Please select your home edition
Edition
BoatSecure Banner Top Ad 1 - 728x90

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2019 – day 3

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia 4 May 14:08 NZST 1-5 May 2019
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2019. S\V14. © Guy Nowell / Top of the Gulf Regatta

A day full of animals, but different ones depending on which part of the world you come from. The Aussies say there are ‘sheep in the paddock’, and the Brits talk about ‘white horses’. White caps if you like – and a very welcome sight after the last two days of light to dismal breeze. From somewhere south of west, and beginning with 10 kts at start time (11.00h) the breeze built during the day and topped out at 16 kts.

This was a welcome break for everyone: the RO was able to get the regatta back on track after yesterday’s abbreviated programme, the ever-hungry media pack had something to look at, and the sailors were of course delighted to be sailing instead of just poodling around. The sun shone and the rain stayed away, so all-in-all it was a very happy day all round.

Before the regatta started, the Multihull division signalled a desire to sail the longer coastal courses in preference to windward/leeward races. If you are commanding a Crowther 43 this makes very good sense - Sonic. It also explains itself if you are a regatta virgin and know nothing of flags, marks, courses, or English – Edenko. The Multihull programme for today was a 10nm cruise to Monkey Island, then north to Koh Rang Kwian, and home. In proper breeze this didn’t take long, and allowed time for a quick windward/leeward race to fill up the rest of the afternoon. Bladerunner XI, Sonic and Edenko finished both races in that order (corrected times).

The two TP52/IRC1 combatants had a similar pre-regatta request: two races a day is quite sufficient, thank you. In the first windward/leeward race Kevin Whitcraft’s THA72 got the jump on Team Hollywood (Ray Roberts) and led all the way round the first lap of the course. They set up to go right at the leeward gate, but the drop went wrong – Team Hollywood didn’t need any excuse to go left, make up the difference on the water (and some to spare), take the lead and hold on to it. Then they did it all over again, except this time the Hollywood movie stars led from wire to wire, giving themselves five wins from five races and a nice tidy scoresheet.

Fujin (Beneteau 44.7) has campaigned all over Asia under different skippers, starting with Matt Allen. Now the command is with Peter Hewson, and two bullets today puts them just one point ahead of Tenacious – an Adams 10 also previously owned and skippered by Matt Allen. Some kind of symmetry there. Thus far the two division leaders have shared all the first and second places, and Lewana (Pana Trugkabuncha) and Ink Zone (Steve Laker) have had to be content with the leftovers. In IRC3, Moon2hadow recorded 2, 1 results today to stay just a point ahead of Team Spray 1, 2.

The Platu division, sometimes called the Coronation Cup, has consistently provided the best and closest racing at Top of the Gulf over the years, and today was no exception. Three windward/leeward races takes the total to eight in the three days so far, and Chris Way is clearly looking to avenge a narrow loss last year. Easy Tiger came off the blocks with claws out on Wednesday, and hasn’t looked back. There was a bit of a hiccough today with a Easy Tiger finishing 5th in the second race of the day, but they have money in the bank (14 pts) at the front of the fleet. Nearest competitor and defending champion, Team Viewpoint (Rolf Heerskerk) scooped up the bullet in today’s second, but still trail by 10 points after eight races. The usual ‘fix’ on these occasions is some late late partying in Pattaya, and carry the hangover the next day, but Viewpoint are ‘constrained in their abilty to manoeuvre’, and will have to get the points back the hard way. Some years a truly epic final day saw a 22-point lead to Team Viewpoint whittled down to nothing by Scott Duncanson’s Raimon Land crew who took the title on a countback. Miracles do happen.

Also racing today, the small boat fleets that help make Top of the Gulf one of the biggest and most inclusive regattas in the region. 80 boats on the Thai National Optimist Championship – and defending champion Panwa Boonak is in the lead. The newly launched S\V14 parasailing fleet is out there – and leaders Paisol Pateh/Mahseedi Hadumor (THA) are firmly in command after six races over two days. Add in Lasers, Laser Radials, Laser 4.7, Finn, 420, 470, windsurfers – there are another 140 boats out there, some of them double handed, that make up the rest of this huge festival of sail. Indeed, going by the numbers, this has long been a small boat regatta with some big boats tacked on, rather than the other way round.

