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12 Dec 2000 3:45am MYT
King's Cup 2000 Race Report # 5 and Summary
Well, the 14th Phuket King's Cup is finally over. Phew! What a drama! As if the frustrating light and patchy wind during the week was not enough to test the sailors skills but the committee's initial in-decision to dealing with it where further compounded with confusing changes to sailing instructions causing competing yachts to sail different courses which led to numerous protests and a work overload for the International Jury and the small technical support team keeping up with the race results.

The International jury have had to use all their skills in diplomacy during their late night meetings and decided in the fairness of competition to produce class results for the first incomplete race and to award placings to all yachts that sailed the short course behind the yachts that had completed successfully. Absolutely amazing! and probably a first time precedent set in the world.

With all the administration difficulties taking place a late morning 10-12kt northerly on the last day of racing surprisingly kicked in to get the already delayed start and the days racing finally under way. This welcome breeze saw the record breaking fleet finally sailing with full power and all classes successfully completed their correct courses. A delightful sight and in hindsight the savior to this years event by returning the sailors attention to proving their yachts on the water performance which is in true essence the spirit of the cup.

At the conclusion of racing the enormous task of retabulating previous race results and preparing the overall winners table began which finally produced a correct class entry list and a complete set of results for the first time in the week.

Hannes Waimer's DK42 used the fresh breeze to its fullest to win the day from Ray Roberts Luna Nuova who has been struggling all week from Peter Ahern's Yo who tied with Keith Moores Pla Lo ma for third in this final race. Karl Kwoc's chartered Beau Geste showed some early speed in the light wind races to win the class but could only manage a 5th in the fresh breeze and might have shown some flaws in her mid range performances. Never the less her 3 wins, 1 second, 1 third and 1 fourth is clearly enough to take the King's Cup from Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity and Fred Kinmonth's fast finishing Stella.

Premier Cruising
Bill Gasson's Big Buzzard won the day and held off a few contenders who were vying for 2nd place overall from the unbeatable overall winner David Kong's Hocux Pocux 2. Sam Chan's Ffree Fire took second which improved him to 3rd overall from one of the most impressive performers of the week Andres Soriano III new Swann 80 Malagaya from the Philippines.

Performance Cruising
Amir Zohri's Malaysian favourite Gotcha Lagi! kept a clean sheet to record her 6th win in seven races from Mats Johansson's well sailed Diah Tantri and Thailands Nualkier Viroj's racing team on Octopussy. A group of 5 yachts finished close together on the leaders heels and were delighted with the fresh breeze which made racing in close quarters quite exciting. Gotcha Lagi!'s overall victory from Octopussy and Diah Tantri must be recorded in the King's Cup history books as the most wins of all the racing and cruising classes in the 14 years of racing to clinch the title. The King's Cup 2000 trophy will be a proud addition to the swollen trophy cabinet alongside Gotcha's many other victory trophies won at past regattas on the South East Asian (SEA) Regatta Circuit.

The biggest class with 32 competing yachts which had difficulties in completing courses early in the week then wore the brunt of the confusing course changes and International Jury decisions latter in the week finished the last day of racing on a high note and hopefully retained the spirit of the regatta despite some heated moments.

Jock Cromie's Fi Tuen who allegedly led some yachts the wrong way on Day 5 (which possibly cost him first place overall) once again showed the fleet his transom to take first on line and handicap honours in the last race. Greg Koops Amanda who won race 2 finished second and was followed by Hans Rahmann's Master Blaster who eventually won first overall with 1 first, 2 seconds and 1 third. Richard Steinke's classic Isobar and Jocks Fi Tuen finished equal on points to be tied at second overall from Marcus De Maria's popular Phuket based charter yacht Simpatico.

Classic Class
Christopher Edwards little Xyphias won all the races completed by the class from Julian Hills Sanook and Richard Curtis's restored 100 year old Bristol Pilot Evelene which is still sailing the seas took third place overall.

Fine Pitch Lee Marine's lightning fast trimaran skippered by Aussie Scott Dunkanson won all 4 races sailed from Thailand's unlucky Radab Kanjanavanit on Cedar Swann and Hagihara Shuji chartering Mark Prescot's Phuket based cruising catamaran Summersalt took third.

