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Top of the Gulf 2014 - opening shots as the breeze comes and goes

'Top of the Gulf 2014 - Oi!'    © Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf    Click Here to view large photo

The 10th anniversary Top of the Gulf Regatta started yesterday in Pattaya with 37 boats in the keelboat and multihull classes and a good 10 knots of breeze. Following some competitive startline action, the breeze dropped out and it became a battle of wits and tactics as the crew looked for wind shifts and building pressure to gain an advantage over their competition. By Race 2, the wind was back and the fleet enjoyed the building breeze.

IRC 1 saw some close racing with just seconds at times separating the top three on corrected time. Aussie Peter Ahern and his crew on Oi! mastered the tricky conditions to score two from two to take an early series lead. Hong Kong's Island Fling traded places with Thailand's Wan Ma Rang for second and third. With just seconds separating the top three on corrected time,

In IRC 2, on-the-water the racing was close. Last years winner Foxy Lady VI, struggled in Race 1 finishing fourth but improved rapidly to take the win in Race 2. However, the day's glory went to the all-Japanese crew on Karasu whose two second places see them top the standings.

Last years winner Hi Jinks, sailed by Singapore Management University (SMU), finished the day with a 2,1 in IRC 3. While Magic won the first race, they slipped into third in the second to finish the day second overall.

In IRC 4 Cruising it was the Thai crew on Amanda, led by Swedish skipper Lennart Fahlgren, who won Race 1 from Windstar and Tai II, second and third respectively. In Race 2 Windstar, skippered by Patinyakorn Buranrom went one better winning the passage race with George Foose's Dream pushing Amanda into third.

The Platu class, the largest in the regatta with thirteen entries, saw Hong Kong's Andrew Moore start his regatta with an almost three minute win over Aussie contender Chris Way. Thailand's Royal Thai Navy entry, skippered by CPO. 1 Wiwat Poonpat, were a further minute behind in race one.

In the second race, Aussie Scott Duncanson, a former Australian junior champion, helming Kingdom Property dislodged the early winner, Andrew Moore's Tigrina, with Chris Way's Easy Tiger IV in third.

In the third race, held in dying winds, Andrew Moore leaped into the lead again, just seconds ahead of Scott Duncanson, with again, Chris Way, third, five seconds behind Duncanson.

At the end of the first day's racing, it is Australia and Hong Kong in contention for the coveted Coronation Cup - the perennial Platu prize at the Top of the Gulf Regatta.

In the Ocean Multihulls, Kirati Assakul helmed Sonic to the front in Race 1, from Thailand's Radab Kanjanavanit's Cedar Swan with Aussie Peter Wilcox's Mojo in third. In Race 2, Mojo sailed well for the win with Cedar Swan again in second and Sonic settling for third.

The dinghy classes and the Thailand Optimist National Championships and RS:One Asian Championship start today off Ocean Marina Yacht Club. All racing finishes on 5th May.

by TOG Media


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1:30 PM Sat 3 May 2014GMT

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