht industry report - Part 1
Imagine ghosting along at sunset far from civilization on an extended cruise of Southeast Asia and the tranquility of twilight is shattered by the distant whirr of a powerful outboard engine. Within moments a high-speed boat emerges from the shadows of a hidden cove on an intercept course with your own hopelessly becalmed yacht. As the vessel closes in, you see the silhouette of a group of men and they’re holding what look like assault rifles. It’s every cruiser’s worst nightmare. But how real is the threat?

Piracy in modern Southeast Asia, Setting the record straight. Part 2 & 3
Bianca Hein and Scott Neuman are both sailors and journalists - who are addressing the piracy issue in Southeast Asian waters. An ambitious report that covers all aspects of piracy as it relates to the modern day tourism and yachting industry. The ancient mariner Warren Blake who has sailed throughout the archipelago for over 40 years provides an interpretation of their findings in Piracy Against Yachts...an Overblown Fear is worth a read at the end of Part II as it contains some good advice for yacht skippers and crew worried about cruising through the region. This three part report is the definitive word on the subject. It is available for reading online at: http://www.biancahein.com/projects.html

2.5 Is ACup about Gaining Immortality?
While much has changed in the world's oldest and most prestigious sailing event, the game really is still the same. What does it take to win the modern America's Cup? Coutts, who knows better than anyone, says it's still all about masts, sails, hulls, keels, rudders, trim tabs, rigging, ballast bulbs, practice, time in the boat and those last-minute secret upgrades that the very best teams keep under their hats until it's too late for their foes to react. So it was and so it will be. It's a technology game, played on a tilted field where the rich have a built-in edge, where the commitment is immense and the rewards are laughably ephemeral: You get your name, inscribed on a silver mug that sits in a glass case somewhere gathering dust. In two words: Gaining Immortality.

2.6 AC90 Rule is born
31 Oct 07: AC Management, as scheduled, published the AC90 Rule marking an exciting milestone in the path to the 33rd America’s Cup. This rule has been crafted over the past six weeks through a design consultation process with all entered challengers, the Defender, and headed by Tom Schnackenberg as the class rule and competition regulations consultant for ACM. Designers from all six entered teams have met regularly since the design process began on 15 September. The AC90 Rule, in brief, will be 90ft overall maximum length, 6.5m in draft whilst racing and will have a displacement of 23tons. We now have to wait and see whether this will be sufficient for GGYC and BMW Oracle to drop it’s court action and let the existing challengers, as well as those waiting in the wings, reach a position where they are able to present potential sponsors with a concrete proposal. The full AC90 Rule can be downloaded in its entirety at: http://www.americascup.com/multimedia/docs/2007/10/071031-ac90_rule_final.pdf

Stop wrangling over the America's Cup
BMW Oracle has taken Cup holders Alinghi to court over rules they say are unfairly weighted in the defender's favor, including the right to disqualify teams or bar them from entering. On Thursday 20th Sept Alinghi tweaked the rules to address some of those issues but BMW Oracle, bankrolled by software billionaire Larry Ellison, said that was not enough and demanded direct negotiations before they would drop the lawsuit against Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss syndicate. If defender Alinghi are so hell bent on racing the challengers then like other match racing events, why don't they make a winner takes all series out of it. That's right, do away with the Cup final and have a series of round robins with quarter, semi and grand final to determine to eventual winner. Do away with the challenger and defender and make it an all out scrap with the winner taking the cup home and the next event to be held in the country of their choice. As history has shown that the defender has always slanted the rules in their favour, surely this change is the only way to make a fair and equitable result at the end of the day. But most of all get rid of the lengthy and tedious court room battles because these billionaires are bringing the sport we love so much into disrepute just to fire up their own massive ego's.