The Philippine racing team led by Chip Winternitz won 8 of the nine races to end up with a neat and clear score sheet of all 1st's. Second and also from the Philippines Mark Haswell sailed back into contention during the second round of races and David Harris held onto third after making some good placings in the early races of the regatta. The separate racing program with 2 short courses daily especially designed for the Platu sports class yachts is where most of the sailing action could be found during the week. These light grand prix match racers could complete the days racing often by 3 pm which enabled them to enjoy the fabulous resort life ashore for which Phuket is famous for and on time to attend the evenings planned social activities.

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9 Dec 2000 2:10am MYT

King's Cup 2000 Race Report # 4

A record number of protests have been lodged against the race committee by the Cruising, Classic and Multihull classes for the confusion created by the changes made to the courses and sailing instructions on the morning of racing on day 4. Several finishers have been recorded points for a Did Not Compete, a general recall for the racing division and several premier cruising maxi sized yachts where individually recalled for being over the start line early. Full results will not be known until the International Jury convene to decide the outcome.

The committee have also decided to make results for the earlier races where several classes have failed to finish within in the time limits set based on the recorded times taken as the yachts made their early mark roundings has seen the overall placings in some classes significantly altered.

The good news was that a uncharacteristic 8 to 10 knot Northerly that went NW greeted the sailors for race day 4 which allowed the race committee to complete the 2 races for the Racing, Premier and Performance cruising classes and enough wind for the passage racers to sail up to Patong Bay and back before fading.

Racing Class
Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity jumped further into contention with a win in race five but stumbled with a 7th in race 6 and still retains second overall. Fred Kinmonth's Stella sailed into overall 3rd placing with a win in race 6 and Peter Ahern's Yo has shown some light weather speed to pick up a few thirds, but all have been humbled by Karl Kwoc's Beau Geste a new Farr40 who are in a unbeatable position with 3 firsts, 1 second and 1 third with one race to go.

Premier Cruising

After a 4th and 2 x 6ths four time winner Bill Gasson on Big Buzzard struck back with a win in race 4 and a second in race 5 to move him into contention with five other yachts for second place overall. David Kong's Hocux Pocux 2 is unbeatable with 3 firsts 1 second and 1 third and Andres Soriano III Maligaya dropped to third overall after misinterpreting the course signal to be 7th in race 4 and wearing the penalty for starting prematurely to end up 6th in race 5. The start line action onboard these magnificent maxi sized yachts with what seems like a few acres of Kevlar and Mylar molded sails so tightly whinched in and driven along by up to 25 crew has been a sight to behold.

Performance Cruising
Possibly one of the smallest yachts competing has won the most firsts (5) to date of the racing and cruising classes and is a certainty for this years King's Cup for the Performance Cruisers class. Amir Zohri's, Farr 36 Gotcha Lagi! had to ruin his neat scorecard of firsts with a second place in race 5 to Nualkier Viroj's Thai Yachting Team on Octopussy who were out to avenge their disaster in race 4 (DNF), only to see their chances slip away again as Gotcha Lagi! bounced back to take first place in race 6. A battle for third place overall has developed between Horst Laktis's Big A, Mats Johansson's Swedish entry Diah Trantri and Hans Wiedmann's previous winner Emerald Blue.

All other classes

No results were available at the time of writing as the protest meetings being scheduled are expected to last until late into the evening and a new set of results probably not available till morning.

Tommorows Prognosis
The last day of racing at previous King's Cups have produced some remarkable surprises on and off the water, especially as the overall result sheets are finally corrected to the end of the day in preparation for the Royal Awards Ceremony and Closing Party at the Kata Beach Resort. Time and mother nature will only tell!

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7 Dec 2000 9:19pm MYT
King's Cup 2000 Race Report # 3
The 40 nm Volvo Andaman Sea Race on day 3 of the King's Cup showed some early promise of improvement to the fickle wind conditions presently being experienced but by early afternoon the 8-10 knot NW'ly had briefly changed to the SW then completely faded. Leaving allot of yachts stranded in the beginning stages that retired early then a long line of racers and cruisers struggling to reach the shortened finish line within the time limits on the return leg from Ko Racha. Consequently there were more retirements than finishers at the end of the day.

Racing Class
Old favorites Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity, Hannes Waimer's DK 42 and Peter Ahern's Yo broke Karl Kwoc's monopoly of 3 first places on Beau Geste to date to finish in that order. With three races left and a win in time Neil Pryde has improved his chances but will have to go like hell to improve his points standing to take the overall trophy from Beau Geste.

