Subic Boracay Race – AY Race Report 1


Line honours for Scallywag but no record…
Overall IRC victory to Echauz Centennial III
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
:02:2017 Boracay, Philippines: All week the North Easterly has been blowing the ‘Birds out of the trees’ but come race day, it could barely reach 10 knots. An offer for the editor, to join Seng Huang Lee’s 100ft Scallywag by skipper David Witt, on a record breaking attempt, could not be refused. The downwind start became a crowded affair and a technical glitch occurred when the engine driving the hydraulic winches, kept stalling out and as the huge reaching sail was deployed, could not be sheeted in and brushed the backstay of Peter Sorensen’s Farr 40 Ramrod. This required a engine restart, roll the sail back in and perform a 360 degree penalty, not easy on a 100 footer, while the others made a colourful get away. Sorensen’s Ramrod was called OCS and under sufferance returned to restart and threatened to protest Scallywag for interference.

By the entrance to Subic Bay, Scallywag had recovered and led the 14 yacht fleet down the coast. Only to be thwarted in the lee of every high mountain along the way. Allowing Frank Pong’s Custom Dibley 75 Jelik, Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Custom Antipodes and Ernesto Echauz’s TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III to catch up and on several occasions ghost past Scallywag.

This stop and go routine continued into the night and nothing is more distressing than a 100ft thoroughbred racing machine, clocking below one knot on the speed dial, after pulling a horizon job on the other boats and for them to be rapidly closing in on them. The swift passage through the Verde Island Passage had Scallywag back up to record pace, only to sail into a rain storm as they exited and become completely becalmed for over an hour. Watch the Scallywag onboard reporter Kim Pascoe’s, start and finish videos on Facebook…

That was the end of the record run and the return of the light North Easterly, got them out of jail and building in strength, carried them to the Boracay finish, to claim line honours. The new foredeck team led by Ben ‘Nipper’ Piggot and 15 crew have lost count on the number of headsail changes and must be commended for going about their work without any complaints, in often trying circumstances.

Completing the 220nm course in under 24 hours, is the fastest Ernesto Echauz’s TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III has done the race and earns them the Racing Class 1 title and bag the combined Overall IRC title. Never actually stopping, Ray Ordoveza’s Excel 53 Karakoa sailed through the light spots to slot into 2nd place, while Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Custom Antipodes corrected out in 3rd and in front of the bigger, faster yachts.

While the big boats played cat and mouse games, the smaller Class 2 yachts made good progress, picking their way through the wind minefield. Taking an inside line down the coast, helped Steve Manning and Anthony Root’s Ker 42 Black Baza secure Class 2 victory and third in the overall IRC stakes. A couple hours adrift, Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 EFG Mandrake, ended up in 2nd place with Bobby Benares Beneteau 44.7 Sabad putting up a big performance for 3rd in Class 2.

In the Cruising Class, Michiel Brinkers Andrews 70 Bella Uno, sailed up to their rating and at one stage navigator/tactician on Scallywag, Matt Humphries was concerned about them closing in at 8 knots, while they were drifting haplessly. The only Chinese entry, Xiong Ting Oceanis 45 Mermaid is running a sailing school and chosen the delights of the Philippines to teach the sailors and happy with second place, to round out the finishing order.

Tonight is the Subic to Boracay prize presentation and the welcome party for the Boracay Cup, at the Sea Wind Resort. Once again its great to be at the tropical resort island of Boracay and as per usual the NE breeze is in and the fleet is looking forward to some exciting racing over the coming days.

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