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.