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Top of the Gulf turns ten
Written by Administrator    Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:44    PDF Print E-mail
Top of the Gulf turns ten

The final day of the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta erased all memories of the tricky conditions over the previous three days as the wind kicked in and blew all classes around the course to complete their series. It was smiles all around as the packed start-lines and busy schedule of races made for a fitting final to the 10 th anniversary Top of the Gulf Regatta. On the keelboat and multihull course Race Officer Denis Thompson had the classes into sequence quickly completing two races for most and three for some.

Three races were in order for IRC 1 and despite coming into the last day with a run of firsts, Peter Ahern and his crew on Oi! struggled to a 1,3,3 score-line. Sailing well, Wan Ma Rang caused the upset in the best breeze of the Regatta with a final day scoreline of 3,1,1, enough for them to secure second place overall on countback, behind Oi! who won IRC 1 at their first time of trying. IRC 2 delivered some close racing over the last four days with two Singapore entries, Foxy Lady VI (last year's winner) and Windsikher, battling with Japanese entry Karasu, and going into the last day it was Karasu who had the advantage.

Top of the Gulf turns ten

Top of the Gulf turns tenAs the winds arrived on cue, it was Foxy Lady VI who powered up and scored two firsts on the windward/leeward courses and with it secure the class win by the slimmest of margins, a single point. Two first places on the final day for Souay 1 in IRC 3 was a great finish to the Regatta but not enough to knock Hi Jinks off the top who wins the class for the second consecutive year. Cruising went down to the wire with Windstar taking a slim lead in to the final day. The long course and conditions favoured Amanda who sailed to a win tying Windstar at the top in the overall standings. On countback, however, Amanda was crowned the winners with three wins in the series compared to Windstar's two. Competing for the Coronation Cup, the one-design Platu class saw a shuffling of the pack on the final day. Scott Duncanson's Kingdom Property jumped to the top of the standings after winning the first race of the day, edging out Chris Way's Easy Tiger IV by a little over 20 seconds. In the second race, tactics came into play ith Easy Tiger IV looking to shadow Kingdom Property. After a short windward/ leeward Kingdom Property gained the advantage over Easy Tiger IV with fifth and seventh place finishes respectively. The final race win of the series went to David Leslie's Nataya 131.

After the dust settled and all the points are in, it was Kingdom Property who was crowned winners of the Coronation Cup with Easy Tiger IV a single point back in second, four points ahead of Rolf Heemskerk's Team ViewPoint in third. Mojo finished in style in the Ocean Multihulls class with a win on the final day. Enjoying the strong breeze, Mojo sailed to a six second victory on corrected time over Kirati Assakul's Sonic whose second place in the race was enough to secure the class title by a single point over fellow Thai multihull sailor Radab Kanjanavanit. On the dinghy courses, the final day's wind made for a frantic finish with two races completed by most fleets. Keerati Bualong showed his class throughout to defend his Single-Handed Monohull Dinghy class title while top Thai female sailing the Laser Radial was Kamolwan Chanyim.

Defending champions in the Double-Handed Monohull Dinghy class, Navee Thamsoontorn/ Nut Butmarasri, were convincingly beaten this year and despite two wins on the last day for Sittisart Ponpan/Peerapol Vesaka it was not enough to unseat new class winners Totsapon Mahawichean/Sarawut Phetsiri. In the Hobie Tiger/Nacra F18 class, it was the pairing of Damrongsak Vongtim/ Kitsada Vongtim that out-sailed the rest to claim the crown.

The 2014 RS:One Asian Championships, in collaboration with the Top of the Gulf Regatta and WATH (Windsurfing Association of Thailand) has delivered three intense days of one design racing off Ocean Marina Yacht Club. With 21 racers from seven nations (including the promising new windsurfing countries of Myanmar and Sri Lanka), the technical conditions and shifty winds provided some challenging competition. Hong Kong and Thailand dominated claiming victories in all four divisions (Men, Espoir Men, Women and Espoir Women). Natthaphong Phonoppharat was crowned RS:One Mens Asian Champion with seven wins from eight races while Hong Kong's Sin Lam Sonia Lo was unbeaten in the Women's division.

