Australian and Thai sailors take early leads on Day 1 of 2017 Top of the Gulf Regatta

Friday, 05 May 2017

Thailand – The 2017 Top of the Gulf Regatta got off to a breezy start with an early morning storm clearing in time for the first race and leaving behind 16 knots of breeze. The wind held good for the first race only to drop off for the second, and a slight pick-up ensured Race Officer Denis Thompson could complete three races for the Platus and two for the other classes on the keelboat and multihull course.

Elsewhere on the water the 76-strong Optimist fleet were keen to get underway in the Thailand Optimist National Championships, with the best two results from today's three races deciding the Fleet A/ B split, while on the dinghy course more than 50 competed in the Single-Handed Monohull Dinghy Class (with divisional splits), and the Double-Handed Monohull Dinghy Class.

Kevin Whitcraft and his crew on the TP52 THA 72 were the first to put a bullet on the board in IRC Racing 1. In the fading breeze, they went on to again take line honours in Race 2 but Emagine (AUS) and Loco (USA) remained close on-the-water and Emagine corrected out in first, Loco second with THA 72 having to settle for third.

Defending champion Gary Baguley on El Coyote (AUS) made it two from two to comfortably sit top of the IRC Racing 3 standings at the end of Day 1. Fellow Australian entry, Magic, skippered by David Bell, scored two seconds while other podium places were shared between Martin Brown's Nautical Wheeler (USA) and Tim McMahon's SailQuest Hi Jinks (USA).

Currently sitting third in the 2016/17 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship, Christ Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly is looking to improve their standing and got off to a good start today with two wins. Second and third places in the Cruising fleet went to Pote Suyasinto's Le Vent and Dwight Willis' Thida Waree respectively.

In the Platu Class, Pine-Pacific (THA) got off to a flying start with two wins in quick succession. With just seconds of separation in the one-design class, the standard of racing is high and showing consistency today with three fourth places were Royal Thai Navy, who have now laid a strong foundation to build on for the coming three days. Chris Way and his Easy Tiger III (AUS) crew are in the running with a 2,6,2 on the day and sit second overall ahead of Team Viewpoint (NED), skippered by Rolf Heemskerk, whose 5,2,3 scoreline today is enough for third overall.

Less than one minute separated Sonic (THA) and Bladerunner 7 (UK) on-the-water in today's multihull racing but it was the larger of the two, the Crowther 42 Sonic, skippered by defending champion Kirati Assakul, who got the better on corrected time in both races and leads the series.

The 13th Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina takes place 4 – 8 May, 2017 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, Thailand and is supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Pattaya City, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Royal Thai Navy.

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About Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina

Founded in 2005 the 2017 Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina will take place 4 – 8 May. Owned and organised by Ocean Property, the regatta is hosted by Ocean Marina Yacht Club with support from the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Royal Thai Navy, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Pattaya City.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina is unique: it is the largest multi-class sailing event of its kind in Asia, incorporates the Coronation Cup and the Thailand National Optimist Championships, and is the only regatta in Thailand hosted at a marina.


In recognition of the regatta's success, Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina claimed Silver for “Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand” at the 2016 Asian Sports Industry Awards, and was voted “Asian Regatta of the Year” at the 2014 Asian Marine & Boating Awards, as well has having made the “Best Asian Regatta” shortlist at the Asia Boating Awards for three consecutive years.

Nungruthai Julakul/ Duncan Worthington

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Last Updated ( Friday, 05 May 2017 )