wind taking its toll...
23:02:2011 The warning signs came early, when Martin Tanco radioed in that his X452 Challenge will not be participating as they noticed some structural damage after running aground yesterday. The wind speed held steady at 22-25 knots and was gusting up to 30 with white horses riding on the waves. The wind seems to funnel down the Caticlan Passage between Boracay and Panay where the windward/leeward courses are laid. Selecting the right combination of sails and crew controlling the spinnaker downwind became of paramount importance. The yachts fully powered up with bow waves at the front and foaming white water in the wake are a magnificent sight to behold.
Frank Pong's 75ft Reichel/Pugh Jelik II once again blitzed the course but a few tactical errors left the door open for Sam Chan's TP 52 Ffreefire to slip through and triumph in both races today. Ernesto Echauz's fully wound up Sydney 46 Centennial secured second place in Race 2 but a slow spinnaker take down resulted in them running over the kite and trawling it behind, loosing valuable time but still managed third place in Race 3. Frank Pong's Jelik II ended up with a 3, 2 score line to stay in the running. The Tiffany Koo skippered Jelik V shredded another spinnaker in as many days and retired to pick up the spare one from the Jelik mothership in time to fight for the next race. After changing some crew, Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa helmed by designer Alan Andrews showed some real promise but completely mistimed the next start and consequently withdrew from Race 3.
Despite Martin Tanco's X452 Challenge withdrawing from the regatta, the two remaining IRC 1 Class yachts fought out a close battle with several lead changes as they capitalised on each others mistakes. Jesus Avecilla Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star took over the line honours role in Race 2 but developed the death roles that caused a monumental chinese gybe and catapulted a crew member overboard, to finish Race 3 with their tails between their legs. Playing it safe, Claudio Altura's J35 Vivaldi stayed within the crews limits and won both races today to make it three in a row and go to the top of the leaderboard.
Once again the trophy presentation this evening, takes place at Cafe Del Mar on the famous Boracay beach front. Tomorrow long distance races are scheduled for both classes.
An impromptu race for the local bamboo outriggers or Parau's that carry tourists around and grace the beach each day is being organised for 1600 hrs tomorrow. Racing crews are encouraged to join in and some serious prize money is an incentive for the local skippers to take time off during peak hour and join in the fun. Each morning we have seen them covered in a cloud of spray making their way across the Caticlan Passage on the way to work. America's Cup crews eat your heart out!
More details on the Subic Sailing Website http://www.subicsailing.com/index.html
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