la Phuket King's Cup...
After an intense battle between Karl Kwok"s TP52 Team Beau Geste and Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, that was to close to call earlier in the week, Kwok’s all-conquering Team Beau Geste lived up to their reputation by winning the first race today and wrapped up the IRC 0 title. Finding favourable conditions, the Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP 52 Oi! broke through to score second place, after chasing the dueling leaders all week, which led to the eventual downfall of Pryde's Hi Fi to second overall. It's been 14 long years since Karl Kwok won a King's Cup with the Brady gang and hopefully they will return sooner rather than latter, for another tilt at the title.
Despite claiming the IRC 1 title with a day to spare, Paul Winkelmann's HH42 Island Fling went out and competed in both races to prove a point and not blemish their score sheet. By winning the last race Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS43 EFG Bank Mandrake cemented second overall and very pleased with the performance of their new ride. Consistently scoring minor podium places on each race, has helped the Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Uranus skippered by Norhafisam to secure third place, in front of Regatta Chairman Kevin Whitcraft's GP 42 Wan Ma Rang in fourth.
It's taken exceptional crew work and determination on Hannes Waimer's chartered Mills 40 TBG - Team Premier to put an end to Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6, nine regatta winning streak and race away with the IRC 2 title. Posting two wins today is a consolation prize for Bremner's Foxy Lady 6, full on racing campaign and reign at the top. Old friend and Singaporean rival, Sarab Singh's Sydney 40 Mod Windsikher, has been up and down the placing's, to accumulate enough points and hold onto third overall.
Except for a two race blip, Greg Reynolds Farr 30 Foreign Affair has completely dominated the IRC 3 class with eight wins out of ten races. Peter Dyer's Humphrys 3/4 tonner Team Kata Rocks 1, started well and despite falling of the pace still maintains second overall. The Royal Thai Navy CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat on Royal Thai Navy 1 came good on the King's birthday and continued on form to take third spot on the podium.
Snatching victory today, gives Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri's X-55 Pine-Pacific the honour of defending the Premier Cruising Class title. Second place for Mohd Masyuri's Royal Malaysian Navy Farr DK 52 Zuhrah@151 Racing Team is enough to hold onto second overall, in front of the Andy Cocks fast charging Simonis Voogd 56 Starlight in third overall.
At the end of racing, the three top contenders for the one design Firefly 850 Sports Class, Neil Ayre's Advance Racing, Hans Rahmann's Voodoo and John Newnham's Twin Sharks ended up tied on 21 points. They have each won 3 races and on further count back, it turns out that Hans Rahmann's Voodoo is the winner by one point, from John Newnham's Twin Sharks in second and tied on points with Neil Ayre's Advance Racing in third. This is as close as it gets, proving that yet again one design racing is the ultimate challenge.
By winning all 10 races in the Multihull Class, Alan Carwardine's Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane has run away with the title and in doing so, set an all time record in the process. Apart from two races, Mick Coleman/John Coffin's Stealth 11.8 Java, has consistently climbed up into second place and consequently ends up in second overall. Despite mainsail control damage and not competing on the first race today, Danny Moore's Bali built 37ft trimaran 3Itch ends up in third overall. They are very pleased to claim a string of line honours, from the more fancied Phuket multihull's, on their first outing in the super competitive Thailand arena.
Scoring first and third today, is enough for Andrey Duvanov's Uhuru to sail away with the Bareboat Charter A Class title. Rodion Luka's Papaya and Igor Puzanov's Lychee, ended up tied on 16 points and broken in favour of Luka's Papaya in second place.
With the scoreboard resembling a picket fence, eight bullets in a row, Sergey Musikhin's Sarawadee have completely dominated the 16 strong Bareboat Charter B Class. Sergey Ezhikov's Phalin finished 19 points behind but good enough for second overall. Third place for Audeev Maxim's Malee is the best of the rest in a Russian dominated class.
Tony Pfeiffer's Kata Rocks 3 crew have been unbeatable since the beginning and piling on seven wins out of eight races has earned them the Open Charter class title. A string of second places leaves Vladimir Oleynikov's Sailplane in second place and Nikolay Shkurin's Sita followed suite with third places for third overall.
Thailand's up and coming sailing star, Patinyakorn 'Ging' Buranro's Comanche 42 Sansiri with young Thai crew, are the toast of Phuket, after winning the Modern Classic class. Peter Waa's Farrgo Express held on for second place and although Jim Ellis' S&S 42 Remington made a last minute lunge by winning both the final races, the slow start to the regatta leaves them in third overall.
Over the last couple of days Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly, have consolidated their results to claim the Cruising Class title. Early wins for Dan and Em Bower's Skyelark kept them in second place and mixed results for Tony Fenton's Odin earns them third place.
All Rob Devlin's S.Y. Ravensong had to do was sail around the course and the Classic Class title is his.
Trading first and second places today kept Masami Yamashita's Minnie at the top of the Multihull Cruising Class pointscore and Konstantin Kalmykov's Star Fruit in second overall, The battle between Japan and Russia come out in favour of Yamashita's Minnie.
Also the Dinghy classes finished their week long series. Saranwong Poonpat performed exceptionally well throughout the regatta to win Optimist boys, while Intira Parnpibul was second overall and fastest of the girls. In the Laser class, Nattawut Paenyaem was the winner, and Apiwat Sringam won the Topper class.
Its good to see young Thai sailors coming up through the ranks after their dinghy racing days are over. This is the future of sailing in Thailand and must be encouraged. All in all, the competition this year has been extremely intense and the winners can rejoice with pride, as they have just won one of the hardest fought regattas in recent times.
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