Commodores Cup Regatta
The Lighthouse Subic2010 Commodore's Cup
Race Report 4 & Summary
2009/10 AY Grand Prix Championship Event

Hi Fi, Red Kite & Rapparee are Class winners
By Jeremy Simpson
Photos by: Zed Avecilla & Chaos on Facebook

As the Boats left the Subic Bay Yacht Club to motor out to the start, the wind showed promise for another day of great sailing in the Bay. In four days there were four different patterns of weather. On the fourth day the wind was already set from the East when the fleet left for the start in the middle of a Bay shrouded in haze from the previous day’s high temperatures. Race Officer Jerry Rollin announced that the wind would hold and that the first race was on.

By the start there was a 10 – 12 knot breeze across the line from the East, perfect for the two Windward Leeward races scheduled for the day. Race 5 and EFG Bank Mandrake again made a perfect start, hitting the line at full chat a split second after the horn at the windward end.

At the first visit to the top mark, laid in the vicinity of the wreck of the USS New York, the order was Jelik III, Evolution, Ffreefire, with Hi Fi fourth, followed by Mandrake, Strewth and Jelik V. Karakoa and low rating Subic Centennial as always, were much too close for the leaders’ comfort.

Three laps of the 2 mile course were completed in just over an hour and saw small changes in order in the very tight racing. Jelik III romped home for line honours. Hi Fi stole second from Evolution Racing and Strewth overhauled EFG Bank Mandrake, all finishing within a few minutes of each other. But the two Philippine boats, Ray Ordoveza’s Karakoa and Jamie Wilmot in Standard Insurance Subic Centennial sailed a great race to snatch First and Second, on corrected time. Mandrake, sailing her best race of the Regatta so far took a very well earned third.

Race 6 followed 20 minutes later and the “50ft dinghy racing” (as one competitor described it), started again. Nick Burns in Mandrake again made an impeccable start at the Committee boat end and led the fleet for a second or two before Jelik III powered away to port. The wind held, peaking at about 13 knots.

The wind speed might have been pretty constant but the 40 degree windshifts that have characterised the last three days racing kept tacticians on their toes. Tacking on the shifts kept the crews busy and gave spectacular racing with the eight fifty footers match-racing at very close quarters. Some times a bit too close. At the top mark Geoff Hill in Strewth on port tack tried to slip through an impossible gap in front of Mandrake on starboard. Mandrake was forced to do two quick tacks to avoid T-boning Strewth and lost valuable time. In response to Mandrake’s protest Strewth ruefully did two do-nuts round the mark and came back into the chase.

After 3 laps Jelik III took line honours again, followed by Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi and Ray Robert’s Farr Transpac 52, Evolution Racing. But Jamie Wilmot and his young crew in Subic Centennial had sailed a perfect race and took first place on corrected time. Mandrake sailed their best race of the Regatta to take second with Hi Fi getting it all together in third.

In IRC1 the racing was no less exciting, with very close racing in the shifty conditions. Andrew Taylor and JJ Isler’s rocket ship Ambush flashed round the course in the front as usual. Exchanging second and third, and always close behind were Red Kite and Avant Garde.

In IRC1 Race 5 the Archambault 32, Red Kite took first, again, making it three straight wins. Gregory Kearns’ Avant Garde took second and the Mills 41, Ambush was third. Alan Chua’s Joyride was the highest-placed Philippine boat at fourth, followed by George Hackett’s Team Windshear Jo de Ros in fifth.

Race 6, was just 2 laps of the course and once again the visitors stole the show. Avante Garde crossed the line two and a half minutes behind Ambush which was close enough to earn her First place and push Ambush down to third. Martin Tanco’s X452, with a much better showing was third across the line, giving a very well earned fourth place. Anthony Root’s Red Kite followed 20 seconds later to give him second. So close was the racing that the seven other boats in the fleet all finished within 4 minutes of Red Kite.

In the sparsely populated PY Cruising class, sailing a course round the Bay, David McKenna’s Rapparee ran away from Ray Wolfe in New Moon, even though Ray pushed the Ted Brewer 42 faster than ever before and hard enough to suffer a massive broach that buried the rail a couple of feet underwater. That broach probably broke all of Jon Kerner’s best crystal glasses!

Overall, Rapparee took first with 4 wins and New Moon followed with a creditable second place. Unfortunately even when the handicaps were corrected for the fourth race it did not make enough difference to change the order.

In IRC !, Jo de Ros’ promising start slipped away one place at a time throughout the four days racing. However, it was good enough for a third place on the podium. Avant Garde improved throughout and secured second place with Anthony Root’s almost unbeatable Red Kite taking first place overall.

In IRC Racing, the two Philippine boats, Karakoa and Subic Centennial battled for third place which finally went to the larger boat, Karakoa - 14 points to 15. Ray Roberts’ Evolution Racing only one point ahead took second, with Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi taking first and the Commodore’s Cup.

The Awards Party was held in front of the co-host’s Subic Bay Yacht Club. The Chairman of the SBMA Feliciano Salonga gave away the trophies with SBYC Commodore Ricky Sandoval and co-host Jun Avecilla of the Lighthouse Marina Resort assisting.

There were few stories to tell about the last day’s racing, but boring it wasn’t. The constant 10-12 knots of shifting wind, the flat water and the sunshine on our beautiful Bay conspired to give 22 boats and a host of enthusiastic racing sailors a fantastic event. Their support and encouragement for the beleaguered organisers, who decided to go ahead with the event despite a court order to abandon it, demonstrated the tremendous goodwill and genuine gratitude for holding the event. Yachting tourists spent their time and money coming to the Philippines to race here and they were satisfied.

Let the contestants speak for themselves.

Neil Pryde – “Great Regatta – as usual – always professional on the water – no shortcomings ashore – Jerry Rollins’ patience in waiting for the wind made it work.”

Jerry Rollins – in reply – “My job is made easy by a great location and a great management team”

Warwick Downes – Commodore Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (just voted “Yacht Club of the Year”). “Really great. The changeable wind makes you think! Excellent organisation on the water.”

Nick Burns – “Great! Great four days! Wonderful!”

Jamie Wilmot – “Just great! The most competitive Regatta in Asia – beautiful sailing in Subic as usual. Thanks.”

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