Despite earlier weather forecasts for the week were looking very grim, a light North Easterly flow has arrived each morning and lasted into the afternoon. which allowed the race committee to choose the 27 mile
passage race to the SE of Phuket for the Racing classes and 22 mile course for the cruisers. Ten to twelve knots was enough for the yachts to stem the strong out going tide and by short tacking along the islands make their way to the turning marks. Although the wind faded on the run back the assistance from the current carried the yachts in the direction of the finish.
Making the most of the fresh morning breeze, Frank Pong’s 75’ Reichel Pugh, Jelik II galloped away into the distance to claim the daily double in the IRC Zero Class and kept themselves in the overall running. A minute behind on corrected time, leaves Hannes Waimer TP52 Team Premier in second place but still hold onto the overall lead by a whisker. Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi Fi slotted into third place, in front of Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire in fourth and both are left wondering how they are going to match Team Premier’s new found boatspeed.
On the long run to the finish David Ross’ Ker 40 KukuKERchu stole IRC 1 line honours but after handicaps are applied Steve Manning’s Sydney GTS 43 Walawala 2 comes out on top of the results sheet. Japan’s Yasuo Nanamori’s Summit King 40 Karasu slipped into second place ahead of KukuKERchu with Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake in fourth and now tied on points with Karasu for the overall lead. The top seven boats in this class are all in with a chance and several lead changes around the course make interesting watching but hard to pick a winner as some boats are better in different wind strengths and wind angle.
Also making good use of the early breeze Bill Bremner’s Ker 32 Foxy Lady 5 slammed home first and fastest to go to the top of the IRC 2 pointscore. Improving one place at a time, Arbuzov Andrey’s Russian team on Ruby Tuesday finished up in second place and now share second overall with the Royal Thai Navy 1 skippered CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat. Today Peter Dyer’s Humphrys 3/4 tonner Team Kata Rock slipped back to third place to be tied with Foxy Lady 5 for the overall lead. The momentum is with these four boats as they open a significant gap with the other competitors.
Once again Richard Dobbs Swan 68 Titania of Cowes sailed the best course and scored the daily double in the Premier Cruising Class for the second day in succession to be the overall leader. Peter Forsythe & Jing Lee’s X-55 Xena stepped up the pace to finish in second place. The fading breeze dropped Peter Sorenson’s Beneteau F53 Baby Tonga – Team Strongbow down to third place but still hold onto second overall. The biggest yacht in the fleet is Wang Bin’s magnificent Swan 82 Chao Ren Plus One, from China has displayed great bursts of speed to hold onto third overall despite finishing fourth today.
Aquacraft Asia’s Hanse 545 Odin skippered by Rob Williams once again scored the daily double to take the lead in the Cruising Class. Jack Cristensen’s Bavaria 49 Linda was next to the shortened finish line with William Sax’s Fraser 41 Astraeus in third place and the only other finisher in the class.
In the Bareboat Charter Class, Oliver Heer’s Beneteau 47.7 Sail Plane with a united nations crew that only came together a day before the regatta started have managed first and fastest plus when added to their second place yesterday go directly to the top of the leaderboard. Three Russian yachts are on the warpath with Mikhail Beloborodov’s Tonicola 2 taking second place, Maxim Titarenko’s Uhuru in third and Maxim Taranov / Igor Skvortsov’s Zola in fourth.
Bo Sondergaard’s S&S 47 Patrice III showed her former glory days in Australia to triumph today in the Modern Classic Class. Slightly out of synch Peter Wood’s Commanche 42 Windstar ended in second place and despite winning the photo finish with Windstar by three seconds Nicholas Smith’s Ericson 38 Freewind is relegated to third place.
Three wins in a row for Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi puts them at the top of the Firefly 850 Sports one design class. When asked about the secret to success Kingdon replied ” Having Brent Gribble calling tactics and keeping his eyes out of the boat has allowed me to concentrate on steering the boat has made all the difference”. Neil Ayre’s The Frog lifted to second place in front of defending champion Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo that is slightly of the pace but can rebound anytime.
The battle in the Multihull Class is heating up with the spoils being shared around. David Liddel’s Corsair 37 Miss Saigon got through the minefield early to score the daily double. By claiming second place David Roberts Andaman Cabriolet Davinci skippered by Mick Coleman is now tied with Miss Saigon for the overall lead. Third place for Andrew Stransky’s Fantasia is an improvement on yesterday but will have to go harder to get back in the running.
Racing continues tomorrow with Race Day 3 hosted by Kata Group Resorts, Thailand.