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Top of the Gulf 2012 opens with pace

'Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012. Party time at Ocean Marina Yacht Club.'    Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf    Click Here to view large photo

Breeze pumpin’, band playin’, rum flowin’… Racing starts tomorrow with 57 boats on the line for the ‘outside’ course, which means the big boats. Add in the dinghies, beach cats, and the 100+ entries in the Thai National Optimist Championships, and there is serious credence for this being the ‘biggest regatta in Asia.’ You know how reluctant we are to endorse superlatives, but the numbers do stack up.

But tonight was party time, and an opportunity to say ‘hello’ to the old friends and meet some new ones too. After the Skippers’ Briefing at which Jerry Rollin reminded everyone that 'it’s all the SIs' (so, no surprises there), and then Regatta Chairman Bill Gasson taking the mic to introduce the sponsors, it was an occasion for a few Singha beers, a couple of glasses of Mont Clair wine and maybe a Mount Gay Rum or two, and a spectacular buffet laid out on the lawns in front of the Ocean Marina Yacht Club.

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012. Queuing up for another drop. -  Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf   Click Here to view large photo

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012. The band’s playin’... -  Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf   Click Here to view large photo

15+ kts blowing across the marina bodes good for the next few days’ racing, and the forecast says it is going to hold. The eighth running of the Top of the Gulf Regatta will feature four days of racing in six main classes, with beach cats, dinghies and the Oppies in the mix as well. Not forgetting the Coronation Cup for the Platu OD division which historically has been the hardest-fought class of all. There are 15 entries on the Platu list, which will certainly give Platu convenor Kev ‘The Ferret’ Scott something to keep him on his toes.

We’ll be bringing you daily reports from Pattaya, Thailand, for the next few days, and if the regatta continues the way it started tonight it’s going to be good. Watch this space.

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012. Skippers’ Briefifing. Three Wise Men - Bill Gasson (Regatta Chairman), Jerry Rollin (PRO), Bryan Willis (IJ Chairman) -  Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf   Click Here to view large photo

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012 -  Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf   Click Here to view large photo

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia


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4:17 PM Fri 4 May 2012GMT

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