All Souls Regatta, being held at Puerto Galera Yacht Club, first day of racing got underway today. What a difference a week makes. Typhoon Son-Tinh caused havoc over the Philippines, South China Sea and Vietnam last week and now the NE tradewind has settled in with 15 to 20 knots, clear blue sky and 27 yacht crews looking forward to a great regatta. The relaxed nature and genuine Philippine hospitality at the Puerto Galera Yacht Club sets the tone of the event. Bill Moore has the difficult task of determining the staggered start times for the fleet based on performance, which has been divided into four classes Racing, Cruiser/Racer, Cruiser and Multihull. Three different courses were set on Day 1 to suite the classes and timed to finish around the same time.
All souls 1 - All Souls Regatta 2012
All boats started at their allotted start time with reduced headsail's and some with reefed mainsails as it was gusting above 20 knots outside in the Verdi Channel. A few further obstacles included staying out of the wind shadow behind the hilly islands and allowing for the strong current (up to 3 knots) as they crossed the passage and returned to the finish. After the start all the boats proceeded in line to Malajibamanoc and Culebra Islands, with skippers and crew determined to squeeze the extra knot out of the boat and overtake the slower boats that started before them.
On Course 1, Guinivere II crewed by the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, gallantly held on to the lead with a bunch of yachts rapidly closing in from behind. Six minutes latter Santi Picornell's Strawberry Hill edged in front of D. Calvert's Freycinet to take second place by 21 seconds in the 10 boat Cruiser/Racer fleet.
Similarly in the Multihull Class, K. Magill's Siri Ya clung onto the lead in the fresh breeze to outpace Chris Boddington's Windjammer by two minutes. Next in line B. Feldman's Kalakuta slotted into third place in the four yacht class.
The Racing and Cruiser/Racer classes competed on the same course which included a leg down to Talipanan and a windward beat back to the finish line. Although M. Raeuber's China Rose led around the last mark, David McKenna's Raparee XXX came from behind overtaking 3 boats in the process to claim victory from China Rose by 18 seconds. Ton Van Hierden's Cocobolo held on for third place in the nine boat class.
all souls 2 - All Souls Regatta 2012
Although A. Chamberlain's Sorcerer finished a little over two minutes in front of Jun Avecilla's Selma Star, the Racing Class have decided to calculate their Elapsed Time by their IRC ratings and Avecilla's Selma Star came out on top, relegating Sorcerer to third place. Also benefiting from this move Ray Ordoveza's Karakoa slipped into second place after trailing the fleet and the last boat to start.
Racing continues tomorrow with another passage race and all skippers hope the conditions remain the same as today.