VOR to finish in Russia - Singapore or Malaysia stopover?
The historic Russian port city of St Petersburg has been officially announced as the race finish for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. This will be the first time in the race’s 34-year history that the fleet will visit a Russian port and follows the confirmation in late May that Russia will have its own entry in the race backed by St Petersburg businessman Oleg Zherebtsov. The selection of St Petersburg marks another milestone in the 2008-09 iteration of the race after the decision to take the event through the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India and China. The race route is nearing completion with the offshore start set for Alicante, Spain, on 11 October, 2008. So we know the start and finish plus most the ports in between and my bet is on Singapore to come up with the dosh to host the event in front of the Malaysians. Another question is whether these big sailing boats will be allowed to race down the Malacca Straits all the way to Singapore through one of the busiest shipping separation zones in the world.

Total Lubmarine Asia Pacific China Coast Regatta
Frank Pong's 'Jelik' has certainly done there fair share of 'hanging around' during the course of this three-day Regatta, taking line honours in every race for IRC Division A in less time than it would take to eat a decent breakfast. This year, however, Pong has finally managed to convert a great boat and smooth crew work into an overall win for the Division, failing only once to take a race on corrected time as well as on the water. See how the rest of the classes and competitors fared during the 3-day event by going to the Race Reports here...

HK to Hainan Race - Downwind slide for Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52
Line Honours was claimed by Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 after a 32 hour downhill slide in 18 to 22 knots of breeze. The TP52 was also to claim 1st Overall with Fortis Mandrake arriving at midnight after an expensive trip, trashing all her kites in the first 250nm. It was a long night for the finishing boats, with Strewth crossing the line at around 0500hrs and Shahtoosh 30 minutes behind that. Walawala completed the set and the provisional boats show the boats mirroring their finish on the water.

Inaugural China Cup Int. Regatta to Ray Roberts & Quantum Racing
The first ever big boat regatta to be held in mainland China got away in fine style with 60 yachts competing on the 28nm race from Hong Kong to the Longcheer Yacht Club in Shenzhen. Frank Pong's 75ft Jelik took out the daily double in the racing class on race 1 but it was Ray Roberts on the DK46 Quantum Racing that came to the fore during the inshore races held on Daya Bay to become the toast of the town and sail away with the inaugural trophy. Eleven Beneteau First 40.7's fought boat against boat with Japan's Mamoru Nagata's claiming victory in the largest ever One Design fleet to sail in Asia. A great performance from the lightweight Longtze 6.5m sports boat, Longtze Premier, as she sailed to victory in the CCPN Division. This history making regatta ensures the future for sailing in China is very bright indeed. More at: http://eng.chncup.com/

 

2007-08 AYGP - Frank Pong & Jelik continue on winning ways...
After a nail biting finish at the 2006-07 season ending Koh Samui Regatta to clinch the AYGP Championships, Frank Pong and Jelik have started the 2007-08 Season with a resounding win at the China Coast Regatta. First and fastest in five out of six races in the series. Only Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 could intervene and take a race away to avoid a clean sweep. Held in strong winds up to 25 knots the 75ft Jelik revels in these conditions as her long waterline allows her to ride easier through the choppy seas and get up and plane downwind at speeds exceeding 20 knots. Although only minutes separated them on corrected time Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Fortis Mandrake traded second and third places behind Jelik to finish up with a one point separation and second and third overall respectively. This result will put the Hong Kong boats that are usually top runners during the season in a good position for the rest of the year. Progressive scores throughout the year are posted here...

Keelboat Qualifiers for SEA Games 2007 - Malaysia Boleh...
Approaching the startline a little early had a few boats running down the line, only to be called up by the boats underneath them just as the horn sounded. PRO John Ferguson signaled premature starters. Who were they? Afendi Abdullah's Kedah Team once again broke off to restart. The flag remained up until Ng Heng Li's Gapurna 1 team restarted which dashed their chances of representing Malaysia. Rizal Mahadi's Gapurna 2 team, only just kept their nose clean at the pin end, picked up a good shift and stayed in the pressure to lead around the course and score a resounding victory. AY Race Reports here...

