Phuket King's Cup Regatta News & Results
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AY Pre-Regatta Report

2015/16 AY Grand Prix Event

Clash of the titans at Phuket King's Cup
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
6th December 2015: Its that time of the year when International crews hone in on Phuket, to contest Asia's premier regatta and expect a week of fast and furious sailing action, in the Andaman Sea. Judging by the activity on Kata Beach this morning, they are full of anticipation and wild speculation on how the racing will unfold. One of the highlights, will be the sail pass to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej 88th birthday, held on Monday 7th, the first day of racing at Cape Prom Thep and show our appreciation to the world's longest reigning monarch, for his never ending support of sailing.

Four evenly matched 52 footers are going up against two of the largest boats in the fleet. Leaving the 'Roaring Forties' to race together in IRC 1, without the distraction of bigger boats to contend with. IRC 3 will be very challenging this year, with several boats carrying high performance profiles, up against two past winners. Amongst the five similar sized yachts, that grace the Premier Cruising class, are three previous King's Cup winners and ready to strike out again.

The majority of the yachts are entered in the Bareboat & Open Charter, Modern Classic, Cruising and Classic classes.

As much as this regatta is about monohull racing, the Multihull's are fielding Racing, Cruising and two highly competitive one-design classes, making up almost 20% of the fleet.

At last count there is 89 racing yachts, over 1500 sailors from 18 countries, 60+ Optimist, Topper and Laser Dinghies running their own series during the week.

Participating yachts have been divided into 13 classes by IRC handicap bands or by design and style of construction.

In the IRC 0 class, four evenly matched 52 footers - Ray Roberts TP52 Millenium Racing, Hannes Waimer's chartered TP52 Team Premier Oi!, Ben Copley's TP52 Kodo and Raja Muda Regatta winning, Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II are seriously in contention. A battle for line honours glory, is shaping up between, Frank Pong's Custom 75 Jelik and Philip Turner’s Reichel-Pugh 66 Alive skippered by Duncan Hine. What ever happens, they will all have to be on the pace, right from the first race, to have a chance at the prestigious title.

The 'Roaring Forties' are all excited about being grouped together in their own class. Joining for the first time are present leaders in the AYGP, Steve Manning and Anthony Root's Ker 42 Black Baza, and two Sydney 40 MOD's, Scott Bradley's Imagine (Ex. Babe) and Ken Eyears' Redefine (Ex Windsikher) on their first outing. Their rivals include Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's Sydney GTS43 EFG Bank Mandrake is on a hot streak, the Royal Malaysian Navy DK 47 Uranus skippered by Ishak b. Jab, scored third place last year and Estonia's Matti Sep chartered Dubois 40 Blue Note. Unfortunately damage to President of KC committee, Kevin Whitcraft’s new TP52 in transit, means the team will revert back to the GP 42 Wan Ma Rang, which has given them so much joy at past events.

The even break up of the IRC classes, results in Mick Tilden's all conquering Beneteau 44.7 Fujin coming up against Evgenil Nekiforov’s new Cookson 12 Megazip heading the ratings, in IRC 2. Extra pressure comes in the form of Roland Dane's Corby 36 Jessandra II after cleaning up at Phuket Raceweek earlier this year, Simon Piff’s podium winning Kerr 32 Rekering Dream and Krabi Sailing Schools Mumm 30 Judy. Although have a feeling, they might all be chasing Yasuo Nanamori's Japanese team, on the Beneteau 40.7 Karasu, that ran away with the title in 2011.

The Premier Cruising Class starts with the battle of the X55’s, with defending Champions, Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri's Pine-Pacific being challenged by Kim Ramen & Adrian Fini's Australian Team on Audeamus. Previous Champion Baby Tonga is chartered to Russia's Andrey Eliseey and Kiwi newcomer Philipp Liholm's Jeanneau 57 Raincloud plus Horst Lakits Swan 55 Big A, are all keen to get in amongst the action packed big boat fleet.

All five entries in the one design Firefly 850 Sports Class, are past winners and ready for another ding dong battle. While John Newnham's Twin Sharks has cleaned up at recent Phuket events, Hans Rahmann's Voodoo and Neil Ayre's Advance Racing are threatening to reclaim the title. Steve Wassell takes the helm of Kata Rocks II, while Roger's son, Jon Kingdon aims to follow in his farthers footsteps, with success on Moto Inzi.

