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.