outcome decided on the water...
After the first race, Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood added their fifth, first and fastest to their tally and were already runaway winners in the IRC 0 class. Taking 2nd place and winning the second race, Kevin Whitcraft's TP52 THA 72 extended their lead over Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II, are optimised for light weather and was aiming to reverse the order, but 4th and 3rd places, ruined their chances. This is the 23rd year since Ray Roberts won their first King's Cup back in 1995 and quite remarkable he has been bringing racing teams from Australia ever since, two make it 6 victories in total. Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin was clearly outclassed by the new generation of racers and round out in 4th overall.
In the closely contested IRC 1 class, victory for the Aussie's on Craig Nicholls Sydney 40 Mod Aquari II in the first race, ended up tied on 15 points, at the top of the table, with Fred Kinmonth / Nick Burns Sydney GTS 43 Mandrake III relegated to 2nd place. Third place for Craig Douglas' Farr 40 Ramrod became the meat in the sandwich, to ease Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 East Marine Emagine, out to 4th place and points separation for 3rd overall. On the passage race, the wind decided otherwise and the results were taken back to the first gate. As this result was considered unfair, the race committee decided to cancel the race and the results from the race before, to stand as the final overall result. Despite a redress being sort by Mandrake III, the International jury dismissed their appeal and the 2018 IRC 1 title goes to Aquari II followed by Mandrake III and East Marine Emagine in the overall stakes.
First place for Morton Jakobsen's VX One Design Sports boat Over Here lifted them into 2nd overall and as the leader Highlead Encouragers (Judy) could only manage 4th place, Jakobsen's Over Here closed into one point of the leader. After mixed results, 2nd place for John Grendon's Frers 41 Di Hard has them climbing up into 3rd overall and leaving Shen Sheng's Farr 1104 Big Boys Sailing Team (Farrgo Express) trailing in 4th overall. By rebounding with 2nd place on the shortened second race, the Highlead Encouragers (Judy) secured the IRC 2 title. Although Jakobsen's Over Here recorded DNF on the final race, it becomes their drop race and they hold onto 2nd overall. Team Ludwigsthal (Getaway Ichi) won the last race but mixed results leaves them in 4th overall and 4th place for Grendon's Di Hard is enough to keep them in 3rd overall.
Back on form, Andy Cocks Beneteau First 50 First light, claimed the first race and by doing so, broke the tie with Geoff Hill's Smith 72 Antipodes by one point, at the top of the Premier Cruising Class. As the passage race result was also cancelled and Hill's request for redress was also dismissed, the overall result reverts back to the first race, with Firstlight taking the title on their first attempt, Antipodes relegated to 2nd place and Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri's X55 Pine-Pacific in 3rd and failing to defend the title, for the fifth time in a row.
Once again Hans Rahmann's Voodoo was back on the pace to win the race, to retain 2nd overall and not even 5th place for John Newnham's defending champion Twin Sharks, could dislodge them from the top of the Firefly 850 Sports class. Having a close tussle all regatta, Neil Ayre's Mamba and Japan's Natsuki Motoyoshi's Mil Grace / Frog finished up 3rd and 4th overall respectively.
The battle between Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU skippered by David Witt, and Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 Fugazi in the Multihull Racing Class, has ended, with the almighty Scallywags flying around the course for line honours and thoroughly entertaining the troops. While local sailors on Fidock’s Fugazi became the 'giant slayer' to claim 6 victories in the overall Multihull Racing stakes and proclaimed the "Highest AYGP Scorer" at the King's Cup with 16 points. David Fuller's chartered Stealth 11.8 Java, have had their moments and 3rd overall is best of the rest, that have posted retirements and Did Not Compete (DNC) to their scoreboard.
The Bareboat A & B, Modern Classic and Cruising classes, all completed three races, with most the leaders extending their lead and a few changes in the podium places. With two wins and 2nd place, Stanislav Pechenkin's Kingsman breaks the tie with Chen Hechis Shanghai Maritime University (Isabella) and finish up 1st and 2nd in the overall Bareboat A stakes. Further juggling of the places, moves the Chinese on Xingpang Xu's Little Sun Ling Lang Sailing down into 3rd overall.
Three wins in a row for Sergei Musikhin's Alexa surges them forward, to claim victory in the Bareboat B stakes. Igor Ginzburg's Sun Odyssey 409 Sunsail Phailin survived the onslaught in 2nd overall and Vladimir Oleynikovs Anchali hold onto 3rd overall, in the 7 boat class.
The Russians on Andrey Novoderezhkin's Kata Rocks Sea Escapes stayed on the pace, to post two more wins and 2nd place, to stay on top of the Modern Classic class. Despite retiring on the last race, the Japanese on Toshihiko Iijima's Hippocrates (Sariya) hold onto 2nd overall and Shane Armitage's Farr 1104 Piccolo, keeps the podium intact in 3rd overall.
Over the week of racing, the Swedes on Eric Alfredson's Oyster 56 Lisanne have scored 5 wins out of 7 races, to run away with the Cruising Class title, on their first attempt. Tony Byrnes Zingara outscored Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly by three points today, to take over 2nd overall and relegate Lady Bubbly down to the 3rd step on the podium.
Some of the Phuket Yacht Club legends, have teamed up on Zam Bevan's Pescott SHN 10.6 Sho,Vel and although they didn't have it all their own way, have miraculously tied on 12 points, with Zhang Yong Dong's Andaman Cabriolet Big Boys Sailing Team 2 (Kata Rocks) and broken in favour of Sho,Vel as they won two races earlier in the week and take back to the club, the Cruising Multihull title. By winning all three races today, Petr Kochnev's Leopard 444 Keirana go forward in leaps and bounds, to come within one point of the dueling leaders but settle in 3rd overall.
One of the features of this year’s Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, and the place where the future stars of the sport are nurtured for the years ahead, was the International Dinghy Classes, which featured 107 young sailors from around the country.
With 12 wins from 12 races, 13-year-okd Thai champion Panwa Boonak kept a clean sheet to take the honors in the Optimist Class. Panwa, who won the 2018 Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship at the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club & Resort in Myanmar, has proved to be an outstanding sailor in the many events he has contested and will be a great ambassador for Thailand when he represents the kingdom in coming international events.
Another consistently good young Thai sailor with a promising future in the sport is M.L. Weka Bhanubandh, who finished second in the Optimist Class. Patihan Vorrasart came a very credible third in what proved to be a tough field.
Chusitt Punjamala won every race except three in the 12 contested in the Laser Standard Class, to finish the overall winner. He was followed by Arthit Romanyk and Chairat Dangdeemark in second and third places respectively.
In the Laser Radial Class, Janisara Sasha Romanyk finished as the overall winner and she was followed by Sophia Gail Montgomery and Voravong Rachrattanaruk. The Laser 4.7 Class was won by Patcharee Sringham, with Pitchakon Ungpakornkaew second and Nuttapong Yoang-Ngam third.
The 420s was the only team event for the junior sailors, with two aboard each boat. Taking the top prize in the 420 Class was Intira Parnpiboon and Paliga Poonpat, and they were followed by Chanokchon Wangsuk and Piyaporn Khemkaew in second place, with Jedtavee Yongyuenarn and Chakkapat Wiriakitti in third place.
This is also an excellent opportunity for local teams to test boat speed and crew skills, against some of the best International teams, in Asian waters. Unfortunately the weather, will always play its part in determining a winner and thankfully sailors are a hardy lot, that can accept the outcome (Good or Bad) and party together, long into the night, after the racing is done. Want to join the action, next year? Mark down the week, 1st to 7th of December 2019 and get your team up to speed.
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