Top of the Gulf Regatta Wraps Up With Record-Breaking Success
Published: Thursday, 05 May 2016
The five-day 2016 Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina drew to a merry end on May 4, involving up to 271 boats split over 10 classes and more than 700 competitors. The Champion, Kingdom Property, was recorded to win in three consecutive years, earning a Platu Coronation Cup.
May 4 was the final shoot-out for the keelboat and multihulls (classes 1-6) and with two quick windward/ leewards, the challengers had their last chance to try and upset the respective class leaders.
(Kingdom Property (far right) on their way to winning the Platu Coronation Cup at the Top of the Gulf Regatta.
Photos: Guy Nowell/ Top of the Gulf Regatta.)
Coming into the last day, Kingdom Property (AUS), skippered by Scott Duncanson, had a seven-point lead and barring a disaster was unlikely to let go of their grip on the Platu Coronation Cup. That day was more a race for the remaining podium places and in Race 1 it was the ever-improving Russian team on Wikki, led by Valeriy Dichenko that pulled out all the stops to take their second win of the series. Dichenko is a multi-regatta champion back home in Russia and it’s easy to see his never-say-die spirit throughout the regatta.
Rolf Heemskerk (MAS) finished second in Race 1 while Chris Way's Easy Tiger IV (AUS) slipped down to the sixth place. Duncanson and his crew had a halyard problem, which slowed them down on the race track and resulted in them finishing a “lowly” third. However, that was enough for him to secure the Platu Coronation Cup title with one race to spare. This is Duncan's sixth Platu Coronation Cup title and the first ever three-peat in the competition's 21-year history having won it (previously in 2014 and 2015).
Dichenko and his crew went on to claim their third bullet of the series in Race 2 ahead of Heemskerk and Way. With Duncanson not competing the final race, Way's third place was enough for them to hold onto second place overall, one point ahead of the fast-finishing Dichenko.
Fourth and fifth places in the Platu Class went to the Thai teams of Wiwat Poonpat (THA), skippering Royal Thai Navy, and Ithinai Yingsiri (THA), skippering Pine-Pacific.
In IRC 1, Kevin Whitcraft (THA) and his crew on THA72 finished their series with two more wins. Except for a retirement in Race 2, Whitcraft has made a clean sweep on his new TP52 in his first competitive outing and with it sent a warning shot the rest of the Asian-based TP52's.
(Kevin Whitcraft's THA72 raced to a clear win in IRC 1.)
The Swan 42 Loco (USA) skippered by David Dimmock, has been there or there about in IRC 2 all week with a run of third places, but has never managed to catch Fujin (AUS). Today, they did just that. Beating them in both races today, Loco finished with a 2,1 scoreline and settled for third overall behind the Sorensen, Ketelbey, Tilden and Brown Fujin which despite having an off day today, will no doubt be back all the stronger in the future.
The class title went to Roland Dane's Corby 36 Jessandra II (THA) which scored six consecutive firsts and didn't compete in the final race of the series.
IRC 3 Class went to script with two more wins for Lennart Fahlgren's Amanda (THA) who's Thai/ Swedish crew who scored seven wins from seven races to be the runaway winner. Second overall was secured by Martin Brown's Nautical Wheeler (UK) with Tim McMahon's SailQuest Hi Jinks (USA) in third.
The Cruising class enjoyed five races over four days, a mix of windward/ leewards and some longer passage races. Scoring with Performance Handicap system, glory of the day went to Pote Suyasinto (THA) and his crew on Le Vent who comfortably took out the series title from Sein Samathi 1 (THA), skippered by Nukool Pothi, in second and Cedric Rimaud (FRA) and his 6-metre classic Selma, in third.
(The beautiful 90-year old Selma enjoyed racing in the Gulf of Thailand.)
A diverse line-up of multihulls in the Ocean Multihulls Class has meant some lonely upfront racing for Radab Kanjanavanit and his team on Cedar Swan (THA). Heading into the final day, the pressure was on Cedar Swan and with them sharing the spoils with Kirati Assakul's Sonic (THA) with a win each race, it's Sonic that claimed the 2016 Ocean Multihulls class title.
The icing on the cake was the first ever three-peat in the Platu Coronation Cup by Scott Duncanson – three victories in a row, bringing his total tally to six over the Cup's history.
The keelboat and multihulls sailors, Race Management, sponsors, media and VIPs came together to celebrate a successful Top of the Gulf Regatta at the Closing Party and Gala Dinner hosted by Ocean Marina Yacht Club.