The signs were ominous as the 38-strong fleet left the anchorage on Day 1 of the 2011 Six Senses Phuket Raceweek, but after a delay, the winds filled in up to 13 knots. Participants completed two races and returned to shore happy, tired and the four-day series on schedule.
Principal Race Officer Simon James was forced to raise the AP Flag and postpone the racing early on. While many boats returned to the anchorage, the search for wind continued and after setting a startline off Bon Island, at 13:24 the AP was dropped for the Classic Class. Into sequence and the Classics were off on a ’round-the-islands’ course, opening the 2011 Six Senses Phuket Raceweek.
The wind continued to build and ‘Asia’s Beast Regatta’ was back on.
IRC Racing were next into sequence and were sent on Course 1, windward-leeward, 1.2 nautical miles to the top mark. Jing Jing lead the fleet off the start. Neil Pryde, chartering Team Premier for the Regatta, soon got a handle on the TP52 and sailed past Jing Jing and lead through to the finish to take line honours and handicap win, by a mere 26 seconds on corrected time. Jing Jing (Rick Pointon) took second from Quantum Fusion M (Scott Duncanson) in third. In the second race Team Premier took the win on corrected time from the new Kerr 40 KukuKERChu (David Ross) in second and Jing Jing in third.
IRC2 and IRC3 were sent off together on Course 3, 1 nautical mile to the top mark. Highly competitive on the water, in IRC2 Ruby Tuesday (John Vause) was OCS. Team Sea Bees (Peter Dyer) sailed well to take line honours and the handicap win in Race 1 from WDB Endeavour of Whitby (Stuart Williamson) in second, and 1976 Sydney-Hobart winner Piccolo (Mark Chapman) in third. In the second race for IRC 2, Piccolo took the honours from Royal Thai Navy 4 (Cdr. Pornprom Sakultem) second and Team Sea Bees in third.
In Race 1 for IRC 3, local boat Remington (Jim Ellis), minus spinnaker, managed to sail through to take the handicap win from Dreamtime (Rob Azzopardi) and Venture (Mike Crisp), in second and third respectively. Linda (Graham Collar) took line honours. In Race 2, Linda took the win from Dreamtime with Rambutan (Phillip Grove) third.
The one-design Firefly class were sent off on Course 3, and as always with these Phuket-built multihulls, the racing was close. With places being changed throughout, Voodoo (Ian Coulson/ Clarance Tayong) took the win in Race 1 from Team Land and Houses (Peter Dyer) in second and Twin Sharks (John Newnham) in third. In Race 2, Voodoo took the win and daily double from second-placed Team Land and Houses with Twin Sharks third.
In Multihull Racing, Race 1, hot favourite Miss Saigon (David Liddell) lead the fleet across the start and was closely tracked around the course. Despite taking line honours, she lost out on corrected time to DaVinci (Paul Larsen), with Shanghai Baby (Neil Ayre) in third. In Race 2, DaVinci continued her winning ways with the handicap win with Sidewinder (Alan Carwardine) in second and Miss Saigon in third.
In the Classic Class, a single ’round-the-island’ scenic course was set by the PRO and after 3 hours of sailing Idiom (Mark Myking) took the win by less than two minutes on corrected time from Seraph (Khun Bao).