October 2016 - AsianYachting Grand Prix - News

Goto 2016-17 AYGP Microsite

2016/2017 AYGP Skipper & Yacht of the Year
"Hardest sports trophy to win in Asia"

Black Baza ready to defend AYGP title...
Goto 2016-17 AYGP MicrositeBy AY MultiMedia
October 18th 2016: The reigning AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year title holders, Steve Manning and Anthony Root's Ker 42 Black Baza, have repaired the mast damage from the season ending Samui Regatta and conducted another round of boat optimisation, to be ready to defend the title. Between the two skippers and crew, including an Olympic gold medallist, America’s Cup and Volvo veterans, anticipate entering most the AYGP Pointscoring events on the Racing Calendar, starting with the Volvo China Coast Regatta and Hong Kong to Hainan Race. Root added "We are also aware that talent doesn’t always translate into results, but hard work, determination and team spirit are the main keys to success."

Goto 2016-17 AYGP MicrositeThey are not the only ones, embarking on annual racing campaigns, competing in various classes and taking a run at the AYGP title. Over the past three seasons, the champions Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 won twice and Root's Black Baza last season, plus the runner ups, Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II, Paul Winkelmann's Island Fling and Ketelbey's syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin have come from the IRC 1 & 2 Classes.

Goto 2016-17 AYGP MicrositeGreat excitement looms in the big boat IRC 0 Class, as Seng Huang Lee's 100ft Super Maxi Scallywag is rushing all the way from Australia, to compete on her home waters, for the first time and instantly becomes the line honours favourite at both events. The two TP52's, Sam Chan's Freefire and Ernesto Echauz's Standard Insurance Centennial from the Philippines, will be going head to head and are always a threat in the overall stakes, as they open their account this season. Over the years Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 EFG Mandrake are renown for their well orchestrated and successful racing campaigns and always finish high up, in the AYGP Rankings. Newcomers, Adrian Bell's Azuree 46 Outlaw is reported to be a downwind flyer and Mark Whitehead Mills 40 Straight Up are competing on both events.

Goto AYGP Skipper Rankings Anthony Root also has the distinction of being the chairman of the China Coast Regatta this year and is continuing on with last year’s program of re-inventing the event and issues a challenge to all other regatta organisers in the Asian region "We have upgraded the party’s and completely redesigned the courses to take advantage of the beauty, diversity and challenge of HK waters. Based on my experience, these will be the most challenging courses on the Asia Circuit." and makes it well worth following.Goto AYGP Skipper Rankings

An impressive 36 yacht turnout, divided by IRC ratings into six classes, are making their debut on the 2016-17 AYGP Pointscore. Frank Pong's legendary Custom Dibley 75 Jelik have tasted success here before and after convincingly winning IRC 1 last year, Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin is bumped up into IRC 0, with the bigger yachts to contend with.

Goto 2016-17 AYGP MicrositeLeaving Andrew Taylor / Joachim Isler's Mills 41 Ambush and the heavily syndicated Ker 40 Signal 8 plus Helmuth Hennig's Marten 49 Vineta in the "Flying 40" IRC 1 Class and coming up against champion contenders Black Baza, EFG Mandrake and Straight Up on their debut.

Goto China Coast RegattaThe 7 yachts in IRC 2 will have trouble keeping up with Tiffany Koo's King Mills 40 Hero Racing Team (Ex Foxy Lady 6) that comfortably beat Frank Pong’s 75-footer Jelik III in IRC A, on their debut at the China Cup, last year. It will be a good test for Adrian Bell's new Azuree 46 Outlaw, to see how they stack up against regulars William Liu's A40 Seawolf, Andy Leung's J111 Mojito and Simon Powell's A40RC Sell Side Dream before embarking on the Asian circuit.

Goto China Coast RegattaSo what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, 'Typhoon Alley' has been very busy this season. Last weekend Typhoon SARIKA (KAREN) dumped heavy rain and unleashed destructive 130 kph (81 mph) winds on the northern rice-growing areas of the Philippines, before exiting over the West Philippine Sea, on a fast westerly course towards Hainan and Southern China. Following on quickly behind, a new Tropical Storm named HAIMA (Chinese word for Sea Horse) was spotted over the Western Pacific Ocean, South of Guam on Saturday and continues to grow in size and strength and entered Philippine waters on Monday. It's forecasted to cross the Northern Philippines again and could be heading for Hong Kong latter in the week. As it's still early days, all eyes will be on the weather reports, from now on.

Goto 2016-17 AYGP MicrositeOther News this month, comes as changes to the timetable, moves the China Coast Regatta into a latter time slot (October 22nd - 24th), leaving the biannual Hong Kong to Hainan Race starting on Nov 3rd. This allows the 10th China Cup to slot in between on Oct 27th - 30th and if this move becomes permanent, with the biannual Vietnam Race and proves to be successful in attracting more regional competitors to enter IRC classes, it could become an AYGP scoring event, next season. It also means that one of the five events on the Eastern Circuit, will have to rotate the selection each year, to make way for the China Cup.

Eight Bells for the King of Sailing
Our d
eepest condolences go to the Royal Family and to the people of Thailand following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej after a long battle with ill health. To get an insight into the gold medal winning, Thai King's exemplary sailing history and contribution to the sport in Thailand, has been published by Duncan Worthington from Marine Scene Asia Here... What a legend and the reason why, HM will sail on in our hearts forever...

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (64), will succeed his father, as King Rama X after the mourning period. While the sailing world is waiting for news, on how this will effect the Phuket King's Cup, Royal Patronage and Protocol, scheduled to be held from December 4th to 10th.

Image credits to AsianYachting / RHKYC / Guy Nowell

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