In Whitcraft’s and THA 72 absence, Scott Bailey’s syndicated Oi! became the only other winner of an IRC 0 race, but not enough to take second overall away from Sarab Singh’s Custom Welbourn 52 Windsikher II. A run of second places for Singh’s Windsikher II keeps them in second place and only one point ahead of Bailey’s Oi! settling in third overall. It’s a magnificent sight to see five 52 footers and Frank Pong’s Custom Dibley 75 Jelik, lining up at the start line and proceeding with precision around the course. The complete dominance of Whitcraft’s THA 72 comes as a surprise to the local sailing community but those that know, it’s a masterful stroke on the teams behalf and brings a new dimension to TP52 racing in Asia. Other teams have a lot of catching up to do, over the off season.
By staying on the pace, minimizing mistakes and sailing in clear air, has earned Roland Dane’s Corby 36 Jessandra II overall victory and defends the IRC 1 title in fine style. Another remarkable achievement is by tactician Steve McConaghy, having now competed on 13 regattas and won 8 in the process in different classes. Only seconds separated Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 EFG Mandrake from victory and finally broke through after keeping up the pressure, on the last race to secure second overall. Between races a injured crew member was taken ashore from Drew Taylor/Joachim Isler’s Mills 41 Ambush and they returned to the course to compete on the final race. Although Peter Sorensen’s syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin fell of the pace in the final races, they managed to cling onto third overall.
By sharing the wins today, the status quo in the Cruising Class remains the same. Gary Baguley’s Holman Pye 52 El Coyote sits on top of the leaderboard and two points ahead of Roman Guarsa’s 74 foot Le Conchon Noir V occupying second overall. Both Tim McMahon’s X99 SailQuest Hi Jinks and Mick Grover’s Elliot 7 Moon Shadow, found the going tough at times and recorded retirements but finished in third and fourth respectively.
Our moment of glory came at the combined gala prize presentation party, on the magnificent lawn setting in front of Centara Grand Beach Resort on Chaweng Beach. After scoring three firsts, two second places and one fourth during the 2015/16 AsianYachting Grand Prix season, Steve Manning & Anthony Root’s Ker 42 Black Baza, were crowned the 2015-16 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year with the Perpetual AYGP Cup filled with champagne, hand crafted take home trophy and donned the specially tailored Trend Fashions Navy Blue Blazer is the highlight of the AYGP season. A new name is added to the “hardest sports trophy to win in Asia”.
Many thanks must go to the Centara Grand Beach Resort, Peter Poudyel from Trend Fashions, Simon James and Kae Wattana from Regattas Asia, fellow members of the media, boat owners, skippers and crew for supporting the AYGP for the last 14 years.
Being the only International event held on Samui regularly each year, is a feather in the cap for sailing and must continue. It’s a long way to come from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Pattaya and Phuket but being a popular tourism destination, with Tropical warm and windy conditions, during winter months, is the draw card. Shorts and T-shirt sailing, with smiling faces makes the regatta. Top race management and social entertainment provided by Regattas Asia, is essential to attract the top teams and achieved with remarkable success. Mark down May 20th – 27th 2017 in the racing diary and we guarantee you won’t regret it!
Overall Results (top three in each class)
THA72, Kevin Whitcraft (9 pts)
Windsikher II, Sarab Singh (25 pts)
Oi!, Scott Bailey/ Fergus Wilmer (26 pts)
Jessandra II, Roland Dane (12 pts)
EFG Mandrake III, Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth (20 pts)
Fujin, Brown/ Ketelbey/ Sorensen (25 pts)
El Coyote, Gary Baguley (10 pts)
Le Cochon Noir V, Roman Guarsa (12 pts)
SailQuest Hi Jinks, Tim McMahon (23 pts)
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