is looking down the barrel of success?
As we are fast approaching the end of the 2010/11 Season, Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing and Neil Pryde's custom Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, that field professional racing teams on the Asian circuit each year, have once again run away at the top of the leaderboard. Although Roberts has won four of the five regatta's they entered and have what looks like a commanding three point lead in the AYGP Championship - Under the recently introduced "Six regatta's to count - scoring system", Neil Pryde mathematically still has a chance, if they win the next two regatta's they both enter and Ray Roberts finishes down the order. It is so close, that we dare not send the New 2010-11 Evolution Sails AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year trophy, taking shape in Pt Dickson to the engravers just yet and will leave further judgment till after the Top of the Gulf being their next encounter.
Meanwhile over in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and presently tied for 3rd place in the AYGP, Sam Chan will first be looking to break the San Fernando Race Record on his TP52 Freefire before taking on Frank Pong's 75ft Reichel Pugh Jelik II, this time without interference from Roberts and Pryde as they chose to stay back in Singapore for some repairs and modifications. The Hong Kong contingent could be joined by Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 51 EFG Bank Mandrake and Geoff Hill's TP52 Strewth taking on the Philippine workhorses, Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa and Ernesto Echauz's Sydney 46 Centennial, that have won regatta's in tricky Subic Bay before and are again looking forward to the challenge of securing the title. Whatever the outcome the top five placed yachts will be awarded valuable points that go towards the final overall placing's in the annual AYGP rankings.
After the Subic Boracay Race and Boracay Cup suggestions to broaden the scope of the AYGP have been coming in thick and fast. Usually, at the end of each season, the Five-Star events on the championship come under scrutiny and decisions taken on which events to be included in the calendar and how to score the following year are made. This process is a "Work in Progress" throughout the year and has evolved over the nine seasons the prestigious awards have been presented. Pioneer of Thailand's regatta scene, Cap'n Bill Gasson limits himself to running the Ocean Marina Yacht Club events these days, intends to hold a seminar and is inviting both regional regatta organizers and key competitors to come together on the 4th May during the TOTG Regatta. Discussions on networking the regions regatta's and forward planning into the future is expected. Expect some co-ordination between regattas, how to deal with the media and some synchronization of classes, courses, timing, race officials and limit the number of top class events in the region
Also on the table is raising sponsorship/funding to expand with a Premier Cruising Division and include the IRC Racer/Cruiser class, under the AYGP umbrella. We have come to the conclusion that more events can be added to the AYGP and by keeping the scoring to the best of six events, will create an Eastern and Western circuit for boat owners that don't want to go to Hong Kong, Philippines etc and vice versa for HK boats going to Sing, Mas and Phuket. The China Coast Regatta, biannual Vietnam or China Sea Race, Boracay Cup, Commodore's Cup, TOTGR and Samui would make up the Eastern qualifiers. Phuket Raceweek, Raja Muda, King's Cup, Langkawi, Sing Straits, TOTGR and Samui would make up the Western circuit. The TOTG and Samui are common to both as the season ending finals. This is all open to discussion and we welcome further expansion ideas and suggestions.
Check out the Asian Racing Calendar for the all year round racing season, held at some of the finest tropical island resorts in Asia. Those interested in Fly In, Charter a boat and Fly Out holidays or seeking crewing positions should Pick a suitable Event and scour their website for relevant information.
More on the AsianYachting
Grand Prix Championship
This AYGP March 2011 Newsletter is proudly bought to you by the following supporters