Top of the Gulf turns ten

The RS:One class will continue its 2014 journey with the European Championships in Cesme (Turkey), the Asian Sailing Championships and Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea), the Asian Beach Games in Phuket (Thailand) and the 2014 World Championships at the end of the year in Bintan (Indonesia).

The future of sailing and yacht racing in the Kingdom appears to be secure, judging by the large number of junior sailors at the Top of the Gulf Regatta this year. Some 132 Optimist dinghies, sailed by under 16-year-old boys and girls, faced the rigours of fickle conditions, with light, shifting winds interspersed with storm fronts growling on the horizon, to compete in the annual Thailand Optimist National Championships.

Winning an Optimist World Championship recently, many of these youngsters have moved on from the tiny trainer, to compete in bigger craft and represent Thailand in numerous world class events, including Olympiads. In this its 39 th sailing, the National Optimist Championships went down to the wire and after five races over three days it was Thai Sutida Poonpat who won the title on the final day, ahead of fellow Thai national team sailor Suthon Yampinid in second. The 10 th anniversary edition of the award-winning Top of the Gulf Regatta saw a near record fleet of 239 boats with close to 600 sailors competing in 12 classes over four days off of Ocean Marina Yacht Club. They came from Japan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Ocean Marina Yacht Club
The Ocean Marina Yacht Club, South East Asia's largest marina is located on Jomtien Beach, outside of Pattaya, in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the hub of sailing in the region and home of the awardwinning Top of the Gulf Regatta since its inception in 2005. Ocean Marina Yacht Club has long promoted sailing in the Gulf of Thailand and surrounds, hosting regular club regattas, youth sailing programmes, national and regional championships. "Ocean Marina Yacht Club is the perfect venue for a multi-class regatta such as Top of the Gulf," said Mr. William Gasson, Chairman of the Organising Committee. "The marina has played an important role in the development of sailing in the region and has been instrumental in making Top of the Gulf Regatta the largest sailing event of its kind in Asia today." In recognition of the Regatta's success and cementing its position on the international sailing calendar, Top of the Gulf Regatta was recently voted "Asian Regatta of the Year" at the 2014 Asian Marine & Boating Awards. "We're honoured to have won this award. There's no doubt that having such a great venue and unwavering support from Ocean Marina has played a huge part in the Regatta's success," added Gasson. Staking its claim as the largest marina in South East Asia, Ocean Marina has undergone an ambitious expansion plan increasing the number of berths from 200 in mid-2011 to 330 today, with ongoing development to increase the dry storage area as well as adding another 48 berths by July 2014. According to Mrs. Supatra Angkavinijwong, Deputy Managing Director of Ocean Property Co., Ltd., Ocean Marina Yacht Club has grown over the years in tandem with the industry's growth. "We have seen a trend in recent years of more Thais buying yachts. This, together with growth in the number of visiting yachts from overseas, has seen the Gulf of Thailand become a key yachting hub in South East Asia, and our current expansion is in response to this demand and in anticipation of further growth." As sailing in the region grows and the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta opens its doors, Ocean Marina Yacht Club is full having welcomed an influx of international boats coming to race in the Regatta from and elsewhere in Thailand. New for this year is the incorporation of the RS:One Asian Championships. Being held in Thailand for the first time with over 30 national team sailors from Asian countries competing for the Asian crown.

Top of the Gulf turns tenAbout the Top of the Gulf Regatta
Founded in 2005, the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta (TOG Regatta) was the 10 th anniversary edition taking place 1st – 5th of May. The Top of the Gulf Regatta is organized by an Organising Committee with support from the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Royal Thai Navy, and is held under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand. The Top of the Gulf Regatta is unique – it is the only multi-class sailing event of its kind in Asia – and incorporates the Coronation Cup and the Thailand Optimist National Championships, and for 2014 also incorporated the RS:One Asian Championship for windsurfers.

Full results are available at www.topofthegulfregatta.com/results.shtml
For more information, visit www.topofthegulfregatta.com
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