If the wind isn’t pumping here it gets very hot. That’s VERY hot. The day started with Race Officer Jerry Rollin debating whether to run a long race, or a w/l and then a long race, or… well there weren’t any other options.
So under blue skies and with 10kts of breeze in the bag (and a big shift expected with the incoming sea breeze, but who knows when?) all divisions went off on a grand tour of Subic Bay. From the shipyards up towards the marina, across to Baretto, all the way down to mark no. 4 beyond Grande Island and then back up to the marina. Subic Centennial Did Not Start, with a damaged steering quadrant.
The full course would have taken the boats back out into Subic Bay, and then back to the marina, but by the time the leading boats (Free Fire and Hi Fi) got down to no. 4 the sea breeze had started to come in, and the three divisions concertina-ed up in the transition zone. Those that got away first ran with the sea breeze up the bay, until they once again caught up with the wind line and had to cross over into the original land breeze to make the Marina mark. Tricky stuff, with the land breeze at about 90? to the sea beeze. In other words, another hole. Free Fire had been leading Hi Fi up this point, but now found herself on the outside of the right-hand turn, and Hi Fi crept onto the new heading, accelerating all the way as she fetched the Marina mark.
The RO decided at this point that to continue the prescribed course would not be a good idea – it meant that the fleet would have to go back through the hole they had just negotiated, sail to the other side of Subic Bay, and then come back through the hole a third time to make the finish at Marina. So the course was shortened after 14nm and 2½ hrs of racing.
As the sea breeze gradually moved inland and up the bay, the back markers were able to carry spinnakers closer and closer to the finish. Nobody complained, but it was clear that this would be a result for the smaller boats – and so it was. EFG Bank Mandrake corrected out at 2h 47m 11s, a mere 17 secs in front of Sell Side Dream, and the big boats (Hi Fi and Free Fire) recorded 3h 07m and 3h 14m respectively.
There was a moment of finish-line drama when Frantic (Platu, Ridgely Balladares) managed to carry the running breeze almost all the way to the finish line, rolling past the First 36.7, Selma Star, in the last few yards and claiming line honours for div 2 by a mere 13 sec – a sterling effort in seat-of-the-pants light air sailing.
1 Hi Fi (1,3,1,3,) 8
2 EFG Bank Mandrake (3,2,3,1) 9
3 Sell Side Dream (4,1,4,2) 11
4 Free Fire (2,5,2,4) 13
5 Subic Centennial (6,4,5,6) 21
1 Frantic (1,2,1,1) 5
2= Selma Star (2,1,3,4) 10
2= Body Shot (3,3,2,2) 10
4 Alexa (4,4,4,3) 15
1 Selma SBYC (1,1,1) 3
2 Rapparee XXX (2,2,2) 6
And now for something completely different
SAGS (Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen’s Sailing) recently acquired, courtesy of the some generous members of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, a number of Flying Fifteens. 'We want to ‘graduate’ some of our Philippines’ youth sailors up from dinghys,' says Jun Avecilla, 'and we’d like to make a credible entry in the FF Worlds in Hog Kong next year.' It was agreed that a little entertainment and a little ‘promotional activity’ might be generated by asking the owners/skippers of the two biggest boats in the Commodore’s Cup fleet (Sam Chan, Free Fire and Neil Pryde, Hi Fi) to indulge in some light-hearted match racing in FFs after racing was completed today.
So, with cold beer supplied by The Lighthouse and umpiring provided by the International Jurors, Chan vs Pryde was battled out in front of the pier at The Lighthouse. There was some doubt as to the ‘matched’ quality of the two boats, so two races were run with an aggregate of the finishing deltas recorded to decide a winner. Sam Chan is a well-known FF sailor in Hong Kong, but Neil Pryde only admits to having owned (and sailed, for just one week) an FF at around the time they were designed by Uffa Fox. Disregarding the first start (when both competitors mistook the leeward mark for the start pin and were called back), ignoring Kevin ‘Cozzie’ Costin’s attempt to lighten the Team Pryde boat by throwing the spinnaker pole overboard during a pre-start, and taking absolutely no notice of the partisan barracking from The Lighthouse pier, Sam Chan and Rhino defeated Neil Pryde and Cozzie by a negative aggregate delta and a disqualification (work it out).
Pryde said afterwards, 'there’s not much room under the boom on one of these things, is there?' and over a couple of cold San Migs Chan challenged him to a re-match in the 2013 FF Worlds in Hong Kong. Costin is now contemplating his immediate future as a Boat ****** for a Flying 15. With drinks and nibbles on the pier as the sun went down on the other side of Subic Bay, and a cooling breeze to make the evening perfect, it was a brilliant end to the afternoon. *Owners and skippers beware – the SAGS FF Challenge ‘side show’ is about to become the hallmark of the Commodore’s Cup in the same sort of way that rickshaw racing defines the Raja Muda.*
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia
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3:40 PM Fri 13 Apr 2012GMT
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