 

Malaysian & Asian Match Racing Championships
Tiffany Khoo and her Team UK Halsey Gapurna achieved a clean sheet at this years Malaysian Match Racing Championships. They went into the first to 3 wins final against the Royal Malaysian Navy and led from the front in all 3 races to win the championship 3-0. Adam Minoprio's BlackMatch did the same in the Asian Match Racing Championship. Taking on Neil Semple from Thailand in a best of five final. Having maintained a perfect scorecard for the entire week, Minoprio carried on doing so and managed to take the final 3-0. Both winning teams are now qualified for the Monsoon Cup in Nov/Dec which is the final round of the 2007 World Match Racing Tour. Race Reports here...

Borneo Int. Yachting Challenge - Jun Avecilla's all Philippino crew victorious
Being off the major cruising routes and remote from any established racing fleets they have done well by attracting 23 competitors from 10 different countries. The concept is to welcome cruisers to visit the region, join in some fun and share in a unique cultural experience all the way from duty-free Labuan to the Miri Marina in Sarawak. Jun Avecilla's all Philippino crew put in a polished performance on Selma Star/Purpose Driven to win the final race by more than five minutes and also take home the overall Racing Class trophy on their first attempt. Rest assured the camaraderie shown amongst these cruising folk will be remembered and talked about for years to come. AY Race Reports here...

Francis Joyon and IDEC smash cross Channel record
Sunday, 19 August 2007. Francis Joyon has pulverised the solo Channel crossing record, with a time of 6 hours 23 minutes and 36 seconds. The skipper of maxi-trimaran IDEC covered the 138 nm course at an average speed of 21.58 knots, bettering the time set by Thomas Coville, on board the 60 foot trimaran Sodeb'O, by 1 hour 32 minutes and 11 seconds. It was no walkover though. "I set out feeling a bit drained, because I left la Trinité-sur-Mer yesterday morning and had to sail hard to get to the Isle of Wight in time.” “Never mind,” Francis continued “the record is broken and it’s a real feeling of satisfaction. It’s also a great advancement in getting to know the boat. I’ve discovered that some of the things we’ve worked on for the last 18 months are super efficient; on the other hand, I’ve found things that can be improved. More pictures at: http://www.bymnews.com/photos/thumbnails.php?album=98

Rise up as Dato' Peter Gilmour
23 August 2007 Peter Gilmour, Monsoon Cup Race Advisor and four time Match Racing World Champion, has been conferred the title of Darjah Dato' Paduka Mahkota Terengganu (DPMT) which carries the title Dato’ or equivalent to Sir in the UK awards. The title of Dato' conferred only by a state ruler in Malaysia, was awarded by His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the 16th Sultan of the state of Terengganu and the 13th King of Malaysia in conjunction with his 45th birthday. The investiture was presented on behalf of His Majesty by his son Tengku Muhammad Ismail, the Regent of Terengganu, at the Istana Maziah (Royal Palace) Terengganu, on 18 August 2007. Dato’ Peter Gilmour receives this honour in line with the key role he played in developing the Monsoon Cup in Terengganu, Malaysia and for inspiring international relations in the sport of sailing. His continuous efforts to promote and boost tourism to the eastern state during a traditionally quiet period were also recognized.

ILL-winds for Indonesian cruisers
The sudden introduction of a 5 percent bond for foreign flag yachts visiting Indonesia threatens efforts to create a cruise tourism sector. In stark contrast to official posturing in support of developing Indonesia as a cruise destination, the Indonesian Department of Customs and Excise has suddenly introduced a new regulation requiring visiting yachts to pay refundable cash guarantee equal to 5 percent of the vessel's value. The fee, levied at the yacht's port of entry into Indonesia, will be refunded upon final exit of the vessel from the nation's territory. Raymond T. Lesmana, the chairman Indonesian Sea Lovers Foundation (Yayasan Cinta Bahari Indonesia), complained to Bisnis Indonesia that the new regulation has been implemented without prior warning from the government and at the very time Indonesia is hosting Sail Indonesia 2007, part of a world-wide cruise regatta by sailing yachts. This year the participants of Sail Indonesia 2007 are exempted from paying the guarantee. While the regulation provides for a return of the guarantee at the final port of exit, the exact mechanism for the refund remains unclear, at least at this stage. Bali Marina which hosts a number of visiting yachts has been thrown into some degree of confusion by the new ruling, with many fearing that the armada of yachts at the Marina may soon weigh anchor and leave the country. More on this as it comes to hand.