Premier Cruising

Sam Chan's 70 ft sled Freefire made the most of the early reaching legs to take line and handicap honours from Andres Soriano III new Malagaya who relegated the handicap winner of the first 2 races David Kong's Hocux Pocux to third this time out, but holds onto a close overall points advantage going into the last two deciding races.

Performance Cruising
Gotcha Lagi! formerly Gotcha a yacht that has over the last 8 years won every regatta on the prestigious South East Asian Circuit and now owned by the Malaysian Rahim brothers went parking early and were lucky to use their "Get out of jail Free!" card to proceed and catch up with the rest to record her third first place of this series. Second and third respectively are two well prepared Aussie yachts Phil Atkinson's 50 ft Tramontana who took line honours and Rodney Cran's Slice of Heaven built in Mooloolaba. Unfortunately for the Thai's on Octopussy who remained becalmed in the hole had to eventually retire.


Only 6 of the 30 odd yachts competing managed a finish on day 3. Hans Rahmann's Master Blaster a former winner took the honours from Jock Cromie's Fi Tuen and Marcus De Maria's Simpatico. As a Did Not Finish carries 30 points and only these 6 finishers don't carry a DNF the eventual winner will come from these yachts and Isobar, Quicksilver and Kelson providing they complete the remaining 2 races.

Scott Dunkanson's expertise on the helm has seen Fine Pitch Lee Marine take out the first completed 2 races from Thailand's Radab Kanjanavanit's Cedar Swann and Hagihara Shuji chartering Mark Prescot's Summersalt. These are the only 3 yachts to finish in the above order so far and will probably see FPLM defend last years victory.

Platu 25

As the big yachts have suffered in the light conditions much of the sailing action can be found in the Platu races. The Philippine team led by Chip Winternitz have taken a commanding lead with five wins and one second place from Mark Haswell and David Harris from Hong Kong. These light grand prix match racers have their own program and up to three races have been completed in a day with the sailors enjoying the resort life in the afternoon.

The race committee have decided to award finishing places in this division based on the yachts position on the course when the time limit expires or award a finish time at the last mark all yachts have last rounded. In many cases the first mark of the course. It will be interesting to see who eventually will win the King's Cup in this and all other classes.

The nightly onshore parties have been held at some of the islands finest five star resorts and today's lay day see's the sailors taking up golf at the Laguna Phuket resort where wind or the lack of it should not be a problem. Overindulging in the fine wine and delicious Thai cuisine has seen a few casualties on the often delicate European tummies.


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5 Dec 2000 10:25pm MYT
King's Cup 2000 Race Report # 2

Similar light and variable conditions greeted the sailors for The Boathouse/QBE races on day 2 of the King's Cup 2000. Racing and Performance Cruising had 2 back to back windward/leeward races planned while Premier Cruising, Classic and Multihull classes took most of the day to complete one race that was held on a separate course further to the north of the island.

The crew on Beau Geste struck gold by adding a further 2 wins on line and handicap to the first they got on day 1. This puts them in a solid overall position with 3 firsts from a well sailed Sydney 38 Stella skippered by Fred Kinmonth and the bridesmaid Neil Pryde on Hi-Fidelity taking third.

Performance Cruising saw the Malaysian favourite Gotcha Lagi! sailed by the Rahim brothers and friends continue on their winning ways to take 2 first places followed closely by the Thai team led by Viroj Nualkier on Octopussy. Mats Johansson on Diah Tantri put in a good performance to hold onto third place.

In Premier Cruising the big boats continued their struggle in the fluky conditions with David Kong on Hocux Pocux 2 adding a second win to his score sheet. Maligaya and David Bailey's Hocux Pocux 1 once again filled the minor placings.

The Classic Class battle of the heavy weights saw the 42metre Sylvia taking the honours from Sir Richard Curtis's Evelene. Several protests have been lodged for the committee to decide the official outcome of the Classic and Cruising Classes and no results where available at the time of writing for the Multihull class which I am led to believe that Muzza and the crew on Fine Pitch Lee Marine took the honours. I will try to keep you updated in future Race Reports.

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5 Dec 2000 10:25pm MYT
King's Cup 2000 Race Report #1

The first day of racing was almost a complete shambles. Only 7 Racing class and 7 Premier Cruising class yachts managed to finish within the 6 hour time limit in the House of Kangaroo passage race. The light wind did not go above 8 knots and faded in the afternoon which left the yachts struggling against a strong current. Perhaps it is a bit ambitious to plan a 30nm day race in light wind without taking appropriate shortening course action so the yachts can at least be finished after a long hard day on the water.

