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Any teams looking to contest the newly expanded 2011-12 AYGP (See Changes in the Wind) should sit up and take notice of what will be expected from them. The eventual winner is the Boat owner and Skipper that can successfully run a full-on racing campaign through Asian waters over the 2011-12 Season. This will take an enormous amount of planning, crew recruiting, financial backing and commitment to race in at least six five star events during the season. By no means is winning meant to be easy as being crowned the Skipper and Yacht of the Year is serious business and requires the due respect it deserves.
Over the years Peter Ahern has won 2, Neil Pryde (3), Frank Pong (1) and Ray Roberts (3) should be asked what it takes to succeed. Now that we are opening up the competition to multiple IRC and Multihull classes, the degree of difficulty has just been elevated to a new and exciting level. The arrival of Hannes Waimer TP52 Team Premier onto the scene from Dubai with two podium finishes has shown the the main protagonists can be beaten by a well prepared team at their own game.
Also the likes of Matt Allen's Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichi Ban, Ben Copley's Swan CS 42 Katsu, Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 Quantum Fusion M, Antony Hastings Beneteau First 53 F5 Baby Tonga and Henry Kaye's Seacart 30 Thor have consistently won their classes and under the new point scoring system could come into contention if they embark on expanding their racing campaigns. There is still a lot of water to flow under the keels before the navy blue blazer is donned and the champagne popped in Koh Samui but some exciting times are ahead on the Asian scene.
The 2011-12 AYGP kicks off with Six Senses Phuket Raceweek from July 20-24 and the rest of the five star events on the Asian Sailing Calendar can be found at: http://asianyachting.com/asiancalendar.htm
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