Changing winds made for a technical challenge and generally good racing conditions on day two of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, with top contenders across all classes looking for strong early point scores.
Ray Robert’s OneSails Racing team followed up a win yesterday in IRC0 class with another excellent first place today in race three. Neil Pryde’s Hifi team finished second. OneSails has established awesome pace over the two race days, with today’s vacillating winds between 8-15 knots providing ample opportunities for the team to maximise their advantage with good decisions on tactics and sails.
The level of competition in IRC0 class has been very high this year, with popular Thai team Won Marang struggling to make headway against faster boats. Skipper Kevin Whitcraft explained, “Today we had challenging wind that was constantly shifting, which is good fun but leaves no room for error with decision-making. The fastest boats were finished before the light wind set in, basically hampering the slower boats finishes. You simply need to sail the perfect race; we ran well downwind on the right spinnaker but missed our chance to change to a spinnaker more suitable to the ensuing lighter conditions. You need a bit of luck and a bit of skill also.”
IRC1 class today saw yesterday’s victors Foxy Lady VI win again today. The Singaporean team are establishing the pace early on but several teams will look to overturn their dominance over the course of the week.
In IRC2 today, Peter Sorensen’s Fujin team came back strongly to take the win on day two, with yesterday’s top performing Karasu team managing only second place.
The Royal Thai Navy team was victorious In IRC3 today, racing home for the win following adjustments for handicap rating. LT. JG. Pontep Sookudom led his team to the line behind several rivals, but the team performed very well to overcome their handicap deficit.
In Premier class, Pine Pacific were a long way ahead of all rivals, finishing first and building upon their strong performance in the first race yesterday.
The third race of the Sports Boat class was won by Planet Blue, skippered by Kazumi Asai.
The large Bareboat Charter class fleet presented an exciting battle, with Peter Kochnev and Sail Experts taking the win in “Rambutan.”
In the Open Charter class, Russian Maxim Taranov skippered “Little Eva” to take first place ahead of the “Sarawadee” team.
The Firefly 850 Sports class was won by John Newnham skippering “Twin Sharks,” building further on their victory and second place earned yesterday.
In Multihull Racing class, Asia Catamarans Hurricane came in 2 minutes behind nearest rival “Mojo” but proved to be the winner on adjusted times.
In Multihull Cruising class, “Ariana” skippered by Russian Andrey Nikikov placed first again to record their second victory of the King’s Cup.
Amongst the Modern Classics, Jim Ellis’s Remington team were quickest again, following a win in the first race yesterday.
Sunshine Schooner skippered by Peter Wood was quickest again in the Classic class, to record another win on Regatta day two.
Chris Hillier’s Rumrunner11 was today’s victor in Cruising class ahead of yesterday’s winner, Lady Bubbly.
New class structures featured in this year’s Regatta have resulted in some spectacularly close racing, with vessels of all sizes jousting with each other in newly reclassified groupings. The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee is constantly seeking ways to maximise the thrills of close-quarters racing and tight points finishes come the final day of racing, and this year has the hallmarks of being one of the closest finishes yet.