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Top of the Gulf Regatta

We’ve just come to the end of the Top of the Gulf Regatta in Pattaya, Thailand. We had four days of great sailing but rather unfortunately the last race was abandoned due to a lack of breeze. Five races of the scheduled seven were conducted in great conditions where we managed to nudge a Corsair 28 RS to 20.6 knots. It wasn’t long lived but great fun all the same.

We’d been invited to sail aboard “Free Wheeler” a C28RS that belongs to ex-Hobie hard core racer, David Race. David had been living in Bangkok for ages but was recently posted to India. So it was great of David to take the time to fly all the way out just to go racing. The effort was worth it as the weather was great until the very last day. Too good some might have said as the sports boat division suffered a few knock downs.

A few new types were on ‘show’ at the regatta including a Wellbourne 25 that has a horizontal foil through its monohull. The horizontal foil  generates lift and helps to reduce the heeling moments on the boat. It seems to work as ‘Brace brace brace’ can rocket along. On show in the multihull division was Henry Kay’s Seacart 26, the only one in Southeast Asia. Henry graciously trailered the boat over from Phuket to take part in the Pattaya event. “Sweet chariot” knocked off the regatta and proved what a fast little trimaran is really capable of.

The Ocean Multihull Class consisted of a mixed bag of multi’s with two Corsair 28RS’s, a Corsair Sprint, a Farrier F31, the Seacart, an older MacGregor 36 and a few big cruising multihulls including Fantasia.

if you are looking for good events to do in Southeast Asia, do the Top of the Gulf. It is really well organised, is marina based and has a nice atmosphere. The food is probably the best out of any of the SEA events and the on-water race control is in the skilled hands of Jerry Rollin and his team – so professionally done.

Racing on this side of the Gulf is very good as a SW wind filters right around the bay. There are numerous islands scattered around the Gulf and these make ideal turning marks for the varied long distance races on the schedule.

The Ocean Multihull Class was won by the very nimble Seacart 26 that was chased by the large Fantasia who was in turn tagged by the Corsair 28. Hopefully next year there will be more interest shown in the multihull class as it looks like the Top of the Gulf Regatta is poised to become the best regatta in SEA. It certainly is the biggest with 9 different classes and more than 300 boats in total. The fleet ranges from Optimists, Hobie Cats, Open Beach Cats right up to Race Division and Ocean Multis! That’s a lot of mouths to feed!

In the Race Boat Class there was a great battle between most of SEA’s 40′ class with three of the class making the sail up from Singapore to do battle. KukuKerchu who the Dash sailors will remember from the Neptune Regatta, came third just behind Team Japan’s ‘Karasu’ with Neil Pryde sitting at the top of the class.

Next on the calendar is the Koh Samui Regatta just across the Gulf of Thailand. No doubt all the big boats will do battle once more. But for us, its time to start thinking about the upcoming Western Circuit at Raffles Marina in Singapore. We should have a large enough fleet of One Design Dashes taking part in Singapore’s biggest event.

If you would like more details of the TOG Regatta, please visit Captain Marty’s comprehensive web site…. http://asianyachting.com/default.asp

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About prosailing

In Southeast Asia a long time and all the while, sailing cats. But the cat love-affair began when I finished building my first catamaran at age 15... "never again". After building 2 more Formula 16 cats in Malaysia it's really 'never again'. Now we have a large fleet of high-tech speed machines including the Nacra 20 Carbon. Then we decided to spread our wings a little more and imported the Corsair Dash 750. Now we are well on the way to establishing a Coastal One Design Dash Class. As a test bed, we had 4 Dashes take part in the Neptune Regatta and now the plans are rolling out.

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