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AY Race Report 4 & Summary

2014/15 AY Grand Prix Event

Difficult conditions require patience to succeed...
GBy AsianYachting MultiMedia
4th May 2015: The conditions over four days of racing, contained many highs and lows, which required patience and persistence to succeed. Today was no different and after waiting for the breeze to increase, racing got underway on a whim and prayer, that the direction and wind speed would last. The crews that consistently scored well, have their heads out of the boat, looking for wind shifts and choosing the right way to go. After a successful windward/leeward race, the IRC Racers and Multihull's joined the Cruising Class on a short passage race, to finish up the program. Aussie Scott Duncanson and Kingdom Properties captured their sixth victory and won the 20th Coronation Cup with one race to go, plus become the first team to defend the title in the process.

Favouring the right hand side of the course, the Kinmonth/Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 EFG Mandrake initially claimed the daily double on the first race today, by 22 seconds from Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 expertly helmed by tactician Steve McConaghy on this occasion. But getting wrangled with Gary Baguley's H&P 52 El Coyote on the combined startline has seen their disqualification and a huge consequence on their title hopes. Warming up to the conditions David Dimmock's Dubois 40 Blue Note slotted into second, as Kevin Whitcraft's GP 42 Wan Ma Rang found themselves on the wrong side of the wind shift.

Then it was time for Foxy Lady 6 to shine on the passage race, to overcome EFG Mandrake by 26 seconds and extend their claim the IRC Racing Class title. This sea sawing of places resulted in Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 defending the title from EFG Mandrake and Wan Ma Rang clinging on for third spot. In the race for the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year, Foxy Lady 6 takes over top spot in the Yacht rankings, but due to Bill Bremner's absence, will have to wait for the season ending Samui Regatta, to see if he can strike up enough points to defend the title.

Despite a second row start and dipping the transom of most boats, Aussie Scott Duncanson and Kingdom Properties recovered quickly and rounded the first mark in second place. From there on, it was a matter of taking the lead and extending, to capture their sixth victory and the 20th Coronation Cup in the process. They also become the first crew (Scott Duncanson, Trent Pedersen, Alfie Rowson, Tony Harman and David Chapman) to defend the title, in its 19 year history. All eyes were on the last race, to see who was going to take the minor placing's. Second place for Aussie Chris Way's Easy Tiger IV and third place for Ben Williams' The Fox meant they were on equal points, going into the final race. As it turned out, Easy Tiger IV claimed the win and second overall, while fourth place for The Fox was enough to cling onto third place overall.

Victory in the first race for Lennart Fahlgren's Tasker 32 Amanda looked like they were in line for the IRC Class II title. Although John Morris' Archambault 35 Lolanthe had other plans. Dropping down to sixth place on the final race and carrying a Did Not Finish in Race 1, Fahlgren's Amanda run out of steam and opened the door for Morris' Lolanthe to claim overall victory by 2 points. Gary Baguley's H&P 52 El Coyote has been snapping on the heels of the leading duo, with the occasional win to end up in third overall.

Although George Foose's Tartan 4000 Dream, won the last two races, their slow start to the series leaves them down in third place. Two second places for Martin Brown's Cal 33 Nautical Wheeler is also not enough to claim the title and second overall is the best they can do. Japan's Yasunori Osada's Beneteau 21.7 Tai Two, the smallest boat in the fleet has survived the International Jury penalty, Finished Out of Time in Race 4 and fourth place today becomes their drop race, to claim the Cruising Class title by the narrowest of margins, .4 of a point.

Over the years Khun Nim's Crowther 42 Sonic and Khun Radab's Thai built F9A Cedar Swan have had a ding dong battle for the Ocean Multihull Title. Winning the first race today by 6 seconds, Sonic drew level with Cedar Swan on the top of the leader board. So it was down to the wire on the last passage race. As Cedar Swan opened up a healthy lead, with his foot firmly on the accelerator, it was Khun Radab's turn to win the Multihull Class title. Brett Dryland's new Alibi 56 License to Chill looked impressive in third spot but needs more horsepower downwind to make a difference.

Summary
PRO Denis Thompson and his race team must be praised for patiently working their way through the program despite the trying conditions. Within the space of one race, the marks had to be relayed numerous times and some reserve assistants were needed to pull the anchors from the first day. Never the less, the competition in each class was tight and came down to the final day to produce the winners. The youngsters in the Optimist and dinghy classes are a great addition to the regatta and their enthusiasm brings back memories plus the future of sailing in the Thai home of champions. Various conditions have been experienced here over the years and everyone can be proud of their achievements, despite the results, put it down to experience and good for character building into the future.

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