Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - Worldwide Support

Top of the Gulf 2012, Day 1 – more than a capful of breeze

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 6 May 2012
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012 - The Weasel, Ying Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf
Yesterday it was sunshine and buckets of breeze, but like the saying goes, ‘you should have been here then…’ Overnight the thunderstorms were spectacular, and the torrential rain was still coming down at breakfast time – but there was still breeze. Fitful showers continued until around 1030hrs, and by start time (1100hrs) the rain had stopped leaving behind lowering grey skies and solid wind from the south. It wasn’t quite the picture postcard conditions that usually prevail at the Top of the Gulf Regatta, but 16kts is still 16kts and not to be sneezed at. The wind stayed in all day – Kukukerchu recorded a top speed of 26kts at the masthead, the Committee Boat registered 25kts, and there were some very tired sailors back on the OMYC lawn at the end of the day.



Cue PRO Jerry Rollins’ in-house Speaking Clock, and with a ‘three, two, one, go’ off went the Cruising division on a windward/leeward course, followed by the Platus, Ocean Multihulls, IRC 1 and 2 and then IRC 3 and the Sportsboats. For the smaller boats a 2nm beat against the tide seemed a long haul, but the bigger boats made mincemeat of it, with Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi taking full advantage of a 51’ waterline and recovering from a thoroughly second-row start to lead all the way round the track. After three laps she sailed home to a corrected time win just 5 seconds ahead of David Ross’s Ker 40, Kukukerchu. Siren, the Sayer 13 on charter to Dmitry Gornyy, retired soon after the start with a broken halyard (but went back to Ocean Marina and reappeared in time for the second race). Timothy Long’s China-built Soto 30, intriguingly named ‘Soto 30’ and making her world debut on the racetrack, brought up the tail of the division at the top mark but took off like a scalded cat down the run, passing Tantrum (Robert van Paridon) and Simon Powell’s Sell Side Dream as if they were standing still. It looked good, but it looked very much like a 30-footer in 40-foot company.



The 40 footers are once again flavour of the week at a major Asian regatta, but it was good to see Hi Fi hold her time against her smaller cousins, even if only by a squeak, and even if Kevin Costin is still complaining of a stiff neck from looking over his shoulder for too long.

Second race of the day for IRC 1 was a 20nm trip out to Koh Rang Kwian, beat-reach-run-fetch-run, and this time Kukukerchu won and turned the tables by pushing Hi Fi down to second place by 38sec after a 2hr race. Kevin Witcraft’s GP42 found her groove to tear home in third place on the water and on handicap, with Steve Manning’s Walawala (Sydney GTS 43) snapping at her heels.

IRC 2 also completed two races (Windward/leeward, and Koh Rang Kwian). David Bell’s Magic made a guest appearance as a hi-tech prawn trawler, but that wasn’t enough to stop her leading the division on 3,1 at the end of the day. Damrong Sirisakorn (Thai Navy 1) took early command of IRC 3 with two bullets from two races, and Peter Herning (Kirifiki) pulled off the same trick to lead the IRC Cruising division.



The Ocean Multihulls all revelled in the boisterous conditions, but star of the show straight off the start line was John Higham’s Sea Cart 26, Sweet Chariot. The super-lightweight trimaran has been modified since her first couple of regatta outings, with a taller rig and one less in the crew. The result today was a sub-light speed start and the boat disappearing away up the course in a haze of spray from her reverse bows. She swung a bit too low at the end of the first race, leaving the Committee Boat to port and having to return to finish correctly – but still won by 2 mins on corrected time. Unhappily, Sweet Chariot scored DNF for the second race when the headboard pulled out, leaving Andrew Stransky’s Fantasia (2,1) to lead the division at the end of the first day.

It was a long tough day on the water for both the Platu division contesting the Coronation Cup, and the Sportsboats division. There are some new faces in the Platu class - Anthony Hastings, usually seen at the helm of Baby Tonga, downsized his ride to join Rolf Heemskerk on Nataya, and Fraser Johnston – another Baby Tonga regular – is sailing 118. Simon Piff (Rainbow Dream) popped up on One One Two Two, and was already complaining of aching bones after yesterday’s practice session (but admits that the Platu is ‘a little more responsive’ than his cruising boat) and Ricky Sandoval and Jun Avecilla have brought their long-standing Platu rivalry all the way from Subic Bay to sail Motornet together.



It was only twice round the track for the first race, but Heemskerk made it look easy, taking and defending an early lead over Ian Short on Short Time. In the second, ‘long’ race, ChrisWay on The Ferret pushed Nataya down to second place. Crime Scene, Noel Leigh-Smith’s new Shaw 650, was the scene-stealer among the Sportsboats with two first places. Scott Duncanson’s very familiar Phuket 8, Quantum, suffered a knockdown and complete capsize whilst rounding Koh Rang Kwian. Rescue efforts from a media boat (they’re not all villains!) eventually righted the boat and slowly towed her the 7nm back to OMYC. 'I guess this is one regatta we’re not going to win,' said Duncanson.

