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19 April 2006, 10:25 am
Off Rocking And A Rolling
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Philippine President's Cup Regatta 2006
Manila, Philippines

The opening round of this year's Philippine President's Cup Regatta started in around ten to twelve knots of breeze, with skippers playing it a bit conservatively and concentrating on crew work during the first race.
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Judes ECHAUZ's (PHI) Sydney 46 Centennial helmed by Jamie WILMOT (AUS) got the better of everyone at the start and having the lowest handicap held onto a significant time advantage throughout the race. Frank PONG's (HKG) Jelik was a little out of sync on the first windward beat up the harbour and lost some ground to Peter MORTON's (GBR) Boracay, but recovered on the long beat from Grande Island to pip MORTON's crew for line honours by four minutes. Ray ORDOVEZA's (PHI) Excel 53 Karakoa skippered by Steve BENJAMIN (USA) stayed with the pack and claimed second spot after improving their windward performance.

BENJAMIN, WILMOT, Jelik's Pierre MAS (FRA) and MORTON are not the only world renown top class sailors that enjoy applying their trade in Asian waters. Yacht designer Alan ANDREWS (USA) is onboard his Excel 53 design Karakoa and ISAF International Judge Masayuki ISHII (JPN) of America's Cup fame heading up the jury in an attempt to keep the sailors on the straight and narrow.

Jo de Ros Edges It

Chairman of the President's Cup Committee Jun AVECILLA (PHI) sailing Selma Star staged a battle royal with George HACKETT's (PHI) J/35 Jo de Ros around the entire course. After holding onto a slight lead most the way AVECILLA's Selma Star finally succumbed to the pressure exerted from Jo de Ros to be piped on the finish line by a mere 21 seconds, and relegated to second overall. Allan BURRELL's (GBR) Farr 1104 Rags stayed in close contact and kept them both honest to claim third spot.

In the Performance Handicap Class the Russian's on the Farr 43 Carrera skippered by Mikhailov AHEXEY outsailed the rest to end up with the daily double of line and handicap honours. Edwin ALMEDA's (IRL) Yamaha 36 Manta finished up second with Peter SHARPE's (NZL) Selma/SBYC Sags in third after being severely delayed when the land breeze inevitably changed over to the sea breeze.

Racing continues tomorrow with the yachts doing a couple of windward/leeward courses and after easing relatively smoothly into the racing with a passage race today, judging from the bar talk it will be on for the young and old tomorrow.

Asian Yachting (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Fast Exit:© Aida Simtoco
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