Multihull sailor John Newnham leads 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix Skipper Rankings

19 December, 2017
John Newnham helming Twin Sharks to victory in the 2017 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek

John Newnham helming Twin Sharks to victory in the 2017 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek. Photo by Guy Nowell.


As the year comes to an end and the final event in the 2017 calendar, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, has wrapped up, we take a look at the current 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix rankings.

Leading the AYGP Skipper rankings is multihull sailor John Newnham. Despite a collision and not competing in a race at the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, John Newnham’s hastily repaired Twin Sharks went on to win 7 of 11 races in the Firefly 850 Sport class at the regatta. Add to that the 17 points he claimed from his earlier victory at the seasons’s opener, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, and Newnham is sitting pretty atop the AYGP Skipper Rankings.

It’s not as unusual as it may at first seem to have a multihull sailor top of the Skipper Rankings. Phuket is home to a large fleet of multihulls and some excellent multihull sailors and with two events in Phuket already finished, this plays in favour of the multihull sailors. Sadly, the multihull sailors don’t compete in many events outside of those in the Andaman Sea (Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Royal Langkawi International Regatta) and therefore expect the rankings to change as the season progresses and the monohull skippers rise to the top.

Changing skipper roles on Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns’ Sydney GTS 43 Otonomos Mandrake III in the four events they have competed in so far this season has resulted in them posting separate Skipper scores. While this effects the Skipper Rankings, Otonomos Mandrake III remains on top of the AYGP Yacht Rankings with an 11 point advantage over Twin Sharks. Ray Roberts moves into second place in the Skipper rankings after competing on two different yachts, while former leader Fred Kinmonth drops to third place, just two points and well within striking distance of the leaders.

By winning 10 of 11 races at the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Henry Kaye’s Seacart 30 Thor becomes the highest scorer this season (20 points) at the regatta and with it Kaye dramatically jumps up into fifth place in the Skipper Rankings. Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly continues to rack up the points from the Cruising Class, and having competed in three events this season he sits in fourth place. Chinese skipper Yan Yuye, is tied for fifth place after skippering the Ker 42 Seawolf at China Coast Regatta and the A40 RC Shenzhen Seawolf at China Cup International Regatta and Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.

Always in with a chance at any regatta and used to taking the accolades, Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes moves from 11th place into seventh, while David Fuller and the chartered Beneteau 44.7 Fujin climb the rankings from 10th to eighth place.

After securing the IRC Racer 2 daily double on the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race and a resounding victory at the Volvo China Coast Regatta, Nick Southward’s J-109 Whisky Jack still holds onto ninth place in the Skipper Rankings while clinching their third Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta victory, helped Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II to round out the top ten.

A three way tie between Bob Howison, Tiffany Koo and Duncan Hine, has sprung up over 11th place and will be sorted at in coming regattas.

At the half way point in the 2017/18 Season, 248 Skippers and 241 Yachts have scored points by contesting at least one of the six point-scoring events already held in the 13-event AYGP season.

Racing now moves on with the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (8 – 13 January, 2018) ringing in the New Year followed by the Neptune Regatta (10 – 17 February) – a race to the equator and back.

These two events complete the Western Circuit, after which it’s on to the Philippines for the classic Subic to Boracay Race & Boracay Cup (23 February to 2 March) and back to Hong Kong for the Rolex China Sea Race, which is quickly followed by the Commodores’ Cup (3 – 7 April) in Subic Bay, to wrap-up the Eastern Circuit before the season ends with the two centrally-located events, Top of the Gulf Regatta (27 April to 1 May) and Samui Regatta (26 May to 2 June).

By AY MultiMedia with additional reporting by Marine Scene Asia.


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