on again tonight in dear ole Subic Bay...
10 April 2012: The wide expanse of water that forms Subic Bay, comes alive again with four days of windward/leeward and passage races conducted by the Subic Bay Yacht Club and Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailors (SAGS) under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association. Being a superb natural harbour protected from the China Sea, Subic Bay normally serves up brilliant sunshine, flat blue water and wind conditions that demand close attention by tacticians and skippers.
This is the 10th point scoring event on the 2011-12 AYGP Championship and brings to a conclusion the East Asian segment before racing swings over to the Gulf of Thailand for two final events (Top of the Gulf - Samui Regatta) and rap up the Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards. After the physically draining Rolex China Sea Race several Hong Kong yachts have improved their standings and will join the stalwarts of the Philippine sailing scene for some spectacular racing before venturing on to the final events. Tonight is the welcoming party hosted by the Lighthouse Marina Resort and as the North Easterly breeze has returned, the stage is set for an extremely competitive four days of racing in a splendid warm and welcoming tropical setting.
The defending IRC Racing Class champion is the Sydney 46 Subic Centennial, which has changed hands and now under the stewardship of Martin Tanco. As his Philippine crew posses extensive local knowledge, they are gamefully expecting to put up a good fight and reclaim the title. But first they will have to overcome Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire, and Neil Pryde's professionally crewed Welbourn 52 Hi Fi that have consistently scored podium places and hold a commanding lead in the AYGP pointscore. Although a little smaller Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake and Simon Powell's A40RC Sell Side Dream are part of the ever increasing 40 foot class that is taking the Asian region by storm and proven they can hold their own in mixed company.
The IRC Cruiser Class is shaping up to be a real stongker with Jude Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star C! Calibre ROX, on a high after winning the windswept Boracay Cup last month, taking on Eric Jurado"s U20 Alexa and two Platu 25's crewed by Philippine Sailing Association crews, Ridgely Balladares on Body Shot and Emerson Villena's Frantic, that in the past have thrown a spanner in the works and come out on top, especially on short round the cans courses in tricky conditions.
For a number of years now David McKenna's Jeanneau 42 Rapparee XXX has ruled the roost in the PY Cruising class but that could come to an end if Viggo Ligon skippering the nippy Beneteau First 31.7 Selma has his way.
Although for various reasons (mainly breakages) the number of competitors is down on past years, the quality of the fleet is up and the class split is expected to generate some close racing, especially if the forecasted wind strength remains in the double figures.
This 2012 Commodore's Cup - Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters