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AY Race Report 5 & Summary

2016/17 AY Grand Prix Event

Victory for Centennial III, Black Baza and Bella Uno
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
24
:02:2017 Boracay, Philippines: On the final day, the NE wind increased to 26knots and crews experienced extended surfing rides and consequently incurred some damage in the process. The crucial first race, would determine the overall class winners and the second race would settle the podium places. A man overboard picked up by another competitor, a spinnaker wrap so tight that took them completely off the course, some damaged sails and equipment, resulted in a very depleted fleet line up for the second race. This didn't stop the yachts still competing, to give up in any way and by continuing to apply the pressure have gained valuable places.

While the big boats were cutting through the white water, Ray Ordoveza's semi displacement Excel 53 Karakoa were making some waves of their own and came from behind to claim victory in both races today. Stirred on by yesterdays victory, Geoff Hill's fully powered up Smith 72 Custom Antipodes created enough space between them and overall IRC 1 leader Ernesto Echauz's TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III to score second place but the comeback trail was short lived, as they were forced to withdraw with equipment failure on the second race. Third and second places for Standard Insurance Centennial III is enough to win the title by one point from the fast charging Karakoa. Perennial line honours champion Frank Pong's Custom Dibley 75 Jelik continued to lead the way but missed out in the handicap stakes and settled in fourth overall.

In these conditions, Steve Manning and Anthony Root's purpose built Ker 42 Black Baza disappears into a cloud of spray and is virtually unstoppable. With five wins on the board, Black Baza claims the IRC 2 title with ease and extend their lead in the AYGP Rankings. With the man overboard on Centennial II and subsequent retirement, the wine glassed spinnaker on Sabad causing race retirement and Request for Redress from Ramrod, has jumbled the remaining points somewhat and a long wait while the International jury deliberates. This resulted in Bobby Benares Beneteau 44.7 Sabad narrowly clinging onto second overall and despite withdrawing from two races Martin Tranco's Sydney 46 Centennial II ends up in third. The crew on Peter Sorensen's Farr 40 Ramrod, must be commended for the quick action of picking up the man overboard and awarded 7 minutes in redress.

In the Cruising Class, Michiel Brinkers Andrews 70 Bella Uno have completely outclassed Xiong Ting's Oceanis 45 Mermaid but this does not diminish the performance of the Chinese sailing school students, on different size yachts in these conditions.

Summary
Significant moves are being made to improve the numbers competing at this regatta. Signing a Memorandum Of Agreement with the China Cup will hopefully attract some boats from China, to come and enjoy this tropical racing paradise, over the winter months. Another boost is the purchase of six FarEast 28 yachts by Philippine Sailing, that will form a one design class in the Philippines and made available for charter to foreign teams during thse regattas. Many foreign crews have commented how good this regatta is run and should attract more entries. We agree and these improvements are designed to do this and keep the party going.

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