Baza ready to defend AYGP
They 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.
Great 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.
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.
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.
Leaving 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.
7 yachts in IRC 2 will have trouble keeping up with Tiffany Koo's King
Mills 40 Hero Racing
Team (Ex Foxy
So 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.
Other 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.
Bells for the King of Sailing
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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