04th April 2018, Subic Bay, Philippines: An Easterly breeze varying from 7 to 12 knots, defied the weather predictions and saw the fleet start on time and race away full of anticipation. The FarEast 28 class completed a windward/leeward race, then joined the other classes on a long passage race, within the confines of Subic Bay. The afternoon change over to the sea breeze was relatively smooth, as the breeze clocked around to the South and had minimal effect on the finishing order. The top guns in each class drew on their strengths and the skippers familiar with Subic Bay conditions, managed to show their class, the way around the course.
Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth’s GTS 43 Mandrake III established on early lead over YY Yan and YF Liu's Ker 42 Custom Seawolf and despite the changing conditions, stayed in that order around the entire 25nm course. Only 20 seconds separated them at the finish line, but Mandrake III cleared out to be well ahead in the handicap stakes. Overnight Victor Kuk and David Ho's Mills 40 Phoenix were bumped up into the IRC 1 class and despite trailing the dueling leaders by 25 minutes, managed to slot into 3rd place, in the five boat class.
Marcus Avecilla's Subic Sailing Team led the FarEast 28 class around on the first lap, but a late spinnaker drop and wide mark rounding, opened the door for Ridgely Balladares on Standard Insurance - PSA1 to take control and notch up the first win in the series. Emerson Villena skippering Standard Insurance - PSA slotted into 3rd place and came out on fire to claim the passage race from his compatriot Ridgely Balladares on Standard Insurance - PSA1 but end up trailing Balladares by one point in the overall standings. Marcus Avecilla's Subic Sailing Team stayed on the pace to take 3rd place and slot into 3rd overall, in front of a tightly paced bunch. The battle has started and the Philippine crewed boats have already shown their intentions and ability.
In the IRC 2 Class, George Hackett's J35 Jo De Ros came out on top, in the grudge match with Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star on the opening race. As they are getting familiar with the courses and conditions in Subic Bay, Hong Kong's Gordon Liu and Cowen Chiu's Sydney 38 Kingsman had to settle on third place but can expect improvements in the following races.
Although Li Jian's Advance 80 Apsaras finished 28 minutes in front of Philippe Grelon's Pogo 10.5 TBS Aya in the Cruising Class, only 33 seconds separated them on corrected time but stay in the same order. Peters Sharman's much smaller Beneteau First 31.7 Selma couldn't match the speed of the big boats in the light airs and 3rd place is the best they could expect in the circumstances. Garry Kingshott's Fusion 40 Kerida, struggled on the first windward beat and trailed in their wake for the rest of the race, to end up in 4th place.
Fifteen Optimists divided into two divisions and five locally made Streakers completed the Commodore's Cup Dinghy Regatta yesterday. At the prize presentation last night the government officials present, announced the introduction of dinghy sailing in all Philippine provinces in the near future. This will be a tremendous boost for sailing and raise the standards in the country.