day perseverance pays dividends
The hotly contested Coronation Cup is the best one design competition in SE Asian waters. It came down to the last couple of races to determine the winner. Scott Duncanson's Kingdom Property jumped to the top of the standings after winning the first race of the day, edging out Chris Way's Easy Tiger IV by a little over 20 seconds. In the second race, tactics came into play with Easy Tiger IV trying to cover Kingdom Property and take them out of contention. After a short windward/leeward Kingdom Property gained the advantage over Easy Tiger IV with fifth and seventh place finishes respectively. After the dust settled and all the points are in, it is Duncanson's Kingdom Property who are crowned winners of the Coronation Cup for the fourth time, with Easy Tiger IV a single point back in second, four points ahead of Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint in third.
Although the Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP 52 Oi!, winning streak came to an end with two 3rd places today, they have done enough to secure the IRC Class 1 title on their first attempt. Some clever tactics helped Kevin Whitcraft's GP 42 Wan Marang claim two wins today and in the process elevate themselves to second overall. Paul Winkelmann’s HH42 Island Fling looked threatening all regatta but an OCS and a couple of errors dropped them down to third overall.
After a slow start Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 climbed back into contention and by never finishing worse than second place and two wins out of three races today, defends the IRC Class 2 title in grand style. Their biggest rival was Japan's Yasuo Nanamori's First 40.7 Karasu slipped up today and left the door open for Foxy Lady 6 to take over the lead. Sarab Singh's Sydney 40 Windsikher had a good battle with the Sorensen/Ketelbey/Brown Beneteau 44.7 Fujin and held onto 3rd overall by the narrowest of margins.
This win keeps Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 chances alive in the race for the AsianYachting Grand Prix - AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards, but scoring only three wins makes the task even harder at the season ending Samui Regatta. This win also increases their winning streak to six regattas on the trot and an unblemished record that will be hard for anyone to beat.
Although Colin Lim's X99 Hi Jinks, has led Class III since the beginning of the regatta, Jean Rheault's J41 Souy 1, has wore them down to end up tied on points and takes over the lead by nature of winning the last race. David Bell's Jenneau 35 Magic started of strong but could not repeat the performance and has to settle on third overall.
The lead in Cruising Class 4 changed after each race between Lennart Fahlgren's Amanda and Patinyakorn 'Ging' Buranrom's S&S 42 Windstar. In the end they were tied on six points and broken in favour of Fahlgren's Amanda for winning the last race. The smallest boat in the fleet Japan's Yasunori Osada's Beneteau 21.7 Tai Two secured third overall in front of some much bigger boats and goes home with a huge smile on their face.
Khun Nim's Crowther 42 Sonic has led the Ocean Multihull Class since the beginning, but a mix up with contesting the second race today, has resulted in a three way tie on nine points with Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo and Khun Radab's Thai built F9A Cedar Swan. By winning the two races held today, gives Wilcox's Mojo the title and drops Nim's Sonic to second and Radab's Cedar Swan to third.
On the dinghy courses, the final day's wind made for a frantic finish with two races completed by most fleets. Keerati Bualong showed his class throughout to defend his Single-Handed Monohull Dinghy class title while top Thai female sailing the Laser Radial was Kamolwan Chanyim.
Defending champions in the Double-Handed Monohull Dinghy class, Navee Thamsoontorn/ Nut Butmarasri, were convincingly beaten this year and despite two wins on the last day for Sittisart Ponpan/ Peerapol Vesaka it was not enough to unseat new class winners Totsapon Mahawichean/ Sarawut Phetsiri.
In the Hobie Tiger/ Nacra F18 class, it was the pairing of Damrongsak Vongtim/ Kitsada Vongtim that out-sailed the rest to claim the crown.
The 2014 RS:One Asian Championships, in collaboration with the Top of the Gulf Regatta and WATH (Windsurfing Association of Thailand) has delivered three intense days of one design racing off Ocean Marina Yacht Club.
With 21 racers from seven nations (including the promising new windsurfing countries of Myanmar and Sri Lanka), the technical conditions and shifty winds provided some challenging competition.
Hong Kong and Thailand dominated claiming victories in all four divisions (Men, Despair Men, Women and Espoir Women). Natthaphong Phonoppharat was crowned RS:One Mens Asian Champion with seven wins from eight races while Hong Kong's Sin Lam Sonia Lo was unbeaten in the Womens division.
Some 132 Optimist dinghies, sailed by under 16-year-old boys and girls, faced the rigours of fickle conditions, with light, shifting winds interspersed with storm fronts growling on the horizon, to compete in the annual Thailand Optimist National Championships. In this its 39th running, the National Optimist Championships went down to the wire and after five races over three days it was Thai girl Sutida Poonpat who won the title on the final day, ahead of fellow Thai national team sailor Suthon Yampinid in second.
It's hard to believe that Bill Gasson is handing over the reigns after all these years in command. I'm sure as long as he is at Ocean Marina his expertise at organising regattas is an inspiration for other event organisers to follow and helpful guidance will continue into the future. Aye! Aye! Captain, thar she blows...
It's always good to come to the heart of sailing in Thailand and see how their national sailors are progressing. We have a tendency to cover the big boats and sometimes overlook the youngsters coming up the ranks. The Ocean Marina Yacht Club have great facilities and provide a perfect platform for all sailors young and old, in multiple classes to enjoy. And long may it continue...
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