Everyone is a winner at Phuket King’s Cup
Never finishing worse than 4th place, Sarab Singh’s Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, has kept his nose clean and Singaporean crew progressively improved on boat speed, to post three wins and four 2nd places during the week. Starting in clean air, at the boat end on both races today, kept the pressure on and by driving home two wins, captured the IRC 0 title on the new ride. This brings victory at the Raja Muda Regatta, two weeks ago and capped it off with the prestigious King’s Cup, safely in the trophy cabinet. Sarab is probably the first Indian Sikh, to win a major regatta anywhere in the world, that I know of.
Constantly looking for more speed, third and fourth places for Ray Roberts TP52 Millenium Racing is enough for them to cling onto 2nd overall. Hannes Waimer’s TP52 Team Premier Oi! started with a bullet but lacked consistency and although they kept the pressure on, just couldn’t overcome Millenium Racing in the handicap stakes and settled on third overall. The battle between Frank Pong’s Dibley Custom 75 Jelik and Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive, ended with two wins apiece and heavily in favour of Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive for line honours.
The ‘Roaring Forties’ are popularly known as the IRC 1 class, has lived up to its close racing reputation, with only a few minutes separating first to last place. After dipping down to second overall yesterday, Ken Eyears’ Sydney 40 MOD Redefine rebounded by scoring two bullets today and restored their place at the top of the leader board. Helmsman Jamie Wilmot lays claim to being on 9 winning boats over the years and a lot about this win, can be attributed to his experience. This relegated King’s Cup President, Kevin Whitcraft’s GP 42 Wan Ma Rang, down to second overall, in front of some newer and more favoured boats. Right from the beginning, Matti Sep’s Dubois 40 Blue Note, was on the pace and only got out foxed, in the last couple of races by Redefine, to end up in third overall.
Although Mick Tilden‘s syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin came good in the first race, overnight leader Japan’s Yasuo Nanamori’s Beneteau 40.7 Karasu, triumphed in the final race, to add the IRC 2 title to their treasure chest. All week, Roland Dane’s Corby 36 Jessandra II have been going hammer and tong with Karasu, and by allowing Fujin into the game, provided some separation in the last couple of days, and find themselves in second overall at the end of the regatta.
The battle of the X55’s in the Premier Cruising Class, ended with Thailand’s Ithinai Yingsiri’s Pine-Pacific and Aussie Kim Ramen/ Adrian Fini’s Audeamus trading first and second places. By stringing together five wins out of five races, on the first few days, enables Yingsiri’s Pine-Pacific to defend the title, in grand style. Scoring three 3rd places in the last three races, has elevated Russia’s Andrey Eliseey’s Baby Tonga into third overall, leaving Philipp Liholm’s Jeanneau 57 Raincloud to settle on fourth place in the four boat fleet.
The Cruising Class has been divided into IRC and Arbitrary handicap classes and the results back calculated to suite. Aussie Rod Mulcahy’s Beneteau First 44.7 Slipstream ended up tied on points with Kiwi Warren Batt’s Farr 46 Mustang Sally and on count back, broken in favour of Mulcahy’s Slipstream. Although Dean Chisholm’s Elliot 46 Dragons Back (PHPLUS) is better in light weather, their high IRC rating leaves them in third overall.
Over the last couple of days, the nips have been getting bigger in the Multihull classes. Yesterday Alan Carwardine’s Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane took the overall lead and wasn’t going to let it go. Two wins today sealed the deal for the defending champion and another encouraging sign for the locally built Stealth designs. Since missing four races with a broken daggerboard, Danny Moore’s PHI 1100 trimaran, 3Itch has taken line honours in every race and by scoring two second places, provided separation to drop the early leader, Mick Coleman/ John Coffin’s Stealth 11.8 Java down to second overall. David Liddell’s 14m WOW found good speed in the heavy going and kept his rivals honest by making it a threesome, at the top of the leaderboard.
It didn’t matter how the results panned out, as John Newnham’s Twin Sharks, have won seven races in a row, and the one-design Firefly 850 Sports title, with one day to spare. Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo and Jon Kingdon’s Moto Inzi shared the spoils, to end up 2nd and 3rd respectively. Neil Ayre’s Advance Racing has been trying to push in, on a podium place, but some damage and two 3rd places, leaves them in fourth overall.
