right, go left, no go right, no go...
Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi was quick of the mark to record first place in Race 1. After dipping down to fourth place, Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing rebounded with two first places, to end the day on top of the overall pointscore. Only seconds separated the place getters and Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's EFG Bank Mandrake opened with second place in Race 1 and managed to bring some separation to the dueling leaders. After striking gold in Race 1, Neil Pryde's Hi Fi slipped to 2nd place and being recalled for being over the startline in Race 3, has them finishing in second overall. Perennial line honours winner, Frank Pong's 75’ Reichel Pugh, Jelik III also managed to mix into the placing's and with an 3, 6, 2 scoreline they ended the day in third overall. Although the cream always seems to rise to the top, the results belie the level of close competition, crowded mark rounding's and tacking duels taking place on the race course. Sam Chan's TP52 FreeFire slammed the door shut at the finish line and Xiaqun Song and her all Chinese crew on Frank Pong's TP52 Jelik V also got in amongst the action.
After surviving a general recall and then an individual recall, Matt Allen's IRC 1 defending champion Beneteau First 44.7 Zhik Ichi Ban started were they left off the last couple of years with two wins and although they stumbled a little with the wrong headsail selection to 2nd place in the intervening race, are more than ever determined to make it a hat trick of victories. Japan's Yasuo Nanamori on the chartered Sydney 40 Babe have shown they will not let Zhik Ichi Ban get away this time and with a 3, 1, 4 scoreline are in second place. Rick Pointon's Chinese crew on JingJing held on for third overall. Rick Overton/Kenn Eyears chartered Kerr 32 Kukukerchu, Ben Copley's Swan CS 42 Katsu and Peter Wintle's Kerr 37 Koull Baby shared the placing's but mixed results in other races has them in 4th, 5th and 6th places respectively.
In IRC 2, defending champion CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat’s Farr MRX Royal Thai Navy 1 got off to a slow start with 5th place but rebounded by claiming two wins in a row and resume normal service at the top of the leaderboard. Race 1 went to Brent Morgan’s Men At Work but there after had difficulties with the shifty conditions to end up in second overall. At the last moment Jamie Watts has taken over the chartered Humphries 3/4 Tonner Team Sea Bees and did a great job to secure two second places before dropping to fourth and ended the day in third overall. Cdr. Pornprom Sakultem's Royal Thai Navy 4 kept the pressure on, to finish in fourth overall but as only seconds separated the top placing's there is still a lot of close racing to come.
Only one race for the Premier Cruising class, saw Peter Forsythe & Jing Lee's X-55 Xena take out the daily double of line and handicap honours. Aussie Peter Sorenson lived up to his racing reputation when he steered the chartered Beneteau F53 Baby Tonga into second place. Close on there heels, Jon Wardill's evergreen Cassidy 55 Australian Maid corrected out into third place, in front of Peter Churchouse's Warwick 64 Moon Blue 2, who were fast around the course but couldn't create enough separation to settle on fourth place.
Darren Shipard's Bourgeois Tag sailed a superb race to correct out in front of the 22 starters in the Bareboat Charter Class. Although Mike Crisp's Venture claimed line honours, they had to settle on second place. Ilya Ermakov's Russian entry Sarawadee missed out on second place by nine seconds but have clearly shown their full intentions in the races to come.
Paul Brunning's Pape 12.8m Dondang Sayang claimed the daily double in the three boat Classic Class. Not far of the pace, Simon Morris' staysail schooner Sirius 1935 slotted into second place as Rene Tiemessen's well presented Phillip Rhodes designed Alondra from the Netherlands sailed into third place.
In the Cruising Class for competitors entering the regatta for the first time, Barry Elsbury's Swan 15.6m Apsara and Richard Macfarlane's Aida crossed the finish line in that order, but after handicaps have been applied the positions are reversed with Aida taking Race 1 by 18 seconds from Apsara, which is stacked full of Aussie racing legends. Roger Harris' Simone lifted their game to secure third place in front of Andy Brennan's Delphia 40 Jenzminc VI, to make it a quadruple for Australian yachts.
The Modern Classic Class saw Canadian Jean Rheault's Souay 1 take out the daily double in front of Thailand's Bo Sondergaard on the legendary Patrice III. Reinhard Haiber's ageing Meridien 47 Pytheas Aura showed they still have what it takes to be on the pace with third place in the difficult conditions.
In a masterful display, Hans Rahmann's Voodoo won all three Firefly 850 Sports races today and clearly showed how they have won every regatta, they entered this year. John Newnham's British chartered Twin Sharks nailed home three 2nd places to keep last years winning boat in with a chance of retaining the title. Missing out on second place by only a few seconds, Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi then traded 3rd and 4th places in Race 3 with Andrew Marshall's Pink Lady and settled on third and fourth places respectively.
Amongst the very diverse range of craft in the Multihull Class, German ace Andy Pape skippering the Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci, came from well down the finishing order to score two wins and second place on handicap, to go directly to the top of the table. Defending champions Henry Kaye and Fergus Wilmer's Seacart 30 Thor, struggled for pace in Race 1 with fifth place but found top gear to win Race 2 and missed out by less than a minute in Race 3 to sit in second overall at the end of racing. David Liddel's Corsair 37 Miss Saigon mixed it up with Alan Carwardine's Stealth 12.6 Team Lewmar to end up third and fourth respectively.
As the Wind GURU forecast for the next couple of days does not look to good, PRO Jerry Rollin was happy to complete three races today for the racing classes. At the press conference, PRO Ross Chisholm for the cruising classes, expects that the soft breeze, strong tidal currents and heavy cloud cover tomorrow, will limit racing to coastal waters nearby Kata beach similar to today. Day 2 will be hosted by Siam Winery at Mom Tri's Boathouse and the connoisseurs in the fleet can't wait to get into the award winning restaurant and partake in some fine wines.
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