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.