18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Reports

Catering for a diverse range of yacht classes that includes everything from sport boats to cruisers and clipper classics, the King’s Cup Regatta promises to maintain its standing as the region's premier international sailing event. Shirley Robertson, the Olympic Games double-gold medalist from the UK will be a special guest this year.

The regatta was inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand and has been held every year since during the first week of December. Held under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, and organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising 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. The Krung Thai Bank and Royal Phuket Marina are co-principal sponsors and the continuing support of Kata Beach Resort as host sponsor, demonstrates the loyalty amongst local island businesses for this prestigious event. More at: www.kingscup.com


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Report 5 & Summary

The final countdown...
The sailors initially approached the final race with caution, maybe feeling a bit weary from last nights Raimon Land festivities which was the best party so far. As the starts got underway in the classes with tied or close results allot of covering tactics between the leaders were being used in a effort to get the better of each other up the first windward work. The breeze soon picked up to 15-18 knots and as crews put in a determined effort some had their hopes dashed when sails began to rip, spinnaker launches became tangled and a few almighty broaches saw their confidence dwindle and chances go by the way.

Racing
Right from the very beginning Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity got the better of Peter Ahern's YO! and went on to put in a very polished performance to finish up only 27 seconds behind the Burns/Kinmonth pacesetter Mandrake. After applying handicaps Hi-Fidelity scored a resounding win by almost 4 minutes to even up the score withYO! who just scraped into second place by a mere 4 seconds from Mandrake. The score ended up tied on 12 points apiece so after a count back Neil Pryde added another King's Cup to his collection.

Premier Cruising
A late charge by Richard Grimes on Yendys saw them pick up 2 wins and jump to the top of the leader board. Brian Hayden's early leader Vida finished 2nd after 2 mid-fleet finishes and Marcel Liedts powerful Hocux Pocux 2 ended up 3rd after not being able to convert his line honours victories into handicap wins.

Sportsboats
The new Buzz 8 skippered by Geoff Backshall scored 6 bullets in a row to win a King's Cup on their first serious outing since being launched in Pattaya last month. CEO of DK Yachts, Hannes Waimer sailed into 2nd place and leapfrogged David Bell's Fremantle 8 Pink Pussy Cat for second overall after the latter finished well down the order today. Despite some huge broaches Stuart Harrison's Panic ended up third today which was not enough to overtake Pink Pussy Cat's third spot on the overall leaderboard. Allot has been said about the Buzz 8's walkover victory but my observations on the water saw them sail very well to be up with the leaders or even in front of the faster Mum 30's at the top mark and run deeper downwind with a conventional spinnaker to cover less ground than the Phuket 8's with their asymmetrical kites.

IRC 1
Despite John Vause's Ruby Tuesday recording a 3rd place today they have done enough in the earlier races to clinch the overall title. After being involved in a few mishaps earlier in the week Japan's Joji Motoyoshi's Blue Juice and Kawin Nualkhair's Octopussy finally came through for the Thais to finish 1st and 2nd respectively in today's race. In the overall placing's Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady claimed 2nd place after dropping a disqualification and Yachtpro's Di Hard skippered by Rob Williams finished up third.

IRC 2
The Royal Thai Navy 1 finished up undefeated with 5 wins to beat their counterparts on Royal Thai Navy 2. The only yacht to make any inroads on the navy boats was David Lindahl's La Samudra who managed a couple of 2nd places but had to settle for 3rd overall at the end of the day.

IRC 3
Tracy Williams Patrice III won today's final race to confirm her a 3rd spot in the overall class results. By scoring a 2nd place today Greg Coops on Abraxas broke the tye to narrowly win the class from young Mia Gillow steering Minx with a group of youth sailors studying in Phuket.

Sunsail
Princess Anna skippered by Christian Eschenburg scored a run away victory with 5 wins in a row. Nick Cox's Princess Arieta ended up 2nd after a consistent performance and Per Svendsen's Princess Athena replaced Mark Hamill-Stewart's Princess Sharda in third place after finishing the last 2 races on the podium.

Ocean Rover
After consistently finishing in the placing's and a win today has earned Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III a King's Cup. A second place today for Alex Joyce's Cordelia sees him finish in 2nd overall despite a disappointing 7th in yesterdays race. Yachtpros Tarawadee finished up 3rd overall despite finishing 4th in today's race and the irrepressible Dr Bobby Golding finally made a mark on Forrest by claiming 3rd today.

