and persistence pays off in the long run...
11 April 2012: An eight to ten knot Easterly breeze got the fleet away on time for a 24nm passage race inside Subic Bay. As the morning turned to afternoon, it became patchy with favourable or unfavourable gusts and depending where they were positioned on the course, either assisted or hampered the yachts progress. On this occasion the leaders seemed to benefit leaving the backmarkers to struggle, as they spend more time on the water. Tactician on EFG Bank Mandrake, Warwick Downes exclaimed after the race "We were robbed!" and added "We had our time on the leaders until half way up the last beat, when we fell into a hole and the wind clocked around all over the place, as the leaders crossed the finish line. That was the race for us".
Never more than a hundred yards separated Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi and Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire at the front of the fleet. Several lead changes resulted as Freefire seems to be a little faster downwind and Hi Fi claws back upwind. Playing the wind shifts and gusts to perfection, Sam Chan's Freefire claimed line honors by little over a minute but Pryde's Hi Fi leapfrogged them for handicap honours by over three minutes. Despite falling into the wind hole Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake pushed on and eventually had to settle on third place and hopefully better luck tomorrow. Martin Tanco's Sydney 46 Subic Centennial, broke the mainsail outhaul and had to retire from the race, leaving Simon Powell's A40RC Sell Side Dream to slot into fourth place.
The opposite occurred in the IRC Cruiser Class. After establishing a healthy lead, June Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star C! Calibre ROX, made a couple bad tactical calls on the way to the finish, which allowed Ridgely Balladares Platu 25 Frantic to close in and eclipse Selma Star for the handicap honours. Emerson Villena's Platu 25 Body Shot finished in third place and Eric Jurado"s U20 Alexa in fourth but will have to go a lot harder if they are to make an impression on the leaders.
Although David McKenna's bigger Jeanneau 42 Rapparee XXX claimed line honours, it was Viggo Ligon's smaller Beneteau First 31.7 Selma that ended up slaying the dragon in the PY Cruising Class.
Racing continues tomorrow and PRO Jerry Rollin has indicated that 2 windward/leeward races maybe the order of the day. The weather forecast indicates a decrease in strength and by midday completely fading away. If true, this will further test the sailors skills and luck in the Subic sweepstakes.
This 2012 Commodore's Cup - Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters