Goto Top of the Gulf RegattaGoto 2017-18 AYGP  14th Top of The Gulf Regatta
23rd Coronation Cup
43rd National Optimist Championship

AY Race Report 4 & Summary
2017/18 AY Grand Prix Event

Persistence pays off in the long game...
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
01st May 2018:
Becalmed between two storm cells for 90 minutes, before the breeze filtered in from the East, was the first order off the day. A windward/leeward course for all classes was quickly laid and the final days racing got underway. As the breeze increased and veered to the South, a 10nm passage race out to Ko Klet Kaeo and back for the IRC and Multihull classes, while the Platu's completed another W/L race and having completed their four race program, the Cruising Class went home. Similar story for the Optimist and dinghy classes, two races to complete their program and everyone back in time for the gala dinner and final presentation dinner. Goto updated AY Photo Gallery

While Li Hongquan's TP52 Ark 323 took the windward berth at the start, young Noppakao (Nine) Poonpat did not waste any time and firmly put her foot down on Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA72, to take a commanding lead by the top mark and never looked back. The same approach on the second race, earned THA72 another win and regain the IRC 1 title for another year. The Chinese Ark 323 put up a good fight and gained a lot from the experience, that will be put to good use, in a couple weeks time, at the Samui Regatta, when they come up against more TP52's on the race course.

Determined to not be caught off side when the wind changed direction again, David Dimmock's crew on the Swan 42 Loco wound her up and posted first and fastest in the first race and did not need to race on the second race, to clinch the IRC 2 title, with four wins out of six races. Gary Baguley's heavy displacement H&P 52 El Coyote has battled against all odds in the changing conditions, to come through and claim 2nd overall. After a slow start to the series, Jean Rheault's Souay 1 found top gear and nudged their way into 3rd place. The last race win, for Barry Waugh's chartered Beneteau 44.7 Fujin gives them 4th place and displaced David Bell's Magic to 5th overall.

Hiroshi Kurokawa's Team Spray have been working hard all regatta and came out of the starting blocks in front and determined not to give it away. By posting a win Team Spray claims the Cruising Class title, from Pote Suyasinto's Jenneau 42i Le Vent that have been in the box seat for the entire regatta. Second place for Tim McMahon's X99 SailQuest Hi Jinks also allows them to leap frog Le Vent for 2nd overall and relegate them to 3rd. Not enjoying the light air races, George Foose's Tartan 4000 Dream settles on 4th place, as did Tony Mallia's steel boat Khao Phetploy lagging in 5th but completed all races.

Starting at the pin end, with speed and clear air, Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint had a slight advantage, to lead around the top mark and continued on to claim the first race. By doing so, defended the Coronation Cup on the water in their own right and not by count back this year. As the drop race came into play, Ithinai Yingsiri's Pine-Pacific drops the last race 7th place and bumps them up into 2nd overall. Up and down the result sheet, for the Aussie's on Chris Way's Easy Tiger left them in 3rd place, While winning the last race, Wiwat Poonpat's Royal Thai Navy came within one point of Easy Tiger but had to settle on 4th place.

Despite Demachy Dominique's KL 28 Edenko leading the way around the course, Khun Nim's Crowther 42 Sonic corrected out in front on both races and came from behind to defend the Ocean Multihull Class title in style.

Dinghy Classes (9a, 9b, 10)
It's never a foregone conclusion in sailing, but then there's only one Keerati Bualong. Thailand's top Laser sailor and two-time Olympian has won Class 9a for more years than anyone cares to remember and this year produced a masterful showing. Not always leading from start to finish, having to come from behind at times and mastering the mixed bag of conditions, he finished with a clean sheet – six wins from six races. Impressive.

Second and third was a much closer affair with Chusitt Punjamala putting together a string of second places in the last two days to place second overall, three points ahead of Jarunpong Meeyusamsen in third.

In Class 9b (Laser 4.7s), Saranrong Poonpat and Sophia Gail Montgomery have traded places throughout the series but it was Saranrong who performed better on the final day and secured the win by a single point. Paliga Poonpat held onto third from a late charging Chanokchon Wangsuk.

The Double-Handed Monohull Dinghy Class (Class 10) saw a mix of 420s, 470s, 49ers and 49er FXs competing together on handicap. Having lead from Race 1, Navee Thamsoontorn/ Nut Butmarasri (470) held on to take the title despite two third places today. Suthida Poonpat/ Narisa Satta (470) had an excellent final day with a 2,1 score line tying them on points with Suthon Yampinid/ Kittipoon Kumjorn (420), however, after count-back Suthon Yampinid/ Kittipoon Kumjorn were awarded second place.

Thailand Optimist National Championships
Two races were completed for both Optimist fleets on the final day bringing each series tally to five. A tough final day for Hong Kong hopeful Duncan Gregor in the Gold Fleet saw him finish fifth overall after holding second earlier in the series, and the top international youngster. Having had a slow start to his series, M.L. Weka Bhanubandh put in some solid performances to work his way up the standings to finish second overall and top sailor Under 12, with Patihan Vorrasart in third. The glory and title, however, goes to the most consistent sailor on the course over three days, whose 4,1,1,1 scoreline ensure he defended his title, Panwa Boonak – the 2018 Thailand Optimist National Champion.

Yoth Srimanchanda comfortably won in the Silver Fleet with Attasuk Boontawee's two bullets on the final day enough for him to sneak into second ahead of Krithphet Suwannarai in third.

All sailors, young and old, beginner and professional, came together for the Ocean Marina Gala Dinner where prizes were presented by Mr. Ittipol Khunpluem, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports Thailand, and Admiral Thanee Phudpad, Vice President of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand.

Summary
It's unfortunate about the unseasonal weather experienced during the regatta but battling the elements is part and parcel of sailing. PRO Simon James and his hard working race teams persistence and the sailors patience, shone through at the end of the day. They all must be congratulated on making the regatta a success, despite the weather. The lack of big boats attending this event is made up by the One-Design Platu Coronation Cup and the dinghy classes that have chosen to hold their national championships here. After all this is where all the Thai champions are born and rise through the ranks. The Ocean Marina facility is second to none and one of the biggest in SE Asian waters to hold an annual regatta. The extra effort to bring your boat to enjoy the delights of Pattaya and the East coast cruising grounds along the way, could become the highlight of the trip.

More info and results on TOTGR website: www.topofthegulfregatta.com
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