Painfully slow draw in the sailing lottery…
Eventually the shortened course details were relayed by radio and a few boats that managed to get through the minefield relatively unscathed managed to finish. Murphy’s Law came into play as a light sea breeze came in and the boats behind locked into it, to make up ground on the leaders and alter the results, after what looked like a lost cause.
The IRC 0 fleet were spread around the course and struggled to make way. Relief came when a light sea breeze arrived and allowed the back markers to make up ground rapidly and zero in, on the shortened finish line. Line honours for Aussie Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive, but the late charge for the finish line dropped them down the order to 7th place. Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin did the best to come through for handicap victory and end Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA72 string of victories and in doing so, relegate them to 4th place. Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II clung on for 2nd place, as Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire came from behind to snatch 3rd place in the final half mile. This result does not change the top order but does elevate Zannekin into 3rd overall and Alive retreats to 4th overall.
Victory for Sam Chan’s Freefire in the TP52 Division breaks the tie with Chen Fulin’s Ark 323 for 2nd and 3rd respectively. No change at the top, as 2nd place for THA72 becomes their drop race and on present form, are the run away leaders.
The ding dong battle between David Dimmock’s Club Swan 42 Loco and Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake III was always on the cards but a back row start for Loco, left the door open for Mandrake III to win the race, tie on 7 points and take over the IRC 1 lead, in one swoop. Timothy Fox’s chartered Beneteau 44.7 Fujin got the best start and held on through the minefield for 2nd place and provide the points separation that Mandrake III needed to capitalise on the situation. The final two days of racing, on Friday and Saturday will be one to watch and see how the story unfolds.
Jean Rheault’s One Ton J41 Souay 1 managed to sail up the first leg and around the top mark before the breeze completely faded, to notch up their fourth Cruising Class victory and well on the way to take out the title. Leaving Tim McMahon’s X99 SailQuest Hi Jinks and Mick Grover’s Elliot 7 Moon Shadow battling the adverse current, with little wind and going backwards most the time, to eventually finish in that order.
One minute it looked like Mick Tilden’s Pixalux were going to round the top mark first, then next minute Andy Pape’s Sudu Red had the advantage, as they tacked back and forth in the current. Eventually Pape’s Sudu Red snuck around in the inside lane and then swept downstream towards the finish. It was touch and go for half an hour and the win for Sudu Red, solidify’s their overall Multihull Class lead and second place for Tilden’s Pixalux. Several failed attempts at the top mark for Nut Thongtoam’s Sudu Grey leaves the defending champions struggling in 3rd place.
Tomorrow is the lay-day for the big boats and well deserved rest for the crew, before the final thrust to improve their standings. All the action moves over to Mad Nam beach tomorrow, for the first round of the Asia – Oceanic KTA Hydrofoil Tour, which will be held over three days till Saturday 2nd June. All spectators welcome.
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