Hi Fi undergoes major surgery
Neil Pryde has made a major decision on how to extract some more speed out of his Farr 52 OD Hi Fi. Unable to sell the boat and move onto something faster, UK yacht designer Hugh Welbourne was once again bought in to see what could be done. After surveying local hi tech boat builders McConaghy Boats, China was chosen to cut away the hull and replace it with a new Welbourne hull. General manager Mark D'Emilio is very familiar with this procedure, while working at DK Yachts they successfully preformed a similar task on Neil's former Hi Fidelity a few years ago. To the average bystander this would seem quite a drastic measure but they can rest assured by using the old deck, internal bulkheads, furniture, mast, rigging and sails this is a significantly cheaper alternative than building a new boat. We hope it all works out and they are ready for the up and coming racing season.

Thai SEA Games Keelboat team doing the miles
The Thai Platu crew for the SEA Games is made up mainly of Thai Naval personnel. Wiwat Poonpat (Helm), Anun Daochanterk (Mainsheet), Nattapol Srihirun (Trimmer), Veerasit Puangnak (Keyboard/Skipper) Boontham Saichon (Bow). The Team (We love the King, Team Platu Thailand (WLKTPT)) have found a sponsor in PTTPE the Thai fuel and petro chemical company that has generously agreed to fund a trip to Germany to compete at the Platu World Championship '07. WLKTPT will be the team to beat after using the Platu World Champs for an intensive learning week which may take years of local events to learn. The team is confident in it's ability to sail fast and handle the boat to an international standard but understands the necessity to upgrade it's psychological, strategic and tactical skills in order to win against other top SEA nations at the SEA Games '07. After 12 races they are presently running in 19th place overall from 50 yachts including their arch rival Scott Duncanson's PCS Ferret in 27th place.

SELANGOR GAPURNA INT YOUTH MATCH RACING CHAMPS
Last 2 flights of second round robin completed very smartly and the 2 Australian teams, New Zealand and Philippines qualifying for the semi finals. Australia 1 chose Philippines as their opponents and knocked them off in 2 quick matches. New Zealand did the same against Australia 2. The loser finals were decided in 2 straight wins for Australia 2 to take 3rd place, with the Philippines ending up in fourth. Australia 1 knocked New Zealand into second place in 3 straight wins. All done and dusted. Overall placings and complete AY Race Reports here...

10th Western Circuit Sailing Regatta - Final countdown reveals all...
Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic continued on their winning ways to stamp his domination on the Singapore racing scene with two more wins and claim overall victory with five wins out of six races. Gordon Maxted Shoon Fung Too clung onto second overall despite two third places. Last weeks SMU President’s Cup winner Keith Dunn's Lunchcutter II held onto third place overall after two forth places in the final races. Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady III has experienced some bad luck through out the regatta but made a big comeback with two second places after playing catchup for being over the startline to finish a creditable fourth at the end of the regatta. Full run down of all the classes in AY Race Reports here...

Thomas Coville goes solo on Indian Ocean crossing
Monday July 30, Thomas Colville will leave Bali on his 105ft Sodeb’O for a 3700 mile crossing to the Seychelles. If the south east trade winds are stable, he will attempt to establish a new record for the crossing and has not ruled out the possibility of going for the solo 24 hour record. Having arrived in Bali several days ago, Coville and his team have checked over the maxi-trimaran Sodeb’O (32 metres by 16,55), which had covered 5300 miles since leaving Sydney to reach Bali via Noumea. Great photos and more news at: http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=12933