Multihull
Mark Pescott pulled out all stops on Tim Milner's Charro to try and beat Peter Plant's newly launched Coco Blues but alas their efforts were thwarted when the smaller twin rigged cat crossed the finish line only six minutes after them. Henry Kaye's Ceberus finished up with a creditable third place today and third overall. This gives Coco Blues the honourable distinction of winning a Kings Cup on her first outing and food for thought for anyone looking for a easy to sail flying machine built in Koh Samui.

Classic
Claus Karthe's Greensleeves continued on his winning ways in the triangle courses beating Peter Wood's well sailed 80 ton Sunshine and Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook in todays race. This result gives Greensleeves the overall title this year with Phuket Sail Sanook in second and Sunshine third. All credit must go to Dr Jens Ehrhardt's 42m Sylvia for maneuvering the 260 ton vessel around the short crowded courses with impeccable style.

Summary
For the first time in the 18 year history of the King's Cup there has been no protests lodged by the racing class yachts which must indicate the success of fine tuning the courses this year. It seems that when there is plenty of wind the sailors are happy to race their boats and find very little to complain about. Having short windward legs on the passage races has got rid of the problems of past years and the race committee must be commended for laying true windward/leeward courses. The only complaints have been about the soldiers course out and back to Koh Ratcha which no doubt will be worked on during the year. The parties have been fantastic and as sponsorship has increased the level of local acceptance of the marine tourism industry is showing signs of a bright future. Amazing Thailand!

Full PKCR 04 results and Overall Summary can be found at: www.kingscup.com


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Report 4

Hike! Come on HIKE OUT...
Crews that have never raced on a full blown racing class yacht before may not know what HIKE means while sitting on the high side of the boat as she beats to windward. Professional crews will tell you it means, precariously balancing on the bones of your bum on the outermost edge of the gunnel with your arms and legs held in suspension or levitated directly out in front of you. This may seem to be a very uncomfortable position for any length of time but the skippers will tell you how the crews increased leverage allows them to fully power up the boat in a breeze, especially off a crowded starting line or when engaging other competitors in close quarters. Neil Pryde's crew on Hi-Fidelity did it the other day on the final windward leg to come from behind and win the race by a mere 44 seconds. As the results are closing in after discard races are factored in today, perhaps some crews should give it a try as the increased speed could give you a slight edge to win the final race tomorrow or as one crew boss explained to me "It makes all the difference, imagine if you lost a race by only a few seconds".

Racing
Peter Ahern's YO! took out Race 6 and the Burns/Kinmonth Mandrake bounced back in Race 7 leaving Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity with a second and a forth to even up the scores. Troy Yaw's Ulumulu skippered by Ray Roberts has scored forth consistently but in Race 7 managed a third to get on the podium at last. After today's racing the worst result to date can be discarded which sees Peter Ahern's YO! going into tomorrows final with a slender 1 point lead over Hi-Fidelity and a two point margin over Mandrake in third spot. It is anybodies guess who will win and the wind strength may well be the deciding factor. May the best ones win.

Premier Cruising
Richard Grimes's Yendys came to the fore in race 5 over Marcel Liedts Hocux Pocux 2 and Brian Hayden's Vida to even up the pointscore with Vida and Hocux Pocux 2 tied on seven points and Yendys only one point adrift with eight. This leaves the overall result hingeing around tomorrows final race and the pressure is on all three boats but the one that performs above expectations will be the winner.

Sportsboats
The new Buzz 8 skippered by Geoff Backshall added a further 2 wins to put them into an unbeatable position on their first outing. David Bell's Fremantle 8 Pink Pussy Cat and the Mumm 30's of Jativa skippered by Hannes Waimer and Stuart Harrison's Panic will fight it out for the remaining podium places. Although Scott Duncanson's go fast Phuket 8 Securicor Somtam Express has led the class home in nearly every race, after handicaps have been applied they have ended up down in 7th place and will need to work on their handicap rating for future events.

IRC 1
Yachtpro's Di Hard narrowly clinched 1st place today in front of John Vause's Ruby Tuesday and Pan Wei-Hua's Kylie. This leaves Ruby Tuesday with 3 firsts and 3 seconds in a commanding position at the top of the leaderboard. Di Hard is the closest contender after Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady had to fetch a man overboard but can still score a podium place if they put in a good performance in the final race.

IRC 2
The Royal Thai Navy 1 and 2 have scored their third 1, 2 result in as many days to successfully defend their title with one race to go. David Lindahl's La Samudra ended up third in today's race and his consistency sees him with a unbeatable 3rd spot overall.

