Colourfully ghosting along through the karsts!
By AsianYachting MultiMedia

12:02:2011 The course today snaked its way through the picturesque limestone karsts and secluded islands on the southeast side of Phang Nga Bay. Specially designed by infamous Aussie photographer John Everingham, whose images have graced many lifestyle and sailing magazine front covers.

The fleet got away on time in barely five knots of breeze that carried them down to the Hong Island group. On the approaches it faded and turned into small streaky patches on the water. Staying in the wind lines became paramount in keeping the boat moving. For a time things looked a little disheartening as spinnakers hung limp and the yachts came to a standstill. As light zephyrs appeared the nearest boats would make their way forward and try to avoid going to close to the leeward side of the islands.

Eventually the breeze filtered in between the islands and the yachts ghosted their way along as the media boats jockeyed for the best positions. Shane Granger's Historic Yacht Vega took this opportunity to stage a photo shoot of Christoph Swobada's recently launched Malaysian crafted 95ft Pinas Naga Pelangi for their upcoming publicity campaign.

No matter what conditions are encountered a familiar trend is developing in the top order of each class. Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 Quantum Fusion M, took an early lead and safely guided themselves through the minefield to clinch a second victory and go to the top of the Racing Class leaderboard. A few hick ups latter Andrey Arbuzov's Beneteau First 40.7 First, claimed second place just in front of Alex Takhovski's Jeanneau 50DS LeRo. The yachts remain in the same order in the overall standings.

In the Bareboat Charter Class Steven Gear-Evans Hanse 400e Venture continues on their winning ways by notching up another win, in as many days. Paul Kendall's SO 44i Sunsail Lychee stayed steady in second place but has relinquished the overall lead to Venture. James Alsop's Hanse 400 Kinnon makes an appearance on the podium with third place.

Niels Degenkolw's IOR 3/4 Ton Xyacht Phoenix has proven unbeatable and having won three races in a row has completely dominated the Cruising A class. Back on the pace Mick Kealy's X-342 Minx slotted in second and claimed back second overall. Appearing from nowhere, Jay Jarvis Bavaria Cruiser 49 Linda jumped up into third place and by doing so has juggled the overall standings down the order.

Once again sitting high on the horse, cruising Jim Ellis S&S 42's Remington romped away to score the daily double and stay on top of the Cruising B pointscore. In every race Gavin Welman's Hallberg-Rassy Rascal has scored podium places and second place today keeps them in the running. After going wide and falling for the wind hole, Peter Woods Windstar did well to come back and score third place and keep the pressure on Remington for the overall honours.

To a loud round of applause and high fives, David Liddell's Corsair C37RS Miss Saigon finally overcame Alan Carwardine's Sidewinder to win the Multihull Class today and keep them in contention for the overall stakes. Despite the loss, second place for Sidewinder keeps them on top of the leaderboard for now. John Newham's newly acquired Ceberus broke through to score third place and receive the nod of approval from the crew for the purchase.

The party tonight is sponsored by the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort, Krabi. Tomorrow is the final day of racing which takes the fleet from Krabi and finishes at the southeast end of Phuket. Final award presentations and party will be at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) in Phuket at 7pm.

Photo credit Rolien Photography

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