Top of the Gulf 2011 - The final day of racing at the 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta saw idyllic, tropical sailing conditions and lots to sail for with many classes going down to the wire. Over 30 nationalities enjoyed four days of testing racing off Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand.
The Top of the Gulf Regatta saw one of the largest fleets ever in Thailand (and Asia) with 49 entries in the keelboat and ocean multihull classes (course one), 61 in the beach catamaran and monohull dinghy classes (course two), and 129 Optimists (course three) – a total of 239 boats.
Courses two and three finished yesterday with winners being presented series prizes at the Gala Dinner sponsored by the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, with today the final day of racing for keelboat and multihull classes.
Regatta Race Officer, Simon James, managed to complete two races today for all keelboat and multihull classes, and squeezed in a third race for the one-design Platus.
The IRC Racing 1 class enjoyed the company of the International Jury with a series of protests, dismissals and hearings being re-opened, which resulted in a disqualification on Day 2 for Hi Fi (Neil Pryde) and a final protest being withdraw by Team Premier (Johannes Waimer). The outcome of this, and the disqualification was critical in the final top three placings.
In the two races today, Hi Fi pulled out all the stops taking two bullets in what were very close battles on the water, with Team Premier in second (both races) and Evolution Racing (Ray Roberts) in third (both races). The standard of racing was some of the best-ever seen in the seven years of the Top of the Gulf Regatta and with that comes pressure and a deep desire to win, resulting in 'battle by protest'. After all protests have been taken into account, the winner of the IRC Racing 1 class for the 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta was Team Premier from Hi Fi in second and Evolution Racing, third.
In IRC Racing 2 Jing Jing (Rick Pointon) continued their charge taking two bullets today with Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) second in race one and Katsu (Ben Copley), third. Having the series already wrapped up, Ichi Ban came back to shore early and never took part in the second race leaving Katsu to take second from Dynamite (Brad Kirk) third.
The Sports Boats raced in conjunction with IRC Racing 2. Some impressive sailing from the crew on the Shaw 650 Pornstar (Kipsan Beck) saw them overtake the 45-foot Pasaya (Schle Wood Tan) on race one today, and take out the Sports Boat title from C U Later (Mikael Pophillat) in second.
Royal Thai Navy 1 (Nuttapol Srihirun) took two more bullets today in IRC Racing 3 and drop their worst finish, a second, to take the series. Hi Jinks (Shoun Toh), sailed by the SMU team, put in a consistent performance with two more second place finishes today to take second overall in the series. While in race one today Magic (David Bell) took third and Souay I (Jean Rheault) took third in race two. After the drop, Magic took third overall in the class series.
The Cruising class enjoyed the best of the Regatta's winds today and managed to complete two windward-leeward races. In race one, Amanda (Lennart Fahlgren) took first from Reef Knot+ (Simon Denny) in second and San Sanook (Andrew Watt) third. Race two saw a switch in the placings with San Sanook first, Amanda second and Reef Knot+ third. After consistently placing in the top two all series, Amanda took the class honours from San Sanook and Reef Knot+ in second and third respectively.
The one-design Platu class, racing for the prestigious Coronation Cup, went right down the line... and the protest room. A disqualification in the penultimate race for Lucky Lady (Kenta Inaba) meant they were bumped off the top spot. In today's first race, Magic Dragon (Maximillian Soh) took first from The Ferrett (Scott Duncanson) in second and another SMU Team entry The Weasel (SMU Team 2), in third. After a disappointing disqualification, Lucky Lady stormed into first in the final race, beating Naiad (Wiwat Poonpat) into second and The Fox (Rolf Heemskerk) in third.
After nine races, and with one discard, Magic Dragon were crowned Coronation Cup champions. After the last day's drama, Lucky Lady finished second and Naiad held on to third with a strong finish.
The Sting (James Haste) has lead the Ocean Mutihulls almost from start to finish at the Top of the Gulf Regatta. However, today they did not have it all their own way. A first in race one by less than a minute on corrected time was followed by a hard fought second in race two, falling short of the day's clean sweep by only 15 seconds on corrected time. Second in race one today was Bladerunner (Alan Carwadine) with Black Swan (Scott Galle) third. In the second race of the day Cedar Swan (Radab Kanjanavanit) took first from The Sting in second, with Bladerunner third.
The 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta saw professional on-the-water race management, a team of Jurors of the highest calibre and some of the most competitive racing to be found anywhere in Asia. Combined with challenging sailing conditions, the Regatta has been chalked up as a success. Plans are already on the drawing board for 2012.
Series results at the 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta, are as follows:
IRC Racing 1
1. Team Premier, Johannes Waimer (9)
2. Hi Fi, Neil Pryde (12)
3. Evolution Racing, Ray Roberts (13)
IRC Racing 2
1. Ichi Ban, Matt Allen (7)
2. Jing Jing, Rick Pointon (10)
3. Katsu, Ben Copley (17)
IRC Racing 3
1. Royal Thai Navy 1, Nuttapol Srihirun (6)
2. Hi Jinks, Team SMU (11)
3. Magic, David Bell (20)
1. Amanda, Lennart Fahlgren (5)
2. San Sanook, Andrew Watt (7)
3. Reef Knot+, Simon Denny (13)
Platu (Coronation Cup)
1. Magic Dragon, Maximillian Soh (20)
2. Lucky Lady, Kenta Inaba (23)
3. Naiad, Wiwat Poonpat (24)
1. The Sting, James Haste (9)
2. Bladerunner, Alan Carwadine (14)
3. Cedar Swan, Radab Kanjanavanit (18)
For full series results in detail, go to http://topofthegulfregatta.com/results.shtml
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.