is coming of age...
Serious contenders for the title are already making plans for the coming season. Just ask any winning skipper and they will tell you "Winning the AYGP is the hardest task any racing crews can go though in Asian waters". They have to be in top form and compete with distinction in at least 6 regattas during the season, before celebrating the proudest moment of their racing careers.
For five years, Anthony Root has been fostering and executing the Red Kite II racing program in Hong Kong. before launching a determined challenge on the 2013-14 AYGP. In Anthony's words "The program has been on a great run. The season’s statistics tell the story - 9,000 miles, 60 days at sea, 57 races (two cat 1 offshore), 9 regattas in 6 countries, that has produced 7 regatta/offshore wins, including six consecutive China Sea wins. Only to miss out by 2 seconds and ½ point on the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year title, at the last regatta, on the last day, in the last race of the season. RK II was in the lead for the entire race until the wind died at the last mark.
Kudos to the RK II team for an extraordinary performance in its first foray on the Asia Circuit. The team beat the odds repeatedly, to win at new venues against larger boats crewed by Asia’s top sailors. RK II was one of only two boats to beat Bremner's well sailed Foxy Lady 6 and circuit winner this season. No other 35’ boat has come close to winning the AYGP.
Was it all worth it? Anthony reply's with "Apart from amassing terrific teammates and supporters near and far, the best part of the RK II experience has been making new friends and keeping in touch with old ones. A special thanks goto: Kevin Peet for his rock star tactics, Andy Pilcher and Doyle for cutting edge sails, Reden Tabangay for his dedication, seamanship and boat skills, Paul Bayfield, Olivier Decamps and David Salembier for creating and sustaining the team’s spirit, Warwick Downes for the guidance and encouragement that got the program started, Adaro who generously sponsored the program at a critical stage and above all to Hongyu (Anthony's wife) for her unwavering support and quiet determination that kept the program going through all the ups and downs of nearly 300 races over five years
Alternatively, Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 started their "Assault of the Gulf" last year and won both the Top of the Gulf and Samui Regattas. They continued the winning streak into the 2013-14 Season by convincingly winning the Raja Muda, King's Cup, Royal Langkawi and returned for their second assault at the Top of the Gulf and Samui Regattas.
This seven regatta winning streak has been masterminded by Bill and Janis Bremner and superbly conducted by a mixed crew of Canadian, Singaporean, Philippine and Aussie sailing legends - Cap'n Bill on the helm, Steve McConaghy calling the shots (Admits to only 2 mistakes all regatta), Sail Trimmers Janis Bremner, Andrew Chan, Stuy Lee and Scott Minton, Chas Mitchell on the bow, Benny Mawson in the pit, Dale Johnston on the mast and navigator Ko Chuan Yang.
Each year competing Skippers can see how their racing campaign ranks in the Asian region. After a slow start to the season, the 2012-13 Champion, Frank Pong's Dibley custom 76 Jelik finished with a flurry of wins in the Philippines, to end up the third best team in Asia. The Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey trio on their TP 52 Oi! reigned supreme at Phuket Raceweek, Royal Langkawi and Top of the Gulf but a lack of racing class entries at some events has held them back to 4th Overall in the pointscore. The Sorensen/Tilden/Ketelbey and Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin steadily climbed the rankings at early regattas but stumbled at the last three events, to end up 4th best yacht in Asia and the usual skipper Peter Sorensen in 5th place.
Sterling performances throughout the season by David Ross' Ker 40 KukuKERchu, Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake, Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire and Ray Roberts TP52 OneSails Racing round out the top 10 rankings. Twelfth place for Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo is the highest placed in the Multihull Class. The final regattas saw a surge in finishing higher up the rankings, which annually grades the teams overall standings and performance in the Asian region. This season, 296 Skippers and 283 yachts scored points in the AYGP. See how your favourite sailing team ended up in the annual AYGP rankings by Skipper - Yacht - Regatta Results - Scoring System
The family of 12 regattas that make up the 2014-15 AYGP and Scoring System have been released for Boat Owners and Skippers to plan their racing campaigns and movements next season. We have approaches from some top Racing Teams in Australia and New Zealand, that are eager to take a crack on the Asian scene. Be warned, if anyone can stop Bremner's Foxy Lady Team from becoming the first team to defend the title in the all inclusive era, they better start with the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek (July 16th - 20th) as Foxy has already entered.
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