IRC 3
Young Mia Gillow steering Minx climbed back onto the top of the podium again with a convincing win over Greg Coops on Abraxas and the Thai boat Ava skippered by Somkiat Poonpat. This leaves Minx and Abraxas tied on 7 points going into tomorrows final with Tracy Williams Patrice III narrowly leading a chasing pack for the third podium position.

Sunsail
Princess Anna skippered by Christian Eschenburg scored another win to make it 4 in a row and sail away with this years title from Nick Cox's Princess Arieta and Princess Sharda skippered by Mark Hamill-Stewart in third, with the rest of the little princesses following suite.

Ocean Rover
A change for the books sees 70 plus year old Al Boone sailing Blue Moon into 1st place today with Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III 2nd and Yachtpros Tarawadee 3rd. Al's efforts maybe a little to late as it would seem that barring any mishaps tomorrow Aquavit III looks set to take the title.

Multihull
A battle has been developing between Tim Milner's Charro and Peter Plant's twin rigged Coco Blues who share the overall lead with 2 wins and 2 second places apiece going into the final showdown. Although Henry Kaye's Ceberus finished 3rd today they will have to do much better to overtake Bob Mott's Chameleon who is presently claiming third place overall.

Classic
Claus Karthe's easier handling Greensleeves has cleaned up in the triangle courses beating Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook with the more unmanagable classics of Peter Wood's 80 ton Sunshine and Dr Jens Ehrhardt's 42m Sylvia struggling around in third and fourth spots respectively. If all goes according to plan on tomorrows short course they are likely to finish up in the same order.

Full PKCR 04 results and Overall Summary can be found at: www.kingscup.com

Photos are also available from Shu Fen by emailing: pr@rsyc.org.sg


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Report 3

Shiver me timbers! Thar she blows again...
Amongst the many things happening in Phuket during the tourist season a theater of sailing dreams is unfolding at Kata beach and the off-lying Southern Islands. Ever since the America's Cup started having sailing acts around the world, appropriately here in Asia the sailors are performing offshore and various scenarios a playing ashore in the protest room that may ultimately determine the overall results. Meanwhile the wind is up again for the Krung Thai Bank Andaman Sea Race which saw the longer waterline boats making a feast out of the close reaching conditions in 15 to 20 knots out and back to Koh Racha Yai. Although Mark Pescott's catamaran Charro clocked in with the fastest elapsed time for the short course the 42m classic yacht Silvia quickly hit its straps to overtake most of the fleet and record the second fastest elapsed time for the day. Weighing in at 260 tons, I don't know what the lightweight flyers are complaining about...

Racing
Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity scraped in with only 44 seconds to spare to add a third win to his tally and take a slender 1 point advantage in the overall points from Peter Ahern's YO! who placed second today. Although the Burns/Kinmonth Mandrake took line honours she was relegated to 3rd place in the race and 3rd in the overall rankings in what seems to playing out as a 3 horse race with a few also ran's occasionally filling the minor placing's. With 2 days of racing left time will only tell.

Premier Cruising
Marcel Liedts Hocux Pocux 2 stormed back to score another win, this time over Ermanno Traverso's Stormvogel and Richard Grimes's Yendys. This leaves Hocux Pocux 2 tied with Brian Hayden's Vida on 8 points who experienced some trouble today to end up a distant 4th. With only 2 races left this class could go down to the wire and wind conditions could well be the determining factor.

Sportsboats
The all new Buzz 8 skippered by Geoff Backshall added a third win to their score to have a slight edge on David Bell's Fremantle 8 Pink Pussy Cat and the Mumm 30 Jativa skippered by Hannes Waimer the CEO of DK Yachts. Although Scott Duncanson's go fast Phuket 8 Securicor Somtam Express led the class home by the proverbial mile, after handicaps have been applied they ended up trailing down in 6th place.

IRC 1
Pan Wei-Hua's Kylie enjoyed the fresh reaching conditions to beat John Vause's Ruby Tuesday by only 17 seconds and subject to protest Joji Motoyoshi's Blue Juice is provisionally third. Finishing consistently in the top three John Vause's Ruby Tuesday takes a commanding lead over Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady and Yachtpro's Di Hard with the final placing's being determined by the dropped race.

IRC 2
The Royal Thai Navy 1 and 2 have scored their second 1, 2 result in as many days, this time over Nick Rose's Emerald Blue and David Lindahl's La Samudra 4th. Unless something untoward happens we will possibly see them finishing up in the same order in the overall positions.

Sunsail
In this specially created class things have remained the same with Princess Anna scoring another win to make 3 wins in a row from Princess Arieta 3 x 2nd places, Princess Sharda 3 x 3rd and the rest of the little princesses following suite.

