By AY MultiMedia 06th April 2018, Subic Bay, Philippines: Ask some of the sailing legends that have raced in Subic Bay and they will all tell you "It's one of the best racing locations in the world". Good breeze, flat water and warm weather, any time of the year. Even when the prevailing trade wind goes soft, the hilly terrain develops its own microclimate and the sea breeze quickly replaces it. Today the brisk North Easterly saw the IRC 1, 2 and Cruising classes, away on 21, 18 & 13nm courses and the FarEast 28 class complete a windward/leeward race before joining the others on a passage race. After a long reaching leg out to the entrance, the sea breeze arrived and produced quick times on the way back. Some yachts initially gained an advantage in the transition period but were reeled back in further down the track. It's all change in the IRC 1 class. All five yachts were neatly in line, on the same shy spinnaker reaching leg, charging for the finish line, in front of the Lighthouse Resort. Leading around the entire course, YY Yan and YF Liu's Ker 42 Custom Seawolf claimed line honours but when the numbers were crunched, the smallest yacht David Ho's Mills 40 Phoenix, came through and snatched the IRC handicap honours by 36 seconds from Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth’s GTS 43 Mandrake III. Last inline Martin Tanco's Sydney 46 Centennial II stepped up to take 3rd place and relegated Seawolf to 4th place. Mandrake III (7 points) extend their overall lead by two points over Centennial II (9) and with this result Phoenix (10) closes in on Centennial II by one point. Two windward/leeward races tomorrow and the introduction of the drop race, could see a reshuffle in the overall order.
There is no stopping Emerson Villena and the Standard Insurance - PSA crew, from adding two more wins to their tally and take a commanding lead in the FarEast 28 one-design class. Sean Mitchell's Subic Sailing Team secured two 2nd places from Ridgely Balladares Standard Insurance - PSA1 (two 3rd places) but still trail Balladares by two points in the overall stakes. Two 4th places for Yukie Ikawa's Japanese Turquoise Sailing Team is enough to hold onto 4th overall. It would take something untoward for Villena to loose the title from here but the remaining podium places are still open for the taking.
Although George Hackett's J35 Jo De Ros made the most of the transition period, the others reeled them back in the port area. Having better shy reaching sails, allowed Jo De Ros to get away again and claim the IRC 2 daily double. Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star was never far away from Gordon Liu/Cowen Chiu's Sydney 38 Kingsman and when the numbers were crunched, Selma Star are bumped up into 2nd place and relegated Kingsman to 3rd. With 3 wins and 2nd place, Jo De Ros have wrapped up the title, with a day to spare but only one point separates Kingsman and Selma Star for the remaining podium places.
Taking advantage of their size and speed, Li Jian's Advance 80 Apsaras has won all three races to date and has secured the Cruising Class title. Second place for Philippe Grelon's Pogo 10.5 TBS Aya, lifts them to 2nd overall as Peter Sharman's Beneteau First 31.7 Selma were notified they missed the windward mark and forced to retire. This left the door open for Garry Kingshott's Fusion 40 Kerida, to score 3rd place and come within one point of Selma for the bronze medal.
The final day of racing tomorrow, with two windward/leeward races for the IRC and FarEast 28 classes. The Cruising Class conclude with one passage race, around the bay and the gala dinner and prize presentation at The Lighthouse Marina Resort tomorrow night.