Socials today, Friday, were to have been a bbq on Monkey Island and a sunset cruise home, but the thoroughly whimsical Royal Thai Navy (who own the island) decided otherwise. Instead, a sausage sizzle accompanied by pasties and sausage rolls filled the gap more than adequately. [Sorry, that’s not praise enough – they were best pork sausages (sage and thyme) we have tasted in a long while, and the pasties and rolls were absolutely second to none]. The media crew were invited for a buffet after the prizegiving, but attendance was thin.

For the first time since its inception in 2005, the Top of the Gulf is a 5-day regatta. Three days down and two go means there is still much to play for. PredictWind is offereing good southerly breeze for tomorrow. See you in the breakfast room.

Standing by on 72.

Related Articles

BuyAssociation Lipton Trophy
A perfect day for a pursuit race BuyAssociation Lipton Trophy started with picture perfect blue sky, with a consistent 7 to 8kts easterly breeze throughout the harbour. RO Gareth Williams in charge. Posted on 1 Dec
Police advisory on stolen 2011 Stabicraft 389F
Police advise of stolen 2011 Stabicraft 389F is 3.8 metres long - September 11, 2019 New Zealand Police have issued a media advisory warning of a stolen 2011 Stabicraft 389F is 3.8 metres long, and seeking further information on the boat which was stolen on 22nd September 2019 Posted on 18 Nov
Top 10 good conservation manners
What every responsible boats knows. Just a reminder. CIGARETTE BUTTS: one of the most abundant types of garbage in the world's oceans and can take decades to break down. Never ever throw them into the sea – use an ashtray instead! Posted on 20 Sep
Disabled Sailing Thailand fundraiser at Bang Saray
Disabled Sailing Thailand calls for support to set up para sailing in Phuket Disabled Sailing Thailand, a not-for-profit sailing programme that supports and promotes accessibility to sailing for people with disabilities, is seeking support in bringing four S\V14 boats to Phuket. Posted on 10 Jul
TopDog Trophy Series
Third Time Lucky! Finally, after having been abandoned and then postponed due to unfavourable weather, the BuyAssociation Tomes Cup was held on Saturday in Victoria Harbour with 41 boats competing. Posted on 3 Jun
How to wrap up a regatta in style
Good breeze to close out Top of the Gulf with a full card in all classes After the meteorological trials and tribulations of yesterday, everyone needed a break; both the competitors and the race management - and they got it. “God's day,” said PRO Jerry Rollin. “Really all we had to do was blow horns and put up the flags.” Posted on 6 May
Patience is not always a game for one
Topsy-turvy weather at Top of the Gulf Sorry to say that yesterday's Normal Service was less than a flash in the pan. Today was something for the competitors to forget, and an RO should only ever come across in his (or her) worst nightmares. It started innocuously enough... Posted on 4 May
RTW Race: Fernandez keen to compete in IMOCA60
Tip & Shaft: Xabi Fernandez determined to be on the start line of The Ocean Race Tip & Shaft speaks with Xabi Fernandez about The Ocean Race again leading a MAPFRE team. It would be his sixth racing circumnavigation, his successes to date including his two handed IMOCA debut with Iker Martinez on the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race. Posted on 12 Jan
P Class: Light airs work for Hinsley in Tanner Cup
The 2019 Tanner Cup is completed and has been won by Blake Hinsley representing Auckland. The 2019 Tanner Cup is completed and has been won by Blake Hinsley representing Auckland. Day 2 of the regatta was in stark contrast to Day 1, with a light southerly (under 10kts) filtering down Evans Bay. Posted on 4 Jan
Port Klang to Pangkor with the Raja Muda 2018 flee
No AP, straight line racing, and quick. “Breeze from the south', said the forecast, but that didn't happen. PRO Jerry Rollin was very happy to start the sequence with 10kts of breeze from the west Posted on 18 Nov 2018
Doyle-Cableless-660x82Marine Shield - Half job - BOTTOM 728x90SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 Bottom