Karl Kwoks Beau Geste a new Farr 40 from DK Composites in Malaysia and expertly helmed by Gavin Brady has shown her racing thoroughbred by taking line and handicap 1st place. Several boats where over the start line early and by not returning can say goodbye to overall first place. Ever consistent Neil Pryde on Hi-Fidelity took second and Peter Ahern's Yo third.

David Kongs Hocux Pocux 2 took the handicap honours from Andres Soriano III new Swann 80 Maligaya which took line honours in the Premier Cruising class taking 5hrs and 37minutes to complete the shortened course.

The Platu 25 class completed their separate short program of races with Winternitz on Global net Access representing the Philippines making the best of the situation but the fading wind and adverse tides saw the time running out for the Performance Cruising, Cruising, Classic and Multihull classes.

3 Dec 2000 8:13pm MYT
King's Cup 2000 - Pre Race Roundup

Over 100 racing yachts are mooring in front of The Boathouse and Khun Pramuk Achariyachai's elegant Kata Beach Resort on the popular Thai island of Phuket to compete for top honours at the 14th King's Cup which has a new main sponsor this year in Volvo. Held annually since 1987 with Royal Patronage to celebrate Thailand's beloved sailing monarch His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday who so graciously bestows the King's Cup to the individual class winners in this tropical haven has quickly seen this regatta develop into Asia's premier yachting event.

The organising committee have opted to break with their traditional program for the first King's Cup of the new millennium and have organised new classes, new races, new venues, and with new sponsors promise much more excitement than ever before. Vice President for racing Andy Dowden admits he had some head scratching moments while formulating the structure of the racing classes to cater for the wide variety of yachts that descend on Phuket each year.

A new Premier Cruising Class has been established for the big (50ft plus) racer/cruisers like Andres Soriano's new Swann 80 Maligaya which sees them for the first time in a class of their own. The remainder of the yachts are then easily split into Premier racing, Performance Cruising (racing/cruisers less than 50ft), Cruising, Classic, Multi-hull and Platu 25 classes. The overall objective being to give everybody a chance to race competitively and win against boats of a similar nature.

A mixture of day passage races around the neighboring islands, Olympic trapezoid and windward/leeward courses are to be used over the next week of racing and for the first time all races will start and finish off sunny Kata Beach in tropical SW Phuket. If the wind gods co-operate and grace this magnificent scene a week of spectacular yacht racing is expected.

In the racing class Stella a new Bashford 38, Freefire a 70 ft sled and Karl Kwoks Beau Geste a new Farr 40 from DK Composites in Malaysia joins the formidable line up of yachts that recently competed on the Raja Muda Int Regatta. Where Karakoa was the winner and Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity was nudged into second and closely followed by the Aussie's on Luna Nuova. Close racing is expected from these grand prix racing yachts where every second will count.

In the new Premier Cruising Class 17 magnificent yachts between 51 to 83ft long have entered. This class promises some spectacular action at the start and at the windward mark roundings as these huge yachts vie for position. Four time winner of racing class Bill Gasson on his Big Buzzard has entered this class and with his experience could be considered a local favorite.

The Performance Cruising Class for Racer/cruisers less than 50ft sees Malaysian favorite Gotcha Lagi a 36ft Farr design sponsored by Manpower join simular sized yachts including last years eventual winner Thailand's Octopussy and previous years champion Horst Laktis racing his S&S 50 Big A.

By far the biggest class this year is Cruising Class (for 32ft-47ft cruisers) with 38 entries to date which will probably be divided in class A & B with prizes for each division and a overall King's Cup for the class.

The Classic Class for yachts 40 years and over has 5 magnificent entries including the biggest yacht competing being Bern Gundel's 42metre classic Sylvia. Seven of the smallest one design Platu yachts are expected to battle it out on a separate program of races along with the 6 Multihull Class yachts who will find it difficult to keep up with last years winner Lee Marine's Fine Pitch.

All in all, the stage is set and with the social scene beginning to hot up tonight's opening ceremony fireworks at the plush Kata Beach Resort signals the commencement of the second round battle on the South East Asian (SEA) Regatta Circuit.

By Capt Marty Rijkuris

Full results and updates during the King's Cup will become available on their website

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