The single biggest class at Top of the Gulf is the mass of Optimists contesting the Thai National Championships, this year with 108 names on the entry list. If it was hard work on the water today in a Platu, it was ten times harder in an Oppie! So hats off to Sarawut Phetsiri (THA) who scored 1,1 from two races, closely followed by Pongsapat Pumyam (THA) on 2,2. Top scoring girl was Chaninat Poolsirikot (THA) in third place, and leading overseas competitors were Conrie Tsen (MAS, seventh), Yann D’Argenlieu (HKG, ninth), Brandon Sung (MAS, 11th) and Calum Gregor (HKG, 12th).

The wind is still blowing, and forecast is still for ‘more of the same.’ Roll on tomorrow at Top of the Gulf – but with sunshine, please.



Full Results: www.topofthegulfregatta.com

Short Results:
IRC 1
1 Kukukerchu 2,1 (3)
2 Hi Fi 1,2 (3)
3 Karasu 3,5 (8)

IRC 2
1 Magic 1,2 (3)
2 El Coyote 3,1 (4)
3 Dynamite 2,4 (6)

IRC 3
1 Navy 1 1,1 (2)
2 Navy Academy 2,3 (5)
3 Amanda 4,2 (6)



Cruising
1 Kirifiki 1,1 (2)
2 San Sanook 2,2 (4)
3 Reef Knot 3,3 (6)

Ocean Multihulls
1 Fantasia 2,1 (3)
2 Free Wheeler 3,2 (5)
3 NoLimit 5,4 (9)

Platu
1 Nataya 1,2 (3)
2 The Ferret 3,1 (4)
3 Short Time 2,6 (8)





Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorBarz Optics - Kids rangeHella Marine - July 2016

Related Articles

Top of the Gulf 2012, day 4. Ending not with a bang, but a whimper
off we went. Just as the storm moved away – and took all the breeze with it. The weather forecast got it right up to a point. There were the overnight thunderstorms, and a very grey and threatening breakfast time. A major rainstorm immediately to the north of the racing area was pushing out plenty of wind, and the major decision was whether to take full oilies or just a jacket. It looked pretty ugly, but that often makes for some dramatic pictures.
Posted on 8 May 2012
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012, day 3 – this is what we came for!
Hi Fi back on top of the Racing class Hot, hot, hot with sunshine and blue skies, and 12kts from 200? to make everything look good. The breeze held for most of the day, but took a short holiday in the middle of the afternoon, making for some slow finishes for the boats on the long courses. RO Jerry Rollin has been itching to send boats north up past the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and then on to Koh Chun, Koh Krok and Koh Lan
Posted on 8 May 2012
NeilPryde Racing Series a success at 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta
the top three in each division went into the 'Super Final' – a sudden-death medal race to determine the overall winner. The RS:One Class features a new, attractive, and dynamic race format: One sail, one board - everyone on the same equipment allowing male and female racers of all ages to compete together with equal chances. Courses were set inside Ocean Marina, just metres from the Regatta Lawn, providing a unique spectator experience and allowing for some exciting close-quarter competition on-the-water.
Posted on 7 May 2012
Top of the Gulf 2012 – Day 2 - Challenging all round
'challenging for the competitors, and challenging for the race management' Not so much breeze as yesterday, but brief bursts of sunshine to make everything look that much more sparkly. RO Jerry Rollin summed up the day as 'challenging for the competitors, and challenging for the race management.' The wind had died off a little overnight, but still blew a good 10kts all day with enthusiastic gusts of over 16kts, all out of 240? - give or take 30? of swing
Posted on 7 May 2012
Coronation Cup. Boats available (just). Sign here
Due to two late cancellations there are two Platus available for charter for the Coronation Cup a the Top of the Gulf Re The Coronation Cup is an exceptional event - a division within the fastest-growing regatta in Asia - sailed in Platu ODs. If these two boats are re-leased, there will be 15 crews on the water in what is quite possibly the most nail-biting division in the regatta. Past winners have included Ray Roberts, Rolf Heemskerk and Scott Duncanson, and every one of those has been a hard-fought victory.
Posted on 16 Apr 2012
Top of the Gulf Regatta training ground for Olympic stars
The Top of the Gulf Regatta, Asia's largest multi-class regatta, will take place in Thailand in May at Ocean Marina YC Asia's largest multi-class regatta, the Top of the Gulf Regatta, will take place in Thailand 4 – 8 May 2012 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya. Eight years young, the 2012 Regatta will attract over 600 sailors and 300+ boats and boards, to take part in what has become a 'Festival of Sail' in the Gulf of Thailand, and a key date on the Asian sailing calendar.
Posted on 12 Apr 2012