IRC 3
After 3 races Bob Ashman's defending champion Simba finally made it back onto the podium with a convincing win over Tracy Williams Patrice III that had to exonerate herself from a port/stb incident at the start. Greg Coops on Abraxas may have finished up third today but he takes a handy 5 point lead over Yachtpro's Vara Peto in the overall standings going into the final 2 races.

Ocean Rover
Alex Joyce's Cordelia took the honours today over the overall leader Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III and Yachtpro Thailand's Tarawadee adding a 3rd place to keep them in the running with the two above.

Multihull
Peter Plant's twin rigged Coco Blues added a further 1st place to their tally to be closely followed by Tim Milner's line honours winner Charro and Bob Mott's Chameleon in third place. This result has them lying in the same overall order but with 2 races to go it could be anyone's or will the newest cat on the block win her first King's Cup in her first outing.

Classic
Up to 20 knots on the beam for 10 miles saw Dr Jens Ehrhardt's 42m
Sylvia average about 12 knots around the course to leave Claus Karthe's Greensleeves and Peter Wood's Sunshine trailing in their wake. A magnificent sight to behold as 260 tons surges forward and manages to sail a course to keep clear of the smaller yachts. With 2 races to sail Claus Karthe's consistency on Greensleeves sees him at the top of the leaderboard from Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook and Peter Wood's Sunshine holding third place.

Thursday sees the entire fleet taking a well earned rest day from sailing, so with the 2nd Phuket International Marine Exhibition (PIMEX) starting plus the many attractions the Island has to offer I am sure there is enough things for everyone to enjoy.

Full PKCR 04 results and Overall Summary can be found at: www.kingscup.com

Photos are also available from Shu Fen by emailing: pr@rsyc.org.sg


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Report 2

Racing gets going in earnest...
Despite the breeze dropping in strength to 8-10kts after yesterdays opening blast all scheduled races in the Boathouse and Beer Chang races were completed in time. Racing Class managed to squeeze in three races while Premier Cruising, Sportsboats and IRC 1 completed two and the rest a lengthy Inshore triangle race. A mixed bag of results sees some classes vying for the points whilst others have scored consecutive wins to begin building a handy lead in these early stages. Several starters were very keen to get going and found themselves over the line and their chances dashed as they were recalled. The local sailmakers and boatmen had a busy night repairing a significant amount of damage after race 1 to get ready in time for today's racing.

The pressure is on in the Racing Class and Peter Ahern's 2002 winner YO! which enjoys lighter breezes took out race 2 and scored 3rd and 2nd in race 3 and 4 respectively for a share of the overall lead. Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity jumped up the leaderboard scoring 2 wins in race 3 and 4 to be running neck and neck along with the Burns/Kinmonth Mandrake that took race 1 handsomely and scored 5th, 2nd and 3rd today.

Premier Cruising
Brian Hayden's Vida added two wins to yesterdays 2nd place to snatch the overall lead from Hamdan Mohamed's Yendys and Marcel Liedts X612 Hocux Pocux 2 who stormed away in race 1 but suffered a little in the lighter airs.

In the hotly contested Sportsboat Class the all new Buzz 8 came back with 2 wins after loosing the rudder in race 1 while the fore runner to the Buzz 8, David Bell's Fremantle 8 Pink Pussy Cat has stayed in the points amongst a hungry pack of Mumm 30's and Phuket 8's in hot pursuit. A distinct speed difference exists between the designs as some have been built to suite the IRC handicap system whilst others incur severe penalties as they go for shear speed regardless of the measurement system.

IRC 1
Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady relegated yesterdays winner John Vause's Ruby Tuesday to second place and Yachtpro's Di Hard is keeping them honest from 3rd place.

IRC 2
The successful Royal Thai Navy came in with a 1, 2 result to lift them to the top of the leaderboard with past champion David Lindahl's La Samudra only 11 seconds behind in 3rd place.

In the specially created Sunsail Class, Princess Anna has scored 2 wins, Princess Arieta 2 x 2nd places, Princess Sharda 2 x 3rd and the rest of the little princesses are following suite.

IRC 3
Kevin Gillow's Minx came to the fore with Singapore'sSumatra skippered by Graham Lind in second and Yachtpro's Vara Peto clinging to third spot.

Ocean Rover
Local charter company Yachtpro Thailand had a good day with Dek Tlay taking first place and Tarawadee second with yesterdays winner Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III coming in a close third.

