Some skippers exclaimed 'That’s the fastest my boat has ever gone!' while others felt bruised and battered after a rough and tumble ride in the Carabao Strait and the windward side of Boracay. Clocking over 20kts, Frank Pong's Reichel/Pugh 76 Jelik III looked like a bullet train as it surfed downwind and charged across the finish line. On the leeward side of Boracay, wind gusts were peaking at 35kts with short 2-3m seas with white caps on top which managed to get even the Philippine Coastguard Vessel BRP Nueva Vizcaya into a steady rock and roll motion.
Hi Fi in full ’surf mode’ during the Boracay Cup 2012
PRO Jerry Rollin decided it was time to send the Racing Class on a 28nm figure of eight course around neighboring Carabao Island and clockwise around Boracay. The Cruiser/Racer and PY Classes were sent on a 13nm circumnavigation of Boracay Island. Most yachts carried heavily reefed mainsails and small working jibs to suit the howling conditions.
With an average speed over 11 knots, Frank Pong's Reichel/Pugh 76 Jelik III completed the 28nm course in 2hrs 24mins 25secs leaving everyone in their wake. The first casualty of the day was Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire, who first pulled the tack off the jib and then shredded the replacement sail at the first windward mark. Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi also had the pedal to the metal and by finishing 17min behind Jelik III, claimed the handicap honours by 4min, relegating them to second place plus their hold on the overall lead by a healthy five point margin. Also on the pace Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa helmed by Steve Benjamin slotted into third place and is presently running in second overall. Ernesto Echauz's TP52 Jelik V with the all-Philippine crew are ecstatic after going the fastest they have ever been on a sailing boat.
Reduced to three yachts, the IRC Cruiser/Racer Class threw caution to the wind and goose-winged the jib on the long downwind leg to the finish. Klaas Huisjes Sydney 36 Sandoway and Martin Tanco's X-452 Challenge were neck and neck coming into the finish, which Huisjes' Sandoway eventually won by less than a minute, with Jesus Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star C! Calibre ROX a further 4mins in arrears. After handicaps have been applied the tables are completely turned upside down. Avecilla's Selma Star adds another win to their tally at the top of the leaderboard, and Tanco's Challenge scores second place leaving Huisjes Sandoway clinging to third place.
Heavily reefed, the two yachts in the PY Cruising Class carefully approached the start line and cautiously proceeded upwind. After rounding the top mark, David Mc Kenna's crew on his Sun Odyssey 42 Raparee XXX noticed the hydraulic backstay had malfunctioned and promptly withdrew before any more damage could occur. This left David Wheeler's Cape Carib 31 Freewheeler to complete the race alone, and - as Raparee XXX is unable to continue in the regatta - hands over the title to Freewheeler.
Final day of racing tomorrow with two windward/leewards scheduled to finish off. Sails have been repaired or changed, and a full complement of Racing Class yachts will be battling it out right to the very end.
More details and results on the Subic Sailing Website http://www.subicsailing.com/index.html