King’s Cup doesn’t get much better than this…
Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood flew around the first two races, to claim the daily double on both races and extend their lead in the IRC 0 class. As the breeze reduced and changed direction on the third race, it became paramount to choose the right side of the course to go upwind. Better suited to lighter breeze, Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, made up for the Race 2 howler and for the second time this regatta, managed to correct out in front of Team Hollywood. Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin has struggled as the back marker, but jumped up into 2nd place and left Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA 72 and Team Hollywood to fight over 3rd and 4th places. The juggling of places does not change the overall order, with Team Hollywood taking a commanding lead from THA 72 but Windsikher II has closed to within one point of THA 72 and aim to improve when racing resumes, in lighter weather, on the last two days.
The Aussie’s on Craig Nicholls Sydney 40 Mod Aquari II and Mati Sepp’s chartered Swan 42 Club Loco, came good to take 1st and 2nd places on the first two races and close in on the overall leaders. Two 3rd places and 2nd in the third race, keeps Scott Bradley’s Sydney 40 Emagine, in 2nd overall but only half a point in front of the rapidly advancing Aquari II. By scoring the daily double on the third race, Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 Mandrake III remains at the top of the IRC 1 pointscore but 4th and 5th places in earlier races, has substantially reduced their lead, to half a point over 2nd placed Bradley’s Emagine.
Only one coastal course for the IRC 2 class and they have all enjoyed the long legs, with the heavy displacement boats, shuffling the placing’s. Morton Jakobsen’s VX One Design Sports boat Over Here got up to planing speed, to capture the daily double and with the drop race coming into play, steps up into 2nd overall. Second place for Andrew McDermott’s Corby 36 Jessandra, carries on from yesterdays victory and is starting to claw back up the table. Third place for John Grendon’s Frers 41 Di Hard is an improvement but still has a mountain to climb to come into podium contention. Fourth place for the Highlead Encouragers (Judy) is their worst result so far, becomes their drop race and still hold onto the overall lead by 4 points over Jakobsen’s Over Here.
A busy day for the three dueling Premier Cruising Class yachts, as they completed the coastal course, then continued on with an extra windward/leeward race to finish the day. Reveling in stronger conditions, Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes posted two first and fastest’s, to go directly to the top of the class. Second and 3rd places for Andy Cocks Beneteau First 50 Firstlight, slips them down to second overall, but are tied on 8 points with Antipodes for the overall lead. Third and 2nd places for Thailand’s Ithinai Yingsiri’s X55 Pine-Pacific, has allowed Antipodes to slip from their grasp and will have to go a lot harder, if they’re going to defend the title for the 5th time.
Although Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo regained form to win the first race today, little mistakes like wrapping the spinnaker around the dagger board, have allowed John Newnham’s Twin Sharks back in with two wins, to retain top spot, in the Firefly 850 Sports class. With a 3, 2, 3 score line, Neil Ayre’s Mamba climbs up into 3rd overall, as Japan’s Natsuki Motoyoshi’s Mil Grace / Frog had equipment failure and Did Not Finish (DNF) the third race.
There was plenty of hull flying on Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU skippered by David Witt, and Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 Fugazi to entertain the spectators. The speed of these machines is incredible and although SHK Scallywag FUKU flew around the coastal course in 1 hour 26 minutes, Fidock’s Fugazi finished 22 minutes behind them and when the numbers were crunched, Fugazi post their 6th victory by 10 minutes. It’s amazing how a locally designed and built trimaran can get the better of a world beater, crewed by professionals, in their home waters. Although Thomas Valentin’s Diem 24 Blade Runner IX were a little bit out of control at the downwind mark, they recovered to take 3rd place and only 2 minutes short of beating the Scallywags. Fourth place for David Fuller’s chartered Stealth 11.8 Java, is enough for them to hold onto 3rd in the overall stakes.
The Bareboat A class managed to get in two races, while Bareboat B, Modern Classic and Cruising classes, completed a singe coastal race, before the wind faded. Race wins for Chen Hechis Shanghai Maritime University (Isabella) and Stanislav Pechenkin’s Kingsman and after introducing the drop race, they are now tied on 11 points and fighting over 3rd and 4th places. Fifth and 2nd places for the Chinese on Xingpang Xu’s Little Sun Ling Lang Sailing keeps them in 2nd overall, but two 4th places for Andrey Eliseev’s Kinnon ends their run of victories and now tied on 9 points, with Xu’s Little Sun Ling Lang Sailing for the overall title.
Victory for Sergei Musikhin’s Alexa and 2nd place for Igor Ginzburg’s Sun Odyssey 409 Sunsail Phailin has tied them on 6 points, at the top of the Overall Bareboat B stakes. Third place for Vladimir Oleynikovs Anchali continues a string of 3rd places, to hold onto 3rd overall, in the 7 boat class.
The Russians on Andrey Novoderezhkin’s Kata Rocks Sea Escapes stayed on the pace, to post another win and on top of the Modern Classic class. Second place for the Japanese on Toshihiko Iijima’s Hippocrates (Sariya) keeps them in 2nd overall and third place for Shane Armitage’s Farr 1104 Piccolo, keeps the podium intact in 3rd overall.
By adding another win to their tally, the Swedes on Eric Alfredson’s Oyster 56 Lisanne have outclassed the smaller yachts and extend their lead in the Cruising Class pointscore. Second place for Chris Mitchell’s Naut 40 Lady Bubbly breaks the tie, with the Aussie’s on Tony Byrnes Zingara in 3rd place and need the breeze to lighten up, if they are to have a chance at catching the leader, in the 11 boat class.
In the strong breeze, Grant Horsfield’s Fountaine Pajot 67 Arabella stretched their legs and won their first race but languish down in fourth overall. Second place for Zam Bevan’s Pescott SHN 10.6 Sho,Vel, keeps them on the top of the Cruising Multihull pointscore. Third place for Zhang Yong Dong’s Andaman Cabriolet Big Boys Sailing Team 2 (Kata Rocks) slots them into 2nd overall and only two points adrift of Sho,Vel. Fourth place for Petr Kochnev’s Leopard 444 Keirana keeps them in 3rd overall but a lot of work to do, if they are to make an impression on the leaders.
Closer to shore, racing got underway in the International Dinghy Classes, with a large number of junior sailors testing their skills off Kata Beach. Almost 100 sailors are contesting the Optimist, Laser and 420 dinghy classes.
Experienced King’s Cup keelboat sailor Commander Peera Sagultan, of the Royal Thai Navy is the Dingy Race Officer, overseeing the 97 young sailors on the water.
“We had good wind today of 15 to 20 knots and some exciting racing,” he said. “We had four races today and will have a total of 12 races by the time we finish up on Saturday.”
One result that surprised no one, was a first place finish in the Optimist Class, by 13-year-old Panwa Boonak, an Asian Sailing Champion and a member of the Thai World Championship team. Up-and-coming sailor M.L. Weka Bhanubandh Na Ayuttaya showed great skills despite his young age in the Optimist Class with a second place finish, followed by Patihan Vorrasart in third place.
While the International Dingy Sailors will be racing tomorrow on Thursday, it will be a rest day for the big boat fleet, giving crews a well-deserved rest and skippers and owners time to fine tune or repair their boats. The keelboat and multihull action gets underway again on Friday, off the southern tip of the resort island.
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