Gulf of Thailand delivers the goods on Day 2 of 2017 Top of the Gulf Regatta
All settings were back to normal on Day 2 of the Top of the Gulf Regatta as blue skies returned to greet the sailors, the storm clouds of yesterday were nothing more than a memory, and a fresh 10 knot breeze allowed Race Officers on all the courses to get in a full race-card of racing for all classes.
On the keelboat and multihulls course it was time to shake things up with some passage racing for all except the Platu class who continued banging the corners with three windward/ leewards bringing their series total to six with a maximum of 10 scheduled.
Light winds and windward/ leewards have proven to be the achilles heal for Kevin Whitcraft's THA 72 (THA) so far this regatta, with the smaller boats in IRC Racing 1 having the rating advantage in such conditions. And in Race 1 today it proved so again with Emagine (AUS) and Loco (USA) both finishing ahead, however, a longer passage race in the afternoon saw the crew on THA72 hit their rhythm adding their second win to the series tally and with that they move to within two points of series leader Scott Bradley and his crew on Emagine.
At the top of IRC Racing 3 it wass business as usual with Gary Baguley's El Coyote (AUS) claiming two more wins today. Step two and three on the podium, however, was shared between Nautical Wheeler (USA) and Magic (AUS) with the latter reveling in the longer distance race today. Despite the apparent dominance of El Coyote there's just minutes separating them from second place on corrected time.
A single race along the coast towards Pattaya for the Cruising class saw Le Vent (THA), skippered by Pote Suyasinto, claiming line honours. However, after more than three hours of racing they couldn't correct out to win and it was Chris Mitchell's Lady Bubbly (AUS) who took the handicap win by just five seconds.
Pine-Pacific (THA) in the Platu class continued their form on Day 2 with second place in Race 1. Two mid-fleet finishes in the final two races of the day for Ithinai Yingsri and his Pine-Pacific crew sees them slide down the standings and now sit in fourth overall.
The big winner today was Chris Way and his Easy Tiger 111 (AUS) crew who raced to a 4,1,2 scoreline and with it, sit top of the Platu standings four points ahead of Royal Thai Navy (THA), skippered by Wiwat Poonpat, whose 3,5,1 scoreline seems them tied on points in second place with Rolf Heemskerk's Team Viewpoint (NED).
It was all change in the Ocean Multihulls class today with the Corsair trimaran Bladerunner 7 (UK), having found some extra boat speed, beating defending champion Sonic (THA) in both races and with it, tying up the series at the half-way point.
In the Thailand Optimist National Championships, six races have been completed so far with three more scheduled for tomorrow. In Fleet A the racing is tight and after leading at the end of Day 1, Mic Mohr (Costa Rica) had another good day on-the-water with a 2,2,8 scoreline and holds onto top place ahead of a rapidly closely Thai contingent lead by Panwa Boonnak, whose 5,1,1 moves him upto second and tied with Jedtavvee Yongyuennarn on 22 points. Duncan Gregor, last year's top international youngster, is a little off the pace but still in the running in fourth place.
In Fleet B the podium is dominated by Thai sailors with Thjippawan Khumpinit leading the way. Three points behind is Tanakorn Bunekarat with Vimutti Klinsukontachat in third.
On the dinghy courses it was three more fast and furious races bringing the series total to six races completed so far. Keerati Bualong (THA) continues to dominate Class 9a with two more wins today, while two second places for Chusitt Punjamaca (THA) keeps her in contention. Jarupong Meeyusamsen (THA) holds onto third just two points ahead of Asri Azman (MAS).
Sophia Montgomery (THA) is running away in the Laser 4.7 division (Class 9b). Behind her there's a close battle for second and third places, currently held by Chanokchan Wangsuk and Suchakree Dutthotsapol respectively.
Class 10 is heading for a final day showdown tomorrow with the lead currently tied between Suthon Yampinid (THA) and Sutida Poonpat (THA), both former Thailand Optimist National Champions. Further back is Navee Thamsoontorn who, bar mechanical failure, looks to be safe in third.
The 13th Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina takes place 4 – 8 May, 2017 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, Thailand and is supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Pattaya City, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Royal Thai Navy.