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22 April 2006, 05:49 pm
The Final Showdown
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Philippine President's Cup Regatta 2006
Manila, Philippines

Racing got away on time for the much awaited race five decider at the Philippine President's Cup Regatta, but unfortunately before one lap could be completed a enormous windless hole appeared in the middle of the course. However the wind returned and all was set for the final showdown between Jamie WILMOT (AUS) helming Centennial and the Steve BENJAMIN (USA) led Karakoa.
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After race officer Jerry ROLLIN abandoned the first attempt of the day, an hour and a half later the sea breeze materialized, the course relayed and five minute horn sounded. Judes ECHAUZ's (PHI) Sydney 46 Centennial and Ray ORDOVEZA's (PHI) Excel 53 Karakoa kept a tight cover on each other by circling around then hitting the line with speed. WILMOT came out with a slight windward advantage on Centennial and BENJAMIN had Karakoa a boat length in front as they powered up the first windward beat.

No more than a couple hundred metres separated the two yachts throughout the race with the bigger Karakoa leading the way. In the end it was Karakoa crossing the line 1 minute and 20 seconds in front, which was not enough as Centennial corrected out 1 minute and 17 seconds in front. One-zip to Centennial.

One More To Go

As race five took less than an hour to complete the race committee called for another race to finish the series. Once again WILMOT steered Centennial off the line with a windward advantage and this time in front of Karakoa up the first beat. A tight cover was held and a separate two boat competition developed from the rest of the racers. Having taken each other to the extreme ends of the course they allowed the rest of the fleet to sail over them and finished fifth and sixth respectively. Nick BURNS' (HKG) Mandrake finally came to the fore in this final race, with Frank PONG's (HKG) two 75 footers Jelik and Boracay, which have put on a spectacular show all regatta, claiming second and third places in race six. After the final points tally ECHAUZ's Centennial won their fourth President's Cup. ORDOVEZA's Karakoa ended up second overall and Robert KNIGHT's (HKG) Drumstick third.

In the Cruiser Racer Class George HACKETT's (PHI) J/35 Jo de Ros added a further win to his tally that gave them the overall class victory, and therefore decided not to compete in the final race. Claudio ALTURA's (PHI) J/35 Vivaldi scored second place in race five and Jun AVECILLA's (PHI) Selma Star recovered to third after a few mistakes in earlier races dropped them down the order. Race six saw Allan BURRELL's (GBR) Farr 1104 Rags come to the for and Vivaldi in second, with Selma Star once again in third place. This allowed Jo de Ros to successfully defend the title, with ALTURA's quickly improving Vivaldi in second and Rags holding onto third overall.

Russian Success

The Russians on Carrera, came, conquered and provided huge amounts of comical relief. Although possibly being in the wrong class they won all four races in spectacular style. Edwin ALMEDA's (IRL) Yamaha 36 Manta consistently scored second place to end up second overall. Seiji KAWAKAMI's Japanese crew on the X-99 Fast Exit claimed third spot today which ties them on points with Peter SHARPE's (NZL) Selma/SBYC Sags and after a countback gives them third overall.

Race officer ROLLIN and his team of young helpers plus the organizing committee must be commended for their great work to successfully complete the regatta programme in often difficult and changing weather conditions. Their patience has kept the sailors happy, some of which have come a long way to compete here. Their openness to discuss things sensibly with the sailors, some of who are just starting out, has improved their understanding of the sport and put them on the right path to becoming future champions.

Asian Yachting (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The Russians on Carrera were untouchable:© Asian Yachting
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