Goto Top of the Gulf RegattaGoto 2016-17 AYGP Microsite13th Top of The Gulf Regatta
22nd Coronation Cup
42nd National Optimist Championship

AY Race Report 4 & Summary
2016/17 AY Grand Prix Event

Perfect conditions to finish the regatta
Victory for Emagine, El Coyote, Lady Bubbly, Sonic & Team ViewPoint
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
8th May 2017: When Aussie PRO Denis Thompson stated that "Some small sheep are appearing in the paddock" meant that "Small white caps were starting to appear on the waves", bought a smile to many sailors from down under. No waiting around for the wind this time, as racing got underway on time and crews were fully wound up for a big performance on the last day. As the day progressed the wind increased and the planning boats, could be released and the heavy displacement yachts hit their full potential. Several classes were open for the taking, and the Platu one-design hinged on the final two races to decide the winner. The media weren't disappointed as four boats in line, under spinnaker, surging towards the finish line to decide the final outcome, was described by Asia's best photographer Guy Nowell as."You don't have to be foiling and doing 50 knots to make things interesting."

Racing in close company, Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine and David Dimmock's Swan 42 Loco urged each other along and while Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA72 stretched their legs at the front, both boats eclipsed them in the handicap stakes, with Loco taking the glory by only three seconds from Emagine. Although Whitcraft's THA72 hit the straps and recovered some composure winning the next race, Bradley's Emagine hasn't finished worst than 2nd, apart from dropping 3rd place, to win the IRC 1 class on their first attempt. THA72 and the vastly improved Loco, finished tied on 14 points and broken in favour of THA72 for 2nd overall and break their regatta winning spree, since arriving in Asian waters.

Once again Martin Brown's Cal 33 Nautical Wheeler claimed victory in the first race by 26 seconds, from Gary Baguley's H&P 52 El Coyote, but they rebounded to win the second race and romped home to defend the IRC 3 class title. Second place for Brown's Nautical Wheeler allows them to leap frog David Bell's Jenneau 35 Magic for 2nd overall on the last race.

Only one race for the Cruising Class to complete their five race series. Although an adjustment to the Race 3 results, broke Aussie Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly winning streak, they won again today to make it 4 wins out of 5 races and claim the Cruising Class title on their first attempt. A little controversy before Lady Bubbly finished, when they informed the race committee they were protesting the other boats for not rounding the correct top mark, which resulted in their disqualification. This left Pote Suyasinto's Jenneau 42i Le Vent in 2nd overall and Dwight Willis Beneteau 54 Thida Waree settling on 3rd overall and a happy crew with their performance.

After limping home with a shredded mainsail yesterday, Bob Garner's 28ft Corsair Bladerunner 7 were back on the water, with a spare sail and ready to take on the reigning champion Khun Nim's Crowther 42 Sonic. The stronger breeze allowed Nim's Sonic to kick up their heels and spray coming off the bows, to lead Bladerunner 7 around the course and defend the Ocean Multihull Class title.

All eyes were on the 11 strong Platu one-design fleet, as the results from these two races would decide the 22nd running of the prestigious Coronation Cup. Coming into today's final races, Chris Way's Easy Tiger held a four point lead over Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint. Ben Williams The Ferret won the first race with Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint second and Way's Easy Tiger third. This reduced Easy Tiger lead by one point and all to play for in the final race.

At the top mark the Russians on Valeriy Dichenko's Naiad led around the mark and managed to extend around the course. A four way battle developed for second place between Way's Easy Tiger, Ithinai Yingsiri's Pine-Pacific, UK's Colin Simonds on Wikki and Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint. Taking turns to surge ahead with every gust, for the entire run into the finish, it became nip and tuck to thoroughly entertain the media team on the sideline, clicking away with abundance. Eventually with the last puff Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint claimed 2nd place by a whisker from Pine-Pacific, Wikki and Easy Tiger relegated to fifth. This resulted in Team ViewPoint and Easy Tiger tied on 24 points and broken in favour of Team ViewPoint. On several past occasions, Rolf Heemskerk has finished in 2nd place and has finally come up trumps, to claim their first victory at the Coronation Cup.

Although the big boat entries are down on past years, the fun and close racing has not diminished. The dinghy racing has produced future champions and the Coronation Cup is a perfect example of how popular one-design racing, is attracting International teams to our shores. The big boats may lack in numbers but the quality is there and they are not just breaking match sticks out there, instead are serious contenders for the titles, producing excellent racing from the superb Ocean Marina facility. As fly in and fly out competition is becoming very popular, next year the push is on for charter yachts to be available, especially during the European spring.

Many thanks to all the volunteers that make the regatta possible and the race committee for running the regatta smoothly. With the passing of the Thai King, there are difficulties with announcing next years regatta dates in Thailand, but we can rest assured that the Top of the Gulf will be back with a vengeance, at roughly the same time.

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