08 December 2010, PHUKET – The front runners are starting to emerge after day three of the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, which is hosted by the Kata Group Resorts. In the Racing Class Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi started the day knowing that two wins out of two would probably be required to erode what is starting to look like an unassailable lead for Ray Roberts and Evolution Racing.
Hi Fi won the opening race of the regatta but Evolution Racing claimed the next four making victory for Neil Pryde and his crew vital on day three. In a dramatic finish Hi Fi crossed the line just nine seconds ahead of Evolution Racing in race six to claim what everyone on board felt would be a much needed win.
Once the times had been corrected there was absolutely nothing to separate the two boats with both finishing at exactly 2:10:24. It is extremely rare for any sort of a race of this length to end in a draw and, despite winning the second race of the day, the crew of Hi Fi were left to dwell on what might have been.
Hi Fi crew member Tony Rae could barely conceal his disappointment at missing out on outright victory by such a narrow margin,
“I knew it was going to be close but we thought we won it. I have never experienced a dead heat on corrected time in 15 years of professional sailing. Hindsight is a great thing and you always look back and wish you had got that little puff or a jibe had been better, these things all add up to seconds. That’s why you get such good racing in these classes with these sort of boats because it does come down to seconds and that actually rewards good crew work,” he said.
With just one more day in the series left, Evolution Racing has a commanding three point lead. Rae believes that in unpredictable conditions anything is possible and his team have not given up hope of winning the King’s Cup for the second consecutive year,
“It’s always possible, you never know what tomorrow brings and you have to go into it and try and win the race and sail the best you can and see how it pans out. The conditions are very tricky and you never know when you are going to get light air. You can lose a lot of time very quickly so the strategy for the last race is just to sail the best we can.”
A disappointing day’s racing for Andy Pape on Da Vinci saw David Liddell’s Miss Saigon surge to the top of the series table in the Multihull class. With a maximum of two races remaining it could be a dramatic final day to the series with last year’s winner Fergus Wilmer and Henry Kaye’s Thor still very much in contention. Pape believes that Da Vinci, competing in the King’s Cup for the very first time, can prevail provided that the conditions are favourable,
“There were 12 knots at the beginning which was perfect but there was not a lot of wind in the second part of the race. The racing has been very competitive and it’s a highly competitive class. It’s all going to be decided on Friday but we know if the conditions are right for us we can win,” he said.
Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo has already sealed victory in the Firefly 850 class with a pair of bullets on day three. Voodoo has won six out of the seven races making race eight a mere formality for Rahmann and his crew. The battle for second place is intensive with John Newnham’s Twin Sharks, Roger Kindon’s Moto Inzi and Andrew Marshall’s Pink Lady all in contention.
Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban also sealed series victory in the IRC 1 class with a day to spare courtesy of first and third place finishes. Once again there is nothing to separate Royal Thai Navy 1 and Team Sea Bees, formerly known as Madame Butterfly, with the two boats both tied on nine points. For the second year in a row both crews will go into the final day of series racing knowing that the series win is within their reach.
The Bareboat Charter class has developed into the most popular in the entire regatta and this year boasts an impressive 22 boat fleet. Ilya Ermakov’s Sarawadee is currently in the lead but only two points separates the top three with Andrey Novoderezhkin’s Lychee in second place and Mike Crisp’s Venture in third.
Paul Brunning’s Dondang Sayang is on course for a clean sweep in the Classic Class with three wins out of three while Jean Rheault’s Souay 1 also has a commanding lead in Modern Classic. The Cruising Class is another which will go to the wire with Richard Macfarlane’s Aida enjoying a slender lead over Jack Christensen Woodrow’s Linda and Barry Elsbury’s Apsara.
Tomorrow is a chance for all the crews to enjoy a well earned rest ahead of what promises to be a dramatic final two days to the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.
The first King’s Cup took place in 1987 to mark the 60th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyedej and the Regatta has been held in the first week of December ever since.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta runs from December 4th – 11th 2010 under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King. The Regatta is organised by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.
Sponsors of the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts Thailand, Siam Winery, Chang Beer, Kata Rocks, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, Mom Tri’s Boathouse and The Moorings. Media Partners include Blue Wave 90.5FM, Helm Superyacht Asia Pacific, Helicam Asia, Indigo Media, Multihull World, The Nation, Phuket Gazette, Prestige Thailand, Sail-World.com and YACHTstyle.