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Top of the Gulf 2017 – ready, steady...

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 4 May 2017
Platu Coronation Cup is an integral part of the Top of the Gulf Regatta and is competed for by the one-design Platus. - Top of the Gulf Regatta Guy Nowell
Racing starts tomorrow at the Top of the Gulf Regatta 2017, with organisers Ocean Marina Yacht Club once again announcing it as “the largest multi-class regatta of its kind in Asia.” The regatta incorporates the Thailand Optimist National Championships, numbers for which will no doubt be boosted this year with the 2017 Optimist Worlds being held just around the corner – literally, 11-21 July at Royal Varuna Yacht Club. TOG also involves the Coronation Cup, a one-design regatta for the International Platu25 class.



There’s the usual pot-pourri of weather being forecast for the next four days, with a bit of sun, some clouds, and even a thunderstorm or two in the programme. For the most part, and from past experience, competitors can expect hot and sticky with sea breezes building in the late mornings and fading in the mid-afternoon. Air temperatures will be in the mid-30s, and sea temperature to match. These are generally pretty luxurious sailing conditions – shorts and t-shirts (but don’t forget the sunscreen), and “mai pan rai” (no problem) if you get wet!

So who’s here? The Platu25s make up the biggest keelboat division on the water with 10 entries - three from Singapore, perennial entrant Chris Way (AUS) back for the crew’s annual visit, Rolf Heemskerk (NED) trying yet again to add the CoroCup to his trophy cabinet, and Valery Dichenko (RUS) anxious to improve on last year’s third place. The Coronation Cup consistently provides the keenest and closest competition at Top of the Gulf.



Sole IRC 1 entry, Kevin Whitcraft’s very quick TP52, still just ‘THA 72’, looks to have scared off all the opposition and will probably have to race against the two IRC 2 boats Emagine (Sydney 40, Scott Bradley) and David Dimmock’s Club Swan 42, Loco. IRC 3 numbers four entries, Cruising counts three, and there are two Multihulls.

It’s not a big turnout, but - with a few notable exceptions - reduced numbers at regattas are very much the name of the game around Asia at the moment. So bring on tomorrow, bring on the sunshine, bring on the breeze, and let’s go sailing!

For more information: www.topofthegulfregatta.com

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