Top of the Gulf Regatta 2011 and on day three the wind gods returned with steady breezes throughout, rising to 12 knots towards the end, and blue skies all around showcasing what a stunning race venue the Gulf of Thailand really is.
A tete-a-tete continued in the protest room today as Evolution Racing filed a protest against yesterday's Jury decision to dismiss their protest. The upshot saw Neil Pryde's Hi Fi disqualified from yesterday's sole race, which sees they drop down the series rankings. However, the rumour mill is working overtime and a protest by Hi Fi is expected on the protest by Evolution Racing about the previous protest result by Evolution Racing. All may not be settled just yet.
Protests aside, IRC Racing 1 completed two races today. In Race 1, Hi Fi showed their class and lead from start to finish with Team Premier and Evolution Racing in second and third respectively. Team Premier went one better in the second race taking first place by two minutes on corrected time from Evolution Racing, with Hi Fi in third.
IRC Racing 2 also completed two races today and in the first race Ichi Ban continued her winning ways with another bullet. Jing Jing took second and Katsu third. In Race 2, all boats exceeded the time limit as per the Sailing Instructions, so timings were taken at the last mark. This meant Jing Jing knocked Ichi Ban off her perch and took first with Ichi Ban second and Katsu third.
Two races for IRC Racing 3 saw a twist in fortunes for Royal Thai Navy 1 who scored second in the first race and a fifth in the second race to drop them down the series standings. Hi Jinks, sailed by a team from Singapore Management University took first in Race 1 with Souay I in third. In the second race, Kirafiki took the honours from Hi Jinks and Souay I, in second and third respectively. Going into the final day, the series looks set to be a two boat battle between Hi Jinks and Royal Thai Navy 1.
Race Officer, Simon James, sent the Cruising class on a long distance race off and around the islands. After a good stretch of the legs, Amanda took first with San Sanook in second and Free Wind third.
The one-design Platu class, racing for the Coronation Cup, managed to complete three races today, bringing the series total to six. With an expected 10 to complete the series, the last day looks set to be busy to say the least for the race committee. In Race 1, Lucky Lady took the honours from Naida in second and series leaders Magic Dragon, raced by the ever-popular SMU team, in third. In Race 2 today, The Ferrett returned to their winning ways putting in a strong performance to take their first bullet of the series so far. However, their 'luck' ran out in the next race with a seventh. Second in Race 2 was Lucky Lady with Magic Dragon, third.
In the last race of the day for the Platu class, another of the SMU teams, Wikki, jumped up the rankings with a first followed by Lucky Lady and The Weasel in second and third respectively.
In the Ocean Multihull class, two races were completed with The Sting taking first in Race 1 from Sonic in second and Bladerunner third. In the second race of the day, Bladerunner returning to their winning ways with a first, Dash took second and Sonic third.
Final series resulted were today announced for Hobie Tiger/ Nacra F18, Hobie 16, Open Monohull Dinghy, Laser and Optimists.
In the Hobie Tiger/ Nacra F18 class, after a nine race series with one discard, Jason Waterhouse walked away with a clean sweep. In second was Morten Jakobsen followed by Aroon Ruengcharungpong in third.
Well known Thai Hobie sailor, Kritsada Vongtim, took the class honours with five firsts and three seconds after one discard. Tirapong Vatibunrueng took second from Chulapong Chanyim in third.
In the Monohull Dinghy class a series of 420s and 470s raced nine over three days with Navee/ Tanapong running away with first place, followed by Sittisart/ Peerapun in second and Sutee/ Atinat in third.
Thirty-five boats lined up for the Laser class including 2010 Asia Pacific Laser Champion Kirati Bualong. Kirati's skills proved too much for the rest taking the class title with an 18 point lead, followed by Kamonwan Chanyim and Nut Butmarasri in second and third respectively.
The Thailand Optimist Nationals came to a close today and without perennial winner Noppakao Poonpat, who has reached the class age limit A new winner was assured. 130 junior sailors from around South East Asia took part, one of the biggest ever Nationals fleet. Prizes for Overall, Girls and Under 12 were on offer.
Thailand outshone their neighbours taking the top three places in all divisions. In Under 12, Jarupong Meeyusamsan took first from Phuket Dinghy Series reigning champion Anapat Ngarmdee in second, and Kamonchanok Khlahan third.
In the Girls division, first place went to Chaninat Poolsirikot with Kanapan Pachatikapanya in second and Kamonchanok Khlahan third.
Overall results saw Pongsapat Pumyam take third with Sarawut Phetsiri in second. And the winner, crowned Thailand Optimist Nationals champion for 2011 was 13 year old Thai girl Chaninat Poolsirikot.
The last day of racing for the keelboats and ocean multihulls will take place tomorrow at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand.
The 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta is supported by the Principal Sponsor Ocean Marina as host venue. Co-Sponsors include Land Rover and Range Rover, Thai Airways, Gulf Charters and Mont Clair Wines as Co-sponsors. A large contribution was also made by an anonymous sailor this year. Other sponsors include Ocean Property Co. Ltd., Singha Corporation Group, Thai Numthip Co., Ltd. (Coca Cola), Lucaris, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Golden Foods Siam Ltd., Bank of Ayudhya Plc., Seat Boat Co., Ltd., Corsair Marine Thailand Co., Ltd., QBE Insurance (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Mõvenpick ice cream, Nivea, CAT Telecom, Media Representation International and Sail Quest. Media partners include Pattaya Mail, SEA Yachting magazine, Ensign Media and Mix 88.5 FM. The event is supported by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Pattaya City.
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2011 -Vague a Lame leads the IRC 4 Cruising class across the start line - Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf Click Here to view large photo