teams take advantage on final day...
The atmosphere was tense as these races would determine the overall champions in three classes. Consequently some starting line anti barging tactics were employed, which caught a few boats offside. After each race the calculators worked overtime to produce the results and relay them to the competitors. Two boats came out with exactly the same corrected time and countbacks were required to determine the final results. All in all, a wonderful conclusion to a great regatta.
Starting down at the pin end in clear air, Hennig Helmuth's Marten 49 Vineta stayed on the pace to win the first race and in doing so, threw a spanner in the works regarding the overall calculations. Ernesto Echauz's TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial stayed in front of Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire for the entire race to capture the overall lead in front of Frank Pong's custom Dibley 76 Jelik and perennial line honours favourite.
All eyes were firmly fixed on the final race. Despite being shut out at the start, Pong's Jelik quickly recovered and set off with a vengeance in the freshening breeze. This time Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire got the better of Ernesto Echauz's TP52 Standard Insurance Centennial to end up tied on corrected time and separated in favour of Chan's Freefire. An almighty effort by Pong's crew on Jelik earned them a final race victory and a last gasp to secure the Racing Class title. The tied result and awarding average points, deprived Echauz's Standard Insurance Centennial from being tied with Jelik on points and had to settle on second overall. By dropping the disqualification, Chan's Freefire ended up third and despite posting two wins Helmuth's Vineta finishes in fourth place.
Line honours in both races for Marcel Liedts Sydney GTS 43 Elektra was not enough to claim the IRC Cruiser Racer A title, as the other yachts were grouped close behind, but good enough to recover second overall. Hitting the start line with speed on both races, Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II stayed on the pace throughout, to win both races and wrap up the title. Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake and Martin Tanco's Sydney 46 Centennial II traded second and fourth places to end up third and fourth respectively.
This result and the Rolex China Sea Race Racer 2 Class win, increases Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II tally in the 2013-14 AsianYachting Grand Prix to a whopping 79.5 points. Frank Pong's custom Dibley 76 Jelik takes over second place with 57 points. Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 has held onto 2nd place for some time but will have to convincingly win the Top of the Gulf and Samui Regatta to overhaul Roots Red Kite II and become the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year.
Despite Eric Jurado's U20 Alexa return to the race course and showing good bursts of speed, Vigo Lisson's First 31.7 Selma with the Philippine Sailing Association youth crew onboard, held on to win the last two races and take home the IRC Cruiser Racer B class title.
An interesting tussle developed in the Cruising Class. Once again Harry Taylor's S&S 36 Irresistible got the jump on the other two boats, tangled in a barging incident at the startline and never looked back to successfully defend the title. Second place for Austein Chamberlaine's Irwin 37 Sorcerer ended up being tied on points with Taylor's Irresistible but on countback came out in favour of Irresistible. Chui Shing Kin's Beneteau Oceanis 45 HTRIP (formerly Liannet) started the regatta strongly but a couple of incidents around the course, has dropped them down to third place and put them on a steep learning curve with the racing rules.
Garry Kingshott's Fusion 40 Kerida could not match the upwind speed of Dirk Van Straalen's Nicol 40 Windjammer and conceded defeat in all four races. Therefore Windjammer sails away with the first ever Multihull title to be contested at the Commodore's Cup.
After a few years in decline, the Saturday Afternoon Gentleman’s Sailing (SAGS) club of Subic Bay have done a great job in reviving big boat racing pursuits in the Philippines. Blessed with one of the best race management teams in Asia, safe marina facilities and the wide expanse of Subic Bay, makes for an exceptional racing experience.
Ask any competitors here if they have had a good time and they will all respond favourably. Most boat owners in Hong Kong have Philippine boat boys and utilise them for delivery services, so why not give them a treat by participating in their home waters straight after Easter each year. You won't regret it...
This 2014 Commodore's Cup - Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters