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Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom LEADERBOARD

Top of the Gulf 2017, day 3. Topsy-turvy with a vengeance.

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 7 May 2017
The Ferret - Top of the Gulf Regatta 2017. Guy Nowell/ Top of the Gulf Regatta
A hot and glassy start to the day, but the organisers had the good sense to put a bar on the media boat – well, temporarily anyway! After an hour’s wait under AP, RO Dennis Thompson fired off a sequence and the various divisions went away in 6 knots of breeze. Windward-leeward races for everyone except the Cruiser division who set off on an coastal expedition, the RO having been assured that there was to be no live firing by the Royal Thai Navy today. Really.

Racing started on an axis of 290 degrees. It was thundery – in fact there was a huge storm going on over the coast just a couple of miles away, complete with bolts of lightning. So it was no surprise when the breeze started to flick. On the second beat the wind went went substantially left, providing a fetch to the pin. Leading the Platu fleet, Naiad (Valeriy Dichenko, RUS) slipped past the spreader mark on starboard and headed back towards the Committee Boat. There was a momentary lull as the following boats – just yards behind – arrived at the top end, and then the breeze switched all the way round so that boats were now sailing across the spread on port and a grand reshuffle ensued. The Russians escaped to fetch back to the finish line and win by a handsome margin, while everyone else had a different version of a hard luck story. There was no ‘right’ place to be on the race course.

After a pause to reset the marks, the second race went off at 130 degrees towards a windward mark, and then north towards the islands off Pattaya for IRC 1 and 3, and the Multihulls. This immediately became a non-event for the two Multihulls - Bladerunner finished the first race with a double-slot arrangement in her main and declined the restart (DNS), while Sonic managed to cross the line more than five minutes late and was scored DNS, too.

THA 72, Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52, led the way north but got caught by a hole and a foul tide behind Koh Lan, allowing Loco and Emagine make up a lot of distance. For Loco, it was enough to hand them a handicap win at the end of the day with Emagine slotting in to second place.

It was a golf course for the Platus racing another windward-leeward as the breeze gradually – but not steadily – clocked back towards where it had come from. 18 holes and lots of bunkers. Rolf Heemskerk (NED) pressed on with Team Viewpoint’s continuing quest for the Coronation Cup by staying on the fairway and recording their first win of the regatta. Easy Tiger (Chris Way, AUS) admitted to having “lucked out” after a major team debrief last night, scoring 2, 3 for the day to stay ahead of Viewpoint at the top of the table by four points (discards have been applied). One day and two races to go.

For a third day in a row there were major windshifts. Pity the poor Race Officer - because there’s no right call when you’re looking over your shoulder at the bolts of lightning and wondering which way the breeze is going to swing – next. Full points to the mark boats who have been rearranging courses at the drop of a thunderclap.

Today was the last day of the Optimist and Dinghy classes racing. Congratulations to a new Thailand National Optimist Champion: Panwa Boonnak. It was just as fluky and funky on the inshore Oppie courses as it was further out to sea for the bigger boats. The Thai Optimist Champs is the highest ranked youth trophy in Thai sailing, and in July this year the Optimist Worlds will be hosted by the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, just a tack and a gybe from Ocean Marina Yacht Club.

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Results Roundup
1. Emagine: 2*, 1, 1, 2, 1 2 (7)
2. THA 72: 1, 3*, 3, 1, 2, 3 (10)
3. Loco: 3*, 2, 2, 3, 3, 1 (11)
1. El Coyote: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2*, 1 (5)
2. Magic 2, 2, 3*, 2, 3, 2 (11)
3. Nautical Wheeler: 3, 4*, 2, 3, 1, 3 (13)
4. Sail Quest Hi-Jinks: 4*, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4 (19)
1. Lady Bubbly: 1, 1, 1, 1 (4)
2. Le Vent: 2, 2, 2, 3 (9)
3. Thida Waree: 3, 3, 3, 2 (11)
1. Sonic: 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3DNS* (7)
2. Bladerunner: 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3DNS* (8)
Platu (Coronation Cup)
1. Easy Tiger: 2, 6*, 2, 4, 1, 2, 2, 3 (16)
2. Team Viewpoint: 5*, 2, 3, 5, 2, 4, 3, 1 (20)
3. Naiad: 7*, 7, 5, 1, 4, 3, 1, 2 (23)

PS: today the Media Boat was operating (as always) in proper Environmentally Friendly Mode. We found a floating rubbish bag, and very correctly retrieved it from the sea. Unfortunately it instantly became apparent that we had collected a sack of high-gag-grade rotting fish, and felt obliged to return it whence it came, but not before it had leaked all over the place. The boat still stinks, so an overnight downpour would be very welcome. Thank you for your understanding.

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