Commodore’s Cup Regatta 2012, Subic Bay Yacht Club: Day 3
13 April, 2012
Lucky spin in the Subic sweepstakes…
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
After a short delay the fleet set off on a 25nm passage race that crisscrossed the bay in both directions. We have grown accustomed to Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi Fi and Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire going tack for tack up the windward beat but this time it was Freefire rounding the top mark first, then reaching off in the direction of the Barretto mark. Martin Tanco’s Sydney 46 Subic Centennial became the first casualty of the day when they reported in that the steering cables were broken and they were retiring from the race. As the yachts reached the outer extremities of the entrance to Subic Bay, the inevitable occurred. The land breeze dissipated leaving the leaders wallowing, while the back markers sailed up to them and joined the drift-athon. When the wind reappeared it came in the form of a seabreeze and had the effect of unofficially restarting the grouped fleet. As they came back into the bay the leaders sailed in a band of advancing seabreeze and instigated a gybing duel under asymmetric spinnakers. Go right and go left but neither yacht could not break through to the land breeze on the other side, until they rounded Mark No 9 and came up to the marina entrance, where PRO Jerry Rollin was waiting with the shortened course flag flying. Sam Chan Freefire went a little bit to far before gybing back into the breeze which was enough for Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi to scamper off with a fast gaining advantage and take line honours by a little over two minutes.
Despite all their efforts the rest of the fleet were fast charging down the bay with spinnakers flying and closing in quickly on the leaders. The Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake finished only eight minutes behind Hi Fi and after two and a half hours of racing claimed the handicap honours by a whopping 20 minutes. Simon Powell”s A40 Sell Side Dream was next to breast the line and corrected out a mere 17 seconds behind Mandrake for second place, dropping Hi Fi down to third. The overall result is only one point now separates Hi Fi and Mandrake at the top of the leaderboard with one day to go.
A similar situation occurred in the IRC Cruiser Class, Jun Avecilla’s Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star C! Calibre ROX held a handy lead till the last few miles when Ridgely Balladares Farr 25 Frantic closed right in to miraculously pip Selma Star for line honours in the last 100 metes and consequently ran away with the handicap honours. Next up Emerson Villena’s Body Shot managed to slip into second place and relegate Selma Star down to fourth place. An ecstatic Eric Jurado onboard the U20 Alexa clambered into third place which pleased the owner no end as it was his target for the regatta. This shakeup of the order leaves Balladares Frantic in front with five points and Avecilla’s Selma Star tied with Villena’s Body Shot for second overall on ten points.
At the finish of the PY Cruising Class David McKenna’s Jeanneau 42 Rapparee XXX seemed to have enough distance this time between them and Viggo Ligon’s Beneteau First 31.7 Selma in second place but after handicaps were applied Selma displaced Rapparee XXX for first place by a mere 53 seconds and keeps a clean sheet in the overall stakes.
The highlight of the day was a promotional match race between Sam Chan and Neil Pryde on Flying Fifteen keelboats. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club have donated some flying Fifteens to a soon to be formed FF Association of the Philippines to train school children in the finer points of sailing. Next year the RHKYC are holding the FF World Titles and expect some representation from the Philippines.
Sam Chan is a regular competitor in the class and Neil Pryde admitted that he has not sailed a dinghy for over 30 years but this did not stop their competitive juices from taking over. Some spirited pre-start maneuvers followed by covering tacks up the windward beat was enough for Neil Pryde to take the first race win. A quick break for liquid refreshment with the spectators on the Lighthouse breakwater, exchange boats then dash back for race two. This time it was Sam Chan to the fore but the umpires led by Tom Shepard noticed Pryde’s crew Kos applying excessive pumping on the jib and imposed a penalty, which went unheeded then a further penalty applied and ultimately disqualification resulted. Although Sam Chan won the prize, Neil Pryde had a moral victory and ultimately fun was had by all concerned. Jun Avecilla commented at the evening prize presentation “It was a pleasure to see such great sailors come and display their skills plus help promote our new initiative”.
Tomorrow is the last day of racing and PRO Jerry Rollin expects to round the program off with two windward/leeward races for the IRC classes and another passage race for the PY Cruisers. The final prize presentation will be held in the evening at the Subic Bay Yacht Club.
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