By AsianYachting MultiMedia 28:02:2019 Subic Bay, Philippines: Although Ridgely Balladares and Emerson Villena are fellow crew members on Ernesto Echauz's TP 52 Standard Insurance Centennial III and grew up together in the junior ranks, they are arch rivals on the match racing course. Ridgely Balladares PSA Team came through unscathed in the Round Robins, but different story when it comes to the Grand Final.
Very spirited pre-starts and circling around the start boat, aiming to penalise each other, with the umpires watching every move, initially resulted in green flags. Coming together at the top mark resulted in Balladares being penalised with Villena sailing on to make it 1 - 0 and their first win over Balladares for the series. Check out the action in the AY Photo Gallery
The second race saw Ridgely impose a penalty on Emerson during the pre-start and have a tacking duel up the first leg, to be first around the mark and didn't give Emerson a chance to recover. Score 1 - 1.
The death knell came in Race 3, with Ridgely earning two penalties in the pre-start duel and although they had a speed edge upwind, to lead at the top mark, they could not exonerate themselves in time for Emerson to claim his second win. Score 2 - 1.
All clear on the fourth start and although Emerson held the windward berth, Ridgely's upwind speed saw them in front on the first cross and extend their lead to make it even stevens at 2 - 2.
The fifth and final showdown left the crew on the start boat dizzy, following all the dial ups and downs around the start boat, but called all clear by the umpires, in 6 to 8 knots from the East. A slow tack by Emerson saw Ridgely take the first cross and after a tight tacking duel and much to the spectators delight it was Emerson's green spinnaker that was hoisted first and led down to the bottom mark. A huge split in tacks on the final upwind, played out in Emerson's favour and although Ridgely tried to comeback on the downwind, it was to late and Emerson went on to become crowned the Inaugural Subic Bay Int Regatta Match Racing champion.
In the Petit - Final, Jerene Durana out classed Maria Vidoeira on three races, to settle the 3rd and 4th places. Maria goes away having earned the most number of penalties and a black flag, at the inaugural match racing event.
Many thanks were expressed at the final briefing to Standard Insurance for sponsoring the Race Officer, Umpires, race officials, match racing equipment and supplying the start, umpire, mark boats and of course the Far East 28R keelboats, to make this event a success.
Mixed results in the two keelboat windward/leeward races today.
Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes skippered by Richard Hudson, started strong by scoring the daily double but equipment failure on the second race, saw them relegated to 4th place and still hold onto 2nd overall. Fourth and first place for Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa, keeps them on top of the overall points table, by one point.
With a score line of 3, 2 today, George Hackett's Mills 43 custom Misty Mountain holds onto 3rd overall and only one point adrift of 2nd place overall. Matching the score line but in the reverse order, Bobby Benares Beneteau 44.7 Sabad is in 4th overall and in front of the luckless JunAvecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star.
Stephen Wu Shifu's Oceanis 45 Asia Pacific Sailing continues to circulate on a reduced number of laps and being the only entry in the Cruising class, has its just returns.
Tomorrow the Far East 28R keelboats start their fleet racing segment of the regatta and the keelboats take on another single point to point passage race, around Subic Bay.