02:03:2018 Subic Bay, Philippines: The final day started with the North Easterly trades peaking at 11 knots, then faded during the race to 4 knots and returned towards the end, in time to start another windward/leeward race. Murphy's Law was then enacted and dwindled away again, veered heavily to the East and eventually the advancing sea breeze took over. Depending on the yachts position on the course, this severely hindered or aided the teams and mixed up the race placing's. The top teams in each class seemed to be able to power through and cement their position, while down the order significant changes occurred and some shuffling of the overall order took place.
Ernesto Echauz's TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III were in a hurry to seal the IRC 1 class title and put the peddle to the metal, to claim the daily double on both races with style. Arch rival Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes suffered in the light breeze and being recalled at the start of the second race, put an end to their challenge and had to settle on 2nd overall. Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa capitalised on the second race, with Antipodes called OCS and gained with the wind change, to slot into 2nd place but ended up in third overall.
Apart from yesterdays disqualification, Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 Otonomos Mandrake III has won every race and captures the IRC 2 title with ease and victory on the combined SBVIR and SBC trophy. Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star hitched up their skirts and made a run for it, to score two second places and in doing so, overtake George Hackett's Mills 43 custom Misty Mountain for second overall. George Hackett reopened yesterdays protest hearing, which resulted in both yachts still being disqualified and has no bearing on the overall results.
Despite racing with a stay sail in lieu of a damaged headsail, Li Jian's Advance 80 Apsaras has dominated Stephen Wu Shifu's Oceanis 45 Asia Pacific Sailing in every race and consequently end up one, two in the Cruising Class overall stakes.
Coming into today's final showdown Emerson Villena skippering Standard Insurance - PSA won all six races, to clinch the FarEast 28 class, with a day to spare. Eventually it had to happen and a lack of speed on the first race and wind change on the second race allowed Alan Chua's Centennial 1 to come through and ruin Standard Insurance - PSA clean sheet and secure second overall. Two 5th places is enough for Bernice Foo's SMU Sailing Singapore to claim third overall. Only one point separates Yukie Ikawa's Team Japan and Subic Sailing Team co-skippered by Marcus Avecilla and Sean Mitchell in 4th place and 5th places. Joser Hsieh Taiwan TIDC earn the wooden spoon in 6th place but have gained from the experience for future events.
The gala dinner and prize presentation at The Lighthouse Resort wrapped up the series on a high note.
Summary As the week progressed, it was difficult to recall that this series was a replacement for the Subic Boracay Race and Cup. As they say in the classics 'The Show Must Go On' and it did. Hopefully all the inconvenience has been resolved and by next year the Boracay event will return. The Organising and Race Committees must be commended for making quick decisions to reschedule and running the event in Subic Bay.
Introducing the inaugural one-design Far East 28 class maybe a saving grace to yacht racing in the Philippines, for fly in, fly out charters, that seem to be the way to go, these days. It's also an excellent opportunity for International teams to check out Subic Bay, as the 2019 SEA Games will be held here and the keelboat is expected to make a return. The next event in Subic Bay is the Commodores' Cup from April 3rd to 7th and interested charterers should get in early as the yacht bookings are being snapped up fast.
28:02:2018 Subic Bay, Philippines: The combination of a brisk North Easterly trade wind, this time of the year and the wide expanse of Subic Bay, are the perfect place to hold a regatta. Warm sunshine, clear blue sky, good breeze and flat water are a sailors delight. Two windward/leeward races for the IRC and FarEast 28 classes, plus one long passage race for the Cruising Class, went off without a hitch and back in time for a late lunch. Crews are also getting into the swing of things and a few changes in placing's, has resulted in tightening the gap in the overall stakes and all to play for.
While Geoff Hill's Smith 72Antipodes and Ernesto Echauz's TP 52Standard Insurance Centennial III continued on in close company and shared the line honours role today, Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53Karakoa took advantage of the duel going on in front of them, to claim the first race handicap victory. Reducing Antipodes to 2nd and Centennial III to 3rd. This ruffled the feathers on the big boats and they responded with better speed in the lighter afternoon breeze, with Centennial III taking top step of the podium, Antipodes in 2nd and Karakoa reduced to 3rd, to be in the respective order in the overall stakes.
