Anthony Root and Steve Manning’s Black Baza announced as AsianYachting Grand Prix champions
11 May, 2017
Although Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly won four out of five races in the Cruising Class at the Top of the Gulf Regatta, only having three boats in the class has resulted in low scoring (10 points) and makes it mathematically impossible to reign in Anthony Root and Steve Manning’s Ker Custom 42 Black Baza from winning the 2016/17 AsianYachting Grand Prix Skipper and Yacht of the Year title.
After contesting five events, Lady Bubbly show how it’s possible for a cruising yacht to perform well in the AYGP rankings and even win it, though this season will place highest, second. Known for flying a spinnaker with a girl in a champagne glass, they jokingly say “In 20 knots she loses the smile and in 30 knots she falls out of the glass”.
While the heavily campaigned Root and Manning’s Black Baza will be crowned the 2016/17 AYGP champion and join an exclusive club that have defended the title, the race is still on for other teams to finish higher up the order at the season ending Samui Regatta (20th – 27th May).
Although Mitchell’s Lady Bubbly has edged Fred Kinmonth/ Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake II temporarily out of second place, they will both be contesting their sixth event at Samui, albeit in different classes, and finishing second best Skipper and Yacht to campaign in Asian waters during the 2016/17 Season is nothing to be sneezed at.
First and second places at the Top of the Gulf for Scott Bradley’s Sydney 40 Emagine and Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA72 – the fourth regatta they have contested this season – moves both up the rankings to hold onto sixth and fifth places respectively, and with a good showing at Samui Regatta THA72 could overtake Judes Echauz’s TP52 Centennial III for fourth overall.
The AYGP is a unique point scoring system that annually ranks all the big boat Skippers and Yachts that race in Eastern and South East Asian waters. Presently regattas in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong are point scoring events. To be fully representative of the region’s sailing nations, the China Cup has been added to next season’s regatta lineup. So far in the 2016/17 season 226 Skippers and 227 Yachts have contested at least one event and by adding another 100+ to the rankings, the AYGP will be truly inclusive.
So what’s left to do? Come on down to the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui and watch Anthony Root and Steve Manning don the Trend Fashions navy blue blazer, and receive the Perpetual AYGP Cup filled with champagne and hand-crafted take home trophy at the Samui Regatta prize presentation party – it’s the highlight of the AsianYachting Grand Prix season.
Original story by AY MultiMedia, edited by MarineScene.Asia.