Light wind determines the end game
Sharing the victories between Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, Frank Pong’s Dibley Custom 75 Jelik and Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive, has given Windsikher II, some breathing room at the top of the IRC 0 leaderboard. Ray Roberts TP52 Millenium Racing just can’t shake off Windsikher II from their tail and as they invariably overtake them, Millenium Racing goes into the final day with a 6.5 point deficit, in second overall. When the number crunching was completed, Hannes Waimer’s chartered TP52 Team Premier Oi! and Singh’s Windsikher II came out with exactly the same corrected time and split the points for third place, in the final race and secures Team Premier Oi! third overall, with a chance to improve tomorrow.
The big mover and shaker was Kevin Whitcraft’s GP 42 Wan Ma Rang, with two wins goes directly to the top of the IRC 1 leaderboard. Although Ken Eyears’ Sydney 40 MOD Redefine won the first race, they engaged Matti Sep’s chartered Dubois 40 Blue Note, in a lengthy pre-start luffing duel and let the rest of the yachts start without them. This left them in seventh and sixth places respectively and becomes their drop race. Eyears’ Redefine is now tied on points with Wan Ma Rang at the top, with Blue Note three points behind in third overall. All hinges on the outcome of tomorrows final races and the enduring weather conditions.
Having nailed most the starts so far, Mick Tilden‘s syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin finally broke the run of third places, by taking the daily double in the second race. Nikiforov Evgenii Cookson 12 MegaZip also got amongst the action by winning the final race. Triumph in the first race and by juggling places on two races, Japan’s Yasuo Nanamori’s Beneteau 40.7 Karasu, breaks the tie with Roland Dane’s Corby 36 Jessandra II and takes a two point lead in the IRC 2 class. This leaves the dueling leaders to fight it out tomorrow.
Three of the four yachts in the Premier Cruising Class, were over the start line as the horn sounded and subsequently recalled. This left Philipp Liholm’s Jeanneau 57 Raincloud with clear air but couldn’t capitalize on the situation. When Thailand’s defending champion, Ithinai Yingsiri’s X55 Pine-Pacific returned to the course, they added two more wins to their picket fence. Each race, Aussie Kim Ramen and Adrian Fini’s lower rated X55 Audeamus, has been getting closer to taking handicap honours and in Race 3, they jumped that hurdle and spoiled Pine-Pacific‘s clean sheet. Liholm’s Raincloud and Russia’s Andrey Eliseey’s Baby Tonga are clearly outclassed by the dueling X55’s and will end up in third and fourth respectively.
More slip and sliding in the Multihull classes. Being recalled at the restart, Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo chances of defending the title, washed away in the current and will have to settle on second overall. The crew on John Newnham’s Twin Sharks, never give up and have won every race since Race 1 on Monday, to win the one-design Firefly 850 Sports title, with one day to spare. Finding a crack in the beam on Neil Ayre’s Advance Racing on the lay day, did not deter them. They changed to a spare boat in Ao Chalong and using their sails were out today, continuing with the podium challenge. Scoring fourth and two second places, Advance Racing leap frogs, Jon Kingdon’s Moto Inzi for third overall but can’t afford any slipup’s tomorrow.
Since returning to the playing field, Danny Moore’s PHI 1100 trimaran, 3Itch has taken line honours in every race and are celebrating extra hard tonight, as they finally converted two races into handicap victories. By winning the first race and adding two 3rd places, Alan Carwardine’s Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane takes the overall lead and increased the chance of defending the Multihull Racing title. With a 3, 4, 4 score line, Mick Coleman/ John Coffin’s Stealth 11.8 Java, slipped of the mantelpiece and David Liddell’s 14m WOW scoring three 2nd places, find themselves tied on points for second overall. As only one point separates the podium places, the races tomorrow will be a showdown and decide the overall winner.
Only one race for the Multihull Cruising class today. Looking like ships on a painted sea, Japan’s Norikazu Arai’s Lagoon 410 Minnie sailed away to a forty minute lead and under the readjusted handicap system, takes the overall lead by five points. Grant Horsfield’s Fountaine Pajot 67 Arabella’s Naked Dad, was awarded a win for Wednesday’s race and second place today, stays steady in second overall. Despite scoring 5th place, Nikolay Pismenskiy’s Lagoon 380 Star Fruit holds onto third overall. As the drop race comes into play after five races, Minnie will be tied on points for first, with Arabella’s Naked Dad and tomorrows race will be the decider.
