Anthony Root and Steve Manning’s Black Baza declared 2016-17 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Champions

Anthony Root and Steve Manning’s Black Baza declared 2016-17 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Champions
Anthony Root & Steve Manning’s Black Baza on their winning ways… Image ©

Although Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly, won four out of five races and the Cruising Class, at the Top of the Gulf Regatta, only having three boats in the class, has resulted in low scoring (10 points) and makes it mathematically impossible, to reign in Anthony Root and Steve Manning's Ker Custom 42 Black Baza, from winning the 2016-17 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year title.

After contesting five events, they are very happy to show how it's possible for a cruising yacht, to win the AYGP and still have a chance of ending up, the 2nd best team in the annual Rankings. Renown for flying a spinnaker, with a girl in a champagne glass, they jokingly say 'In 20 knots she looses the smile and in 30 knots she falls out of the glass'.

While the heavily campaigned Root and Manning's Black Baza, will be crowned the 2016-17 AYGP Champion and join an exclusive skippers club that have defended the title, the race is still on for other teams to finish higher up the order, at the season ending Samui Regatta (May 20th – 27th).

Although Mitchell's Lady Bubbly, has edged Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake II temporarily out of second place, they will both be contesting their sixth event at Samui, albeit in different classes and finishing 2nd best Skipper and Yacht to campaign in Asian waters, during the 2016-17 Season, is nothing to be sneezed at.

First and second places at the Top of the Gulf for Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine and Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA72 is the fourth regatta they have contested this season and make a huge lunge up the rankings, to hold onto 6th and 5th places respectively and the Samui Regatta results, could see them overtake Judes Echauz’s TP52 Centennial III for fourth overall.

The AYGP is a unique point scoring system, that annually ranks all the big boat Skippers and Yachts that race in Eastern and South East Asian waters. Presently regattas in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, are point scoring events. To be fully representative of the regions sailing nations, the China Cup has been added to next seasons regatta lineup. So far this season 226 Skippers and 227 Yachts have contested at least one event and by adding another 100+ to the rankings, will be truly inclusive and unique to any other continents, sailing community.

So what's left to do? Come on down to the Centara Grand Beach Resort in Samui and watch Anthony Root and Steve Manning donning the Trend Fashions navy blue blazer, presented with the Perpetual AYGP Cup filled with champagne and Black Baza the hand crafted take home trophy at the gala Samui Regatta prize presentation party, is the highlight of the AYGP season.

Martins Rijkuris

Martins Rijkuris

Conduct the annual Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and present the AYGP Skipper & Yacht of the Year awards, known as the 'Hardest Sports trophy to win in Asia' to the winner...

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