Battle of the billionaires egos...
Less than a month since Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi Team won the 32nd America's Cup, two billionaires have got themselves into a real mud slinging match to control the rules in their own self-interest and a battle of their big egos. First blow came when the newly formed Club Nautico Espanol de Vela was appointed the Challenger of Record and agreed on Protocol for the 33rd America's Cup drawn up by Ernesto's Defending Yacht Club, the Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG). SNG appointed ACM to manage, organise and finance the 33rd America's Cup. ACM is also charged with appointing a Race and Measurement Committee along with a Chief Umpire. ACM will establish a Competitors' Commission with representation from both the Defender and Challengers. As the protocol was extremely biased towards favouring the defender a group of challengers voiced their displeasure. Larry Ellison's home club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, then took up the cause on behalf of the Challengers against the Defenders controversial Protocol and lodged a formal challenge and since filed a lawsuit against defenders SNG in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, which has jurisdiction over the America's Cup Deed of Gift. The GGYC challenge lost all credibility when the yacht design parameters to be a 90 x 90 x 20 multihull was deemed to be an equally contrived challenge. Upon announcing that the venue would again be Valencia and the challengers would have input into the rule for the proposed 90-foot monohull class for AC33, four teams have signed up with the devil they know. Bertarelli declared his intentions over the possible court case in New York "I'm going to defend this case with every ounce of breath in my body". Expect more fireworks over the next few months. More at: http://www.americascup.com

Wow a whooping 796 nm in 24 hours
(July 22, 2007) French sailor Franck Cammas claimed a new world speed record after logging 794 miles in 24 hours from 19th to the 20th July on his 105ft trimaran Groupama 3 during an attempt at the transatlantic record - and then improved it with an amazing 795.2-mile run. That's an incredible average speed of 33.08 knots. Now officially ratified by WSSRC, it's much more than a small improvement: it will shatter Bruno Peyron's 2006 record of 766.8 miles on the maxi catamaran Orange 2. One of the refinements that has allowed the team behind Groupama 3 to push sailing to within a hair of the 800-mile day is curved daggerboards designed to reduce drag and generate lift. They have long been a feature in the super-powerful ORMA 60 trimaran class from which Cammas hails.

The ATLANTIC in less than a HUNDRED HOURS...
Franck CAMMAS and his nine crew have smashed the Atlantic crossing record in a time of 4d 03 hrs 57 mins 54 secs (Ratified by WSSRC), at an average speed of 29.26 knots over the 2,925 mile course. Groupama 3 crossed the finish line off Lizard Point on Tuesday at 00 hrs 00 mins 49 secs (French time), improving on Bruno PEYRON'S time of (4d 08hr 23' 54'') by 4 hours 26 minutes. Groupama 3 has maintained an incredible average of over 29.26 knots for over four days... An unimaginable level just ten years ago, since it is greater than the ocean liners, which still cross the Atlantic today. Website: http://www.cammas-groupama.com

Volvo Ocean Race news
The 2008-09 VOR is going to Qingdao but the door is still open for another China stopover. Pressure is building for Hong Kong to step up to the plate and if they want to become Asia's worldly city they need to bring major events like this to town. The big question still remaining is will Singapore or Malaysia sign up for the SE Asian stopover after the yachts make their way across the Indian Ocean from Kochi, India. Nothing has been heard for a long time. The often touted US$20m price tag is allot cheaper than the America's Cup and will actually take place in the country willing to come up with the goods. Legs 3 to 7 from the Middle East to India through SE Asia to China are scheduled from December to February, straight into the North West Monsoon season. Teams have expressed difficulties in finding wind and wave data for these legs. Depending on the strength of the NW trade winds, crews can expect to go upwind in 25+ knots of wind in big sloppy seas stirred up by strong cross currents. The boats can go at 15 knots in these conditions and as jumping off waves is extremely hard on the boats and crew,.if boats are expected to break in the next race, it will be on these legs. More on the six confirmed entries at: http://www.volvooceanrace.org/teamnews/

EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK - Sheer persistence pays off in the end...
Several attempts at getting racing underway were disrupted when the wind continually changed direction and varied in speed. Closing in on the 2:00pm cut off time on the final day of racing, PRO Simon James frustrated with trying to set a windward/leeward course decided to send the fleet on Course 21, the three island passage race. After setting a brisk pace around Koh Bon and on the downwind run to Koh Lon, it all came down to selecting the right path (inshore or offshore) through the patchy conditions in the lee of the islands that would determine the final race results. PRW 07 - AY Race Reports can be found here...