Japan’s Norikazu Arai’s Lagoon 410 Minnie and Nikolay Pismenskiy’s Lagoon 380 Star Fruit traded first and second places. By not finishing worse than second place in all races, Arai’s Minnie takes the top step on the podium, in the Multihull Cruising class. Scoring sixth place in the last race today, Grant Horsfield’s Fountaine Pajot 67 Arabella’s Naked Dad, opened the door for Pismenskiy’s Star Fruit to take over second overall, and relegate them to third overall.
Elizabeth Schoch’s Sudu 3 drove home her advantage over the boys, on the nippy one-design Corsair Pulse 600 trimaran’s, to secure the new Performance Multihull Class title, on its debut at the King’s Cup. Two 3rd places for Scott Galle’s Sudu 4 reduces their advantage but earlier results keeps them in second overall. Although Andrew de Bruin’s Multihull Solutions H30, returned to form with 2nd and winning the last race, they stay steady in third overall.
With the fresh conditions holding up, two races were completed in the Modern Classic, Bareboat, Open Charter, Cruising and Classic classes. Wiwat Poonpat’s Platu 25 Royal Thai Navy 1 pulled the trump card and by scoring two wins, ended up running away with the Modern Classic class title. Two second places for Mike Downard’s Farr 1104 Krabi Boat Lagoon Piccolo, promotes them to second overall and demotes early leader, John Vickery’s sistership Farrgo Express down to third overall.
By winning six out of seven races, Andrey Novikov’s Oceanis 40 Alexa, easily dominated the 16 yacht Bareboat Class and go back to Russia with full bragging rights. Ukrainian Leonid Fakeev’s Malee have taken the fight to the Russian dominated class and two second places, leaves them playing the bridesmaid role. One win and staying in the top five places during the week, allows Vasily Mikhalev’s Bavaria 46 Isabella to claim third overall for the Russian contingent.
Yesterday Boris Gusev’s Hanse 400E Kata Rocks III (Venture) broke the string of victories Vladimir Oleynikov’s First 47.7 Popeye have posted. But being super human, Popeye slammed home two more wins and completed the rout in the Open Charter class. Despite juggling the places, China’s Shen Sheng’s J130 Big Boy Sailing Team, have done enough to stay in second overall. The last race disqualification for Gusev’s Kata Rocks III, becomes the drop race and they hold onto third overall.
In the reshuffled Cruising Class, Tony Byrnes First 40.7 Mohawk showed everyone a clean pair of heels and cleaned up on their first participation. Splitting the class, moves Alan Hogg’s Rogue up into second place and Jian Quan Tong traditional cruiser Atom into third overall.
Japan’s Kiyoshi Masuda’s Umeboshi has been completely out classed by Cedric Rimaud’s very sleek Vintage 6r4 Selma, in the Classic Class but just competing can be the ultimate form of enjoyment at this level.
Dare I say it, another successful event, with only one day of light wind for the cruising classes. Regatta organisers that would like a bigger fleet at their event, should take a look around here, at the logistics and what it takes to run an event this size. With 89 racing yachts divided into 14 classes, 60+ dinghy’s and over 1500 sailors from 18 countries, requires an army of race officers, administration staff, volunteers and party organisers, to be accommodated, dined, transported and amused at the same time.
It was pointed out, that when the fleet is in full swing on short courses, up to 20 marks need to laid and moved around quickly. Three teams of race officers backed up with an International Jury, measurement and safety teams, use worldly accepted methords to keep the participants happy. Also over 50 media are shipped in to tirelessly cover the event from all angles.
All this needs to be taken into consideration by event organisers and competitors alike, during the planning and implementation stages.
Comparison of entry fees have recently been a subject of conversation. Value for money, quality of service and general enjoyment enters the equation but cannot be quantified. As always, our advice is to go race and party hard, have a good time and most of all enjoy!
Its a wrap for the 29th edition and mark December 3rd to 10th next year, to celebrate the 30th event, once again dedicated to HM the King.
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