All was to play for as boats left the anchorage for the Six Senses Race Day – the final day of ‘Asia’s Best Regatta’, the. The rain blew through quickly leaving good winds and white caps for an action-packed final day.
The 2011 Six Senses Phuket Raceweek has served up everything for the sailors – light winds, storms, rain, good winds and white caps. The ‘tradition’ of a testing final day continues as five boats chose not to leave the anchorage.
The Six Senses Phuket Raceweek is not only renowned for great sailing, but is also attracting sailing stars year-on-year from within Asia and beyond. Following double-Olympic gold-medal winner Shirley Robertson’s appearance in 2010, this year the Regatta welcomes round-the-world yachtswoman Dee Caffari who is sailing on Six Senses Nina, and Paul Larsen, who with the Vestas SailRocket is attempting to set the ‘Outright World Speed Sailing Record’ and sailing on DaVinci in the Regatta.
Said Dee Caffari, “This is my first time in Phuket, first time in Thailand and first time in Asia. And I’m loving it.”
“I’m loving the Regatta, it’s a really good atmosphere. It’s great to see so many boats on the water. The sailors are happy, the resort is beautiful. We’re getting in some great sailing and I am enjoying the sight seeing as we sail around the islands.”
Two races were schedule by PRO Simon James for all classes, except the Classics who were sent on course 18 around-the-islands. The 10am start signal was sounded and straight into sequence for IRC Racing. Windward-leewards were set for the the first race for IRC Racing, IRC 2 and Firefly 850 Sport, while IRC 3 and Multihull Racing were set on a longer race around Lone Island and into Chalong Bay.
In IRC Racing the battle was on for second and third overall as Team Premier (Neil Pryde), having already wrapped up the series, decided not to go out. As winds grew to 13-15 knots, KukuKERchu (David Ross) lead off the start from with Jing Jing (Rick Pointon) and Katsu (Ben Copley) close on her stern. Katsu tacked early and lost ground as KukuKERchu and Jing Jing stretched out a small lead on-the-water and rounded the top mark ahead. After three loops and a crew injury on KukuKERchu, Jing Jing took the win on corrected time from Katsu in second and KukuKERchu in third. Katsu headed in to the final race of the series with a one point lead over KukuKERchu. PRO James set IRC Racing off on Course 13, around Lon Island, for the final race of the series. In Race 2, Jing Jing took her second win of the day from Katsu in second and Babe (Mark Mizner) in third. Team Premier took the series win from Jing Jing who took second place on count back from Katsu in third.
IRC 2 were sent on Course 1, a shorter windward-leeward, and with a tie for second and third going into the final day, the race was on. A clear start and the class were enjoying the stronger winds as Piccolo (Mark Chapman) stretched out a lead and took line honours and handicap win from WDB Endeavour of Whitby (Stuart Williamson) in second and Team Sea Bees (Peter Dyer) in third. Having the series win almost in the bag, all eyes were on Royal Thai Navy 4 (Cdr. Pornprom Sakultem), Team Sea Bees and the rapidly improving WDB Endeavour of Whitby for the minor placings with Piccolo finally taking the win in Race 2 today from Royal Thai Navy 4 and Team Sea Bees, in second and third respectively. Piccolo took the series title from Royal Thai Navy 4 in second and Team Sea Bees in third.
IRC 3 were sent on a longer course for the first race, heading off around Lone Island and into Chalong Bay. With just four points separating the top three, Remington (Jim Ellis) was expected to enjoy the longer course. As the fleet sailed into the patchy winds in the Bay, Don’t Think Twice (John Caffin) retired and Remington came out on top with the win on corrected time from from Dreamtime (Rob Azzopardi) in second and Venture (Mike Crisp) in third. As the winds dropped PRO James decided to call it a day for this class leaving Remington to take the series win from Linda (Jim Kane) in second who won on count back from Dreamtime in third.
The one-design Fireflys were all geared up for the white caps and expectations were high as Team Land and Houses (Peter Dyer) took a two point lead over Voodoo (Ian Coulson/ Clarance Tayong) into the final day. Voodoo enjoyed the conditions and returned to her winning form with a first from Twin Sharks (John Newnham) in second and Team Land and Houses in third. In Race 2 all was to play for with the top spot still up for grabs. Sailing Course 13, Team Land and House took the win from Moto Inzi (Roger Kingdon) and Twin Sharks, in second and third respectively. Voodoo slipped to fourth in the final race meaning Land and Houses took the series win with Voodoo in second and Twin Sharks in third.
In the Multihull Racing class, the stronger winds were looking to favour Six Senses Nina on the final day as they were sent on Course 16 around the islands and into Chalong Bay, by PRO James. The winds dropped off half-way through and the seas turned lumpy as the multihulls sailed back out of the Bay, past Lone Island and towards the finish. Sidewinder (Alan Carwardine) took the win on handicap from DaVinci (Paul Larsen) in second and Miss Saigon (David Liddell) in third respectively. In Race 2 Sidewinder scored her fifth win of the Regatta and the series title from DaVinci in second and Miss Saigon in third, which remained mirrored the overall series results.
The old dames in the Classic Class completed their four-race series with a scenic around-the-islands race. Switching places throughout the series, the drop came into play today and Idiom (Mark Myking) took the win from Seraph (Khun Bao) in second. The series win went to Idiom with Seraph in second.
The DNA of ‘Asia’s Best Regatta’ is professional race management, an onshore venue second-to-none, and challenging sailing conditions in some of the most scenic sailing grounds around. True to form, the 2011 Six Senses Phuket Raceweek turned out another great show.
Overall Series results:
IRC Racing: Team Premier (15), Jing Jing (17), Katsu (17).
IRC 2: Piccolo (9), Royal Thai Navy 4 (17), Team Sea Bees (19).
IRC 3: Remington (6), Linda (11), Dreamtime (11).
Multihull Racing: Sidewinder (9), DaVinci (12), Miss Saigon (18).
Firefly 850 Sport: Team Land and Houses (11), Voodoo (13), Twin Sharks (17).
Classic Class: Idiom (3), Seraph (5).