The game of asymmetric versus symmetric spinnakers is playing out in the IRC 2 class. While Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 OtonomosMandrake III are faster upwind, George Hackett's Mills 43 customMisty Mountain are sailing directly downwind with a symmetric spinnaker and making gains on Mandrake III's gybing angles with a asymmetric spinnaker. At the end of the day the upwind speed paid off for Mandrake III to clinch two first and fastest's and keep a clean score sheet. Only one and two minutes behind on corrected time, Misty Mountain settled on two second places and work to do on their upwind speed. Two third places for Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7Selma Star keeps them in third overall and need to iron out some little mistakes creeping in.
Although Stephen Wu Shifu's Oceanis 45Asia Pacific Sailing were not far behind Li Jian's Advance 80Apsaras on the passage race, they still missed out by two and a half minutes on corrected time, from claiming a big scalp. This gives Apsaras the overall lead in the Cruising Class.
At times the six nippy FarEast 28 teams seem to be playing dodgem cars, but are under the watchful eyes of the International jury to keep them in line. Former 470 dinghy champion Emerson Villena skippering Standard Insurance - PSA have the most experience and by adding two more wins to their tally, have a firm grip on proceedings at this stage. Alan Chua's Centennial 1 and Bernice Foo's SMU Sailing Singapore scored the same points and are still tied on 11 points for second place. The Subic Sailing Team co-skippered by Marcus Avecilla and Sean Mitchell have broken free of their tie with Yukie Ikawa's Team Japan and sit in 4th and 5th places respectively. Although Joser Hsieh Taiwan TIDC are the back markers, they are gaining every race from the experience.
Racing continues tomorrow with a long passage race for the IRC and Cruising classes, while the FarEast 28 class complete a windward/leeward race before departing on a passage race. Nightly prize presentations have been taking place at the Subic Bay Yacht Club and Marina.
By AsianYachting MultiMedia 27:02:2018 Subic Bay, Philippines: The forecasted strong North Easterly lived up to its reputation and provided powerful racing for the entire fleet, to be back in the marina by 1400. Equipment breakages during the Subic Bay Verde Island Race have hurriedly been repaired and although the IRC classes are down on numbers, six competitive one-design FarEast 28 racers made up for it. One 21nm passage race for the IRC classes and a two lap windward/leeward race, followed by a shortened 18nm passage race for the FarEast 28 class, proved to be a good workout on Day 1.
As if tied together with an elastic chord, Ernesto Echauz's TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III and Geoff Hill's Smith 72Antipodes continued their close encounter, with Centennial III taking line honours by 23 seconds this time and 1st in the IRC 1 class. Antipodes chased hard and looked dangerous when fully powered up, but had to settle on 2nd place. With steering and sails repaired, Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa trailed the bigger yachts in third place but their confidence is renewed and hope to make an impression in the coming days.
Hitting the start line with speed in the windward berth, Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 OtonomosMandrake III extended on the long spinnaker reach to the entrance of Subic Bay and claimed the IRC 2 daily double with ease. Having missed the Subic Bay Verde Island Race with steering problems, George Hackett's Mills 43 customMisty Mountain were eager to get going and make a mark, but ended up doing the chasing role and 2nd place is a good start. Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7Selma Star is the smallest yacht in the fleet and although out gunned by the bigger yachts in this wind range, ended up in 3rd place and are looking forward to suitable conditions.
Racing with a stay sail in lieu of the damaged headsail, Li Jian's Advance 80Apsaras is still to powerful for Stephen Wu Shifu's Oceanis 45Asia Pacific Sailing to keep up with and by finishing over an hour behind, ended up 1st and 2nd respectively in the Cruising Class.
Six nippy FarEast 28 teams opened their inaugural series and welcomed the stiff North Easterly to propel them around the course. Emerson Villena skippering Standard Insurance - PSA displayed their experience to win both races and spearhead the Philippine national team into the overall lead. Alan Chua's Centennial 1 and Bernice Foo's SMU Sailing Singapore traded 2nd and 3rd places, to be tied on 5 points and work to do to catch the leaders. The Subic Sailing Team co-skippered by Marcus Avecilla and Sean Mitchell are also tied with Yukie Ikawa's Team Japan for 4th place, while Joser Hsieh Taiwan TIDC are on a steep learning curve in 6th place.
Racing continues tomorrow with two windward / leeward courses for the IRC classes and will go a long way to sorting out the overall order.
The Regatta Organising Authority is Subic Sailing, under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association and in conjunction with Watercraft Ventures, Inc., the Lighthouse Marina Resort, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Philippine Coast Guard and backed by Tanduay Rum, Pepsi-Cola, Broadwater Marine, Nano Fixit and JC.