As the nippy one-design Corsair Pulse 600 trimaran’s, can easily sail in light wind, two races were held in the Performance Multihull Class, while the cruising monohull classes struggled to complete one shortened race, on the same course. Footing the fastest off the line, Elizabeth Schoch’s Sudu 3, scored two bullets and keeps them on the top of the pointscore. Third and second place for Scott Galle’s Sudu 4 secures second overall. Having to withdraw from the second race, Andrew de Bruin’s Multihull Solutions H30, becomes the drop race and will have to improve out of sight, to change the order on the podium.
Only one race for the Modern Classic, Bareboat, Open Charter, Cruising and Classic classes could be completed today. Wiwat Poonpat’s Platu 25 Royal Thai Navy 1 returned to form, taking out the daily double, to stay on top of the Modern Classic class. As the Platu 25 has a speed edge over the Farr 1104’s in light air, Lincoln Redding’s sistership Tornado (Tuay Lek) scored second place and takes over fourth overall. Despite scoring 5th place, John Vickery’s Farrgo Express holds onto second overall but will have to keep an eye on Mike Downard’s Krabi Boat Lagoon Piccolo, as they are only one point behind and within striking distance.
After a dip in form on Wednesday for Andrey Novikov’s Oceanis 40 Alexa, they have bounced back, showing the way with their light wind prowess, to stay in charge of the 16 yacht Bareboat Class. It’s all change after them. Second place for Jakob Handte’s Fei Jian, lifts them to seventh overall and third place for Igor Ginzburg’s Shiraz moves them into fifth overall. Despite fourth place for Ukrainian Leonid Fakeev’s Malee, it’s enough to hang onto second overall and still relishes the chance of beating the Russians in at least one race. Vasily Mikhalev’s Bavaria 46 Isabella is the only yacht to take a win from the run away leader Alexa and seventh place today, puts them within one point of taking second overall.
It finally happened in the Open Charter class. Boris Gusev’s Hanse 400E Venture broke down the picket fence that Vladimir Oleynikov’s First 47.7 Popeye has been building. Fifth place for China’s Shen Sheng’s J130 Big Boy Sailing Team, keeps them in second overall but will be worried about Gusev’s Venture improved performance, only one point behind and threatening to take second overall away from them.
Dean Chisholm’s Elliot 46 Dragons Back (PHPLUS) lighter displacement, finally prevailed over Tony Byrnes First 40.7 Mohawk, to ruin their clean sheet. Second place for Aussie Rod Mulcahy’s Beneteau First 44.7 Slipstream allows them to step up into second overall. In the circumstances, third place for Byrnes Mohawk is not a disappointment, as four wins on the trot, will earn them the Cruising Class title on their first attempt.
Yet again, Cedric Rimaud’s very sleek Vintage 6r4 Selma, has out sailed Japan’s Kiyoshi Masuda’s Umeboshi and the engraver can start on the Classic Class trophy.
International Dinghy Classes
Sponsored by the PTT Group, as part of the 29th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, wrapped up on Thursday’s lay-day after four days of racing. Young sailors tried to seal victory in honour of His Majesty the King of Thailand. The growing number of entries from 45 last year to 78 dinghies this year, shows the rising enthusiasm for sailing in Thailand.
Optimist, Topper and Laser sailors were in competition in decent winds and beautiful sunshine. They were led by Optimist Girl sailor Chanokchon Wangsuk, after a brilliant performance, claimed overall victory over 56 boy and girl sailors. This is testament to the rising quality of junior sailors among Thai ranks, and driven partly by the strong support of sponsor PTT Group.
Saranwong Poonpat won the Optimist Boys. Keerati Bualong won the Laser Standard and Chaichanawut Deenak crowned the Laser 4.7 champion. The Topper champion is Navee Thamsoontorn.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing and followed by the Royal awards ceremony, where all the crews will celebrate the 29th edition and look forward to the 30th next year.
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