Manning & Anthony Root crowned AYGP
Skippers of the Year
This means putting a good crew together, running a year long racing campaign at the highest level, competing successfully in at least 6 events, boat traveling up to 10,000 nautical miles, to race in six countries, no prize money and all at the owners expense, makes it the "hardest sports trophy to win in Asia". Take a look at the AY Photo Gallery of Past Winners
Let Steve and Anthony take up the story "Winning the AYGP is the Holy Grail for any big boat racer in Asia. It's a grueling test of boat, team and owners. It requires a high level of commitment, team management, logistical competence, equipment, leadership, perseverance, determination and seamanship, as well as a wide range of racing skills for both inshore and offshore events in remote locations with limited support resources. To win the overall AYGP championship, you have to win or achieve a podium finish in almost every event you participate in. This requires overcoming highly competitive teams based in each location with local knowledge advantages."
Continuing on with "For Black Baza, the challenge was even greater. Given its cutting edge custom design, we had hoped to have at least a month to sort out the boat before starting to race. Instead, we launched only a week before the RHKYC China Coast Regatta. The boat then left on a 9 month, 12,000 mile voyage around SE Asia to participate in eight events in five countries. We had to learn how to prep, trim and sail the boat on a real time basis while racing around Asia. We would not have been able to overcome the many challenges that we faced throughout the AYGP season without the extraordinary support from everyone in Black Baza’s design, production, build and race teams."
Total dominance by Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA 72 and Roland Dane's Corby 36 Jessandra II at both the centrally located Top of the Gulf Regatta and season ending Samui Regatta, heavily reduced the challengers chances of catching the leader. Check out the final 2015-16 AYGP Rankings, by clicking on Skipper - Yacht - Regatta and Scoring System.
The well traveled Sorensen/Tilden/Ketelbey/Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin could not close in on the leaders and fell 8.75 points short of the title, but the consolation prize is becoming the second best ranked team to run a racing campaign in Asian waters during the 2015-16 Season.
Still holding onto third place, Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive won three of the five regattas they contested and if they would have successfully competed at one more regatta before returning to Australia, could have been sitting at the top of the table.
Pushing for podium places all season, Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 EFG Mandrake settled on fourth in the annual rankings, playing the bridesmaid role to Roland Dane's victorious Corby 36 Jessandra II, as they come bounding up the rankings to 5th, after winning three and second place, at the four Thai regattas on the circuit.
Ole favourites Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes pushed the boundaries at six events for 8th place and finishes in front of the highly fancied Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire and Frank Pong's former champion Custom Dibley 75 Jelik in 12th. Skippering two yachts through the season, Kevin Whitcraft rises to 10th, while David Liddell's Stealth 14m WOW finished the best Multihull in 11th overall.
If you intend taking up the AYGP challenge, the team better be coming together and a suitable racing boat being optimised for performance. Rumours abound at Samui, included some teams considering upgrading to new generation TP52's, various optimisation programs being discussed and now that Ray Roberts has acquired TP52 (Ex Team Origin) will they be able to bring the fight to Kevin Whitcraft's all conquering TP52 THA 72 at the 2016-17 season opening Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek from July 15 - 19.
A mystery Hong Kong owner has purchased Ragamuffin 100 following Aussie yachting legend Syd Fischer's retirement earlier this year and the boat allegedly left Sydney last week, destination unknown but could be destined for some long distance AYGP point scoring events. Stay tuned to find out what happens next! at Scallywag 100' super maxi on Facebook
Many thanks must go to the Centara Grand Beach Resort, Peter Poudyel from Trend Fashions, Simon James and Kae Wattana from Regattas Asia, fellow members of the media, boat owners, skippers and crew for supporting the AYGP for the last 14 years and into the future.
Leave the last word to Steve and Anthony, the reigning champions "We would like to congratulate AsianYachting for developing a highly successful formula with the annual AYGP. It creates a competitive framework across a wide range of boat classes and types of events throughout the region. Without this framework, fewer boats would travel the long distances to participate in events in different countries. And your colorful and interesting AY Race Reports and Photo Galleries bring the events alive, for both participants and long distance spectators. Well done and many thanks for all your good efforts."
So after 12 Pointscoring Events, 238 Skippers and 234 Yachts, have contested 75 Inshore and 3 Offshore Races, in 6 Countries, to have a chance of winning the AYGP Skipper & Yacht of the Year titles, donning the Trend Fashions navy blue blazer and spraying the champagne Grand Prix style, at the combined gala Samui Regatta season ending prize presentation party.
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