An interesting historic story in the Multihull Class. Alice Lim and Scott McCook from Team Pro Sail, are retracing their footprints they left behind, on their epic 1993 sail, from Singapore to Phuket, on a Nacra 5.0 Sport catamaran and successfully competed at the King's Cup. This time they return on the Grainger designed 30ft trimaran RAW and aiming to add to their victories in Singapore and Indonesia. This is no easy task, as they are up against Alan Carwardine's regatta winning Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane, that scored 10 bullets last year and set an all time record in the process.

Mick Coleman/John Coffin's sister ship Java, Kirill Stashevskiy Stealth 13m Galeforce and David Liddell's bigger Stealth 14m WOW, all come from the same stable of production catamarans and are up for the challenge. Another to watch out for, is Danny Moore's PHI 1100 trimaran 3Itch, that is constantly being improved for speed and most likely to be found at the front of the fleet. King’s Cup Veterans Henry Kaye Sea Cart 26 Sweet Chariot and Khun Redab's Farrier trimaran Cedar Swan return for another go at the title and revival of their glory days.

The growing popularity of Cruising catamarans in the region is evident, with five entries, ranging from 38ft to 67ft from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, United Kingdom and Japan, are grouped together in their own class.

A new Performance Catamaran Class consists of 5 Corsair Pulse 600 trimaran's, on only their second outing. Heading the field is Phuket Race Week Champions, Andrew de Bruin and Zam Bevan on Multihull Solutions H30. The rest are chartered out by Java Racing Charters, to teams taking up the challenge of one-design multihull racing in Asian waters.

Several past winners have been grouped together in the Modern Classic class. Featuring three Phuket based Farr 1104's going head to head. Pete Waa's Farrgo Express is hot after winning the Raja Muda a week ago, Mike Downard is taking charge of the classic Sydney Hobart winner Piccolo and an Aussie team from the RPYC in Perth, are on Pinocchio and likely to be in the thick of things. The Royal Thai Navy are fielding CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat, skippering Platu 25 Royal Thai Navy 1 but face some stiff competition from UK's Stephanie Nowell-Withers sister ship Tornado (Tuay Lek) and previous winners in the form of Peter Dyer's Humphrys 3/4 tonner Kata Rocks 1 (Ex Madam Butterfly), Patinyakorn 'Ging' Buranrom's S&S 42 Windstar and an unknown Chinese Team from Krabi Sailing School on the Standfast 40 Mas Alegre.

With 15 yachts entered the Bareboat Class, including 4 Japanese and 7 Russian teams, it is the largest class at the regatta this year. The regatta provides excellent handicapping and suitable courses for the class, ranging from windward/leeward, to around the buoys and Island races to enjoy.

The rest of the fleet is divided into Open Charter, Cruising and Classic Classes. Past Champions Vladimir Oleynikov's First 47.7 Popeye (Ex Sailplane) and Boris Gusev's Hanse 400E Kata Rocks 3 (Ex Venture), are being challenged by China's Big Boy Sailing Team on the new charter configured J130 (Ex Jing Jing) and past Phuket Yacht Club Commodore Mick Kealy is on X-412 Beaux Esprit. Plus never discount the ever present Russian Charter team on the First 45f5 Sita.

Several returning boats in the Cruising Class, including Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly is back to defend the title. Keep an eye on Kiwi Warren Batt's Farr 46 Mustang Sally said to be a centre cockpit cruiser and the Aussie team on Wayne Bateman's Beneteau Cyclades Morakot, with the Darwin mob onboard. One to watch out for is, Dean Chisholm's Elliot 46 Dragons Back (PHPLUS) comes from a fast drawing board that is hard to over come.

An interesting tussle is expected to develop between Cedric Rimaud's Vintage 6r4 Selma and Japan's Kiyoshi Masuda's new build Woody 82 Umeboshi for the Classic class title.

This event is also the fifth point scoring regatta on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and competitors expect to improve their overall ranking by the end of the regatta. Ultimately the skipper and boat with the highest points at the end of the season, is crowned the 2015-16 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year. Check on the 2015-16 AYGP Rankings, by clicking on Skipper - Yacht - Regatta and Scoring System.

Inaugurated in 1987 to mark the 60th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyedej, the regatta is organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organizing 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. Held each year during the first week of December the 2015 event is already living up to the reputation as the ultimate showcase for Thailand's seafaring heritage.

The stage is set, registration and skippers briefing completed, last minute sail measurement and new IRC certificates being computed. But first its time for the traditional opening ceremony and welcome party at the Kata Beach Resort & Spa.

Info and results at: http://www.kingscup.com
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