Obituary: Tunku Ibrahim Alang
A tribute to the passing of a dear sailing friend

It is amazing who you might meet on the RSYC pontoons just before the Raja Muda Regatta starts each year in Pt Klang. Way back in 1992 and 93 amongst the invited guests and crew onboard the then Raja Muda's (Now Sultan of Selangor) yacht was his good friend Tunku Ibrahim Alang (Commonly known as Tunku Alang) from the southern state of Johor. Despite his wirey frame he had developed a passion for sailing, way beyond most Asians I've ever met and a zest for all the good things in life. Life on a sailing boat is some what governed by the number and quality of coincidental meetings that may occur along the way. Goto full Obituary here...

AsianYachting Photo Library
Koh Samui Regatta & 2006-07 AY GP Championships

A collection of images taken at the recent Koh Samui Regatta and throughout the year during the eight regattas that make up the 2006-07 AY Grand Prix Championships have been added to the AY Photo Library. I think nearly all competing boats, skippers and crew are featured in the quick and easy accessed slide show. I hope you have as much pleasure recalling those exciting moments as I have had taking the photos and compiling the photo library. Sorry if the media boat on occasions may have got a little in your way but if you take a good look you should agree that it was all worthwhile. AY Photo Library to view past regattas at: http://asianyachting.com/photos/default.htm

AC07 Alinghi by 2 seconds (Alinghi 5 - TNZ 2)
After a hum dinger Race 7 Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi SUI 100 skippered by Brad Butterworth emerged the winner of the 32nd America's Cup by a mere 2 seconds. Team New Zealand must be applauded for their sheer tenacity and once again become a world force in the America’s Cup even if they came-up short of the ultimate prize. Despite the earlier weather problems what a wonderful yachting spectacle has been bestowed upon the world. We have had everything, exciting pre-start action, close racing, numerous lead changes, several upsets and defining moments with the pendulum swinging either way during each race and a real battle of self belief and crew determination producing match racing of the highest order historically never seen before in AC races. One lead change is rare and stir the emotions, two or more are miraculous at the top level of racing. Complete story with photos in July News & Views

Malaysian aspirations to enter AC next time?
After a tour of Valencia Malaysian aspirations to enter the America's Cup were widely reported by the International media. Yachting journo's have asked "Is this a joke, just some political grandstanding or is Peter Gilmour leading the politicians on a walk down the garden path to financial obscurity? The under funded China Team could only manage to win one race by default during the Luis Vuitton Cup and Larry Ellison's highly fancied BMW Oracle Team reportedly spent up to US$200 million only to get knocked out in the semi final stage. Can the country really afford that sort of money on a whim and a prayer campaign when the National Sailing Association (MYA) are struggling to raise enough funds to hire coaches to train sailors and buy the odd optimist or laser to compete at regional games. As the sport is still in its infancy in Malaysia wouldn't a lesser amount of money be better spent developing the sport at home first and look at hosting events like the ISAF Nations Cup and Youth Match Racing that will benefit local sailors in the long run. Complete story with photos in July News & Views

Frank Pong and Jelik - Crowned 2006 - 07 AY Champions
Talk about going down to the wire... Coming into the last day of racing at the season ending Koh Samui Regatta Neil Pryde's Hi Fi held a one point advantage over Frank Pong's 75ft Jelik. Race six got away on a windward / leeward course in 8 to 10 knots of breeze. Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady III won the race and went on to became the overall Racing Class winner. The race to be crowned the 2006-07 AY GP Champions just got more interesting as Frank Pong's crew on Jelik secured second place to even up the points with Neil Pryde's Hi Fi in 3rd place and PRO Tony Denham announced that a further windward / leeward Race 7 would be conducted back to back to complete the race program. Full report and results of 2006-07 AY GP Championships here... Check out the photo slideshow Here...

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