Multihull
Tim Milner's Charro reversed the places with Peter Plant's twin rigged Coco Blues by 28 seconds this time out with Latitude 8's Cyrene filling third spot.

The majestic Sunshine added a second win to their tally while Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook jumped up a spot to second and Dr Jens Ehrhardt's huge Sylvia finished third in the battle of the heavyweights in the Classic Class.

Full PKCR results can be found at: www.kingscup.com

Photos are also available from Shu Fen by emailing: pr@rsyc.org.sg


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Race Report 1

Just like the good old days...
As the Race Officer John McLennan ran through the starting order, a unusually big smile appeared as the North Easterly tradewind just piped in at 10 to 15 knots and soon increased to 18-20 knots.

Not since the early days when the regatta was run out of Nai Harn Bay can we remember strong winds on the first day of racing that looks promising for the rest of the week. All classes made quick work of the Royal Phuket Marina South Islands Race with the racing class taking less than 3 hours to complete the entire course.

The Burns/Kinmonth owned Mandrake took out the daily double of Line and Handicap honours in the racing class. They were closely followed by Peter Ahern's YO! who made up on some lost ground on the long windward leg to beat Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity coming hot of the heels after a win in the Raja Muda Regatta two weeks ago.

Marcel Liedts big powerful X612 Hocux Pocux 2 showed its pedigree to be up amongst the racing class yachts despite starting 5 minutes after to also take out the daily double. Brian Hayden's Vida took second place from the famous ketch rigged Stormvogel.

In the hotly contested Sportsboat Class that has 11 entries and 6 different designs competing, David Bell's Runnels 8 Pink Pussy Cat came to the fore and was followed in hot pursuit by the Mumm 30's of Jativa skippered by Hannes Waimer and Happy Endings skippered by Jonathan Mahony.

Unfortunately a incident shortly after the start sees one of the crew members of Pla Loma being seriously injured and operated on this afternoon.

Allot of familiar names and boats that have taken podium places at previous King's Cups have won today's opening race in the cruising and classic classes. John Vause's Ruby Tuesday in IRC 1, The Royal Thai Navy 1 in IRC 2, Patrice III in IRC 3 and Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III in the Ocean Rover Class.

Peter Plant's twin rigged Koh Samui built Coco Blues showed the rest of the multihulls a clean pair of hulls by over 16 minutes from Tim Milner's Charro and Ceberus trailing a further 14 minutes behind.

Sunshine not only posed a majestic sight on the horizon in the Classic Class but also stole the honours from Klaus Karthe's Greensleeves and Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook.

Racing continues tomorrow with some windward/leeward/triangle courses and as the cobwebs have been blown off the rigs and a few crew problems ironed out, with the fresh prevailing conditions some exciting action can be expected.

Full PKCR results can be found at: www.kingscup.com


18th PHUKET KING’S CUP REGATTA 2004
AsianYachting Pre-Race Report

King's Cup is riding the crest of a wave...
Close to 100 yachts and still counting are entered for this year's Phuket King's Cup Regatta, keeping it inline with being the region's premier international sailing event and a sign that the local marine tourism industry is on the rise again after a few years in the doldrums. The committee have divided the entrants into 10 classes in a all out effort to cater for the diverse range of craft wanting to compete. Everything from Class 1 IRC racers, multihulls, sport boats to a multitude of cruisers and some majestic classics will be vying for the top honours. Shirley Robertson, the Olympic Games double-gold medalist from the UK will be a special guest this year.

The PKCR president Chris King outlined at the press briefing that "The racing this year will include courses and starts that are designed to suit all boats - from the fastest racing yachts to the slowest live-aboard cruisers - to ensure that all entrants get the best possible racing conditions". King also added " This event exposes Phuket as a relatively undiscovered corner of world-class yachting and cruising excellence with its warm water, beautiful scenery and hospitable year-round climate and sailing conditions".

The regatta was inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand and has been held every year since during the first week of December. Today, the 5th December marks King Bhumibhol's 77th birthday which will be celebrated in a candlelit ceremony this evening. His prowess as a dinghy sailor and his great contributions to sport in general saw the International Olympic Committee in 1987 award the " Insignia of the Olympic Order" to the only reigning Monarch ever to receive such an honour.

Racing starts in earnest tomorrow and with a little co-operation from the wind gods the stage is set for a enjoyable week of racing in another exotic Asian location. The Krung Thai Bank and Royal Phuket Marina are co-principal sponsors and the continuing support of Kata Beach Resort as host sponsor, demonstrates the loyalty amongst local island businesses for this prestigious event. The list of entries and results can be found at: www.kingscup.com

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