AY Race Report 4 & Summary
AY Grand Prix
Onboard the Ahern/Wilmer & Bailey's TP 52 Oi! the crew have quickly turned into a machine and churned out 7 wins and a 2nd place to convincingly take out the IRC Racing 1 title on their first outing in anger. This bodes well for the rest of the 2013-14 season, in which they intend contesting the six regatta AYGP quota. Today is the day, that Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 Wan Ma Rang finally broke through to beat Ben Copely's Aquila Reichel Pugh 45 Katsu over the line and in doing so score two 2nd places. However Copely's Katsu has done enough in the earlier races to secure 2nd overall in front of Whitcraft's Wan Ma Rang in third.
Similar story in the IRC Racing 2 class. Peter Sorensen and his all star Aussie crew on the Beneteau 44.7 Fuujin have handed out a sailing lesson to the rest of the fleet. Eight convincing wins in a row and keep a clean sheet on their first outing together, is firing a warning signal to IRC 2 competitors at other regattas on the Asian circuit. Second and third places for Stuart Williamson's Beneteau 34.7 Skandia EOW confirmed their 2nd place in the overall stakes. Ray Waldron's Phuket 8 Surf Patrol enjoyed the offshore surfing conditions to slot into second place in the last race, which elevated them above Peter Jones Bashford/ Howison 41 Moya Hin for fourth overall. Third and fourth places for Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix is enough to hold onto the third overall podium place.
The 11 boat IRC Cruising Class also competed on the windward/leeward race and offshore passage race, to finish off with a five race series. After yesterdays grounding Mike Crisp's Hanse 400 Sail in Asia Venture was back on the course and led the fleet on both races, with Rob Azzopardi's Beneteau Oceanis 423 Dreamtime and Peter Wood's S & S 42 Windstar sailing in close quarters. When the IRC ratings were applied the pedigree of Wood's Windstar combined with the pioneers of the Thai yachting industry crew, shone through to take the title with five wins in a row. Two second places for Azzopardi's Dreamtime keeps them in second overall. Yesterdays grounding for Crisp's Sail in Asia Venture becomes their drop race and today's two 3rd places restores their position on the 3rd step of the podium. This move relegated Patinyakorn "Ging" Buranrom's Hood 23 Sansiri (Ooh La La) under the command of Tia down to fourth overall.
Coming into the final day, David Roberts Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci skippered by Mark Pescott and Alan Carwadine's Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane were tied for the Multihull Class lead on 12 points and the only class that didn't have a run away winner. The gloves came off and crews were eager to get going. Huge bursts of boat speed made for some spectacular viewing. John Coffin's Stealth 11.8 Java claimed the daily double in the first race to stay in contention and 2nd place for Pescott's Da Vinci broke the tie with Carwadine's Asia Catamarans Hurricane when they finished in third place. With less than a minute separating them, at this speed it equates to less than 100 meters separation. As Peter Wilcox Gforce 1500 Mojo and Carwadine's Asia Catamarans Hurricane fought over line honours on the long passage race, Pescott pushed Da Vinci to the limit and corrected out in front to win the race and successfully go on to defend the title with the older design. Carwadine's Asia Catamarans Hurricane missed out on securing the title by 37 seconds and ends up in second overall with John Coffin's sistership Java taking third spot.
The new found speed on John Newnham Twin Sharks has taken them onto greater heights. By winning 7 races in the hotly contested Firefly 850 One-Design Class, they have won their first title and did not have to compete on the last race. Defending champion Hans Rahmann's Voodoo returned to form with second and first places, to climb up into second overall after a slow start to the regatta. This in turn, relegated Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi down to third overall after a dip in form on the final few races. Since a couple of bad results at the start of the series, Shaun Jackson's Dyer Straits has strung together a row of third places but has to be content with fourth overall.
Although Captain Bernd Gundel's huge 100ft S&S Letizia finished 26 minutes in front of Simon Morris' Staysail Schooner Sirius, it is Morris' Sirius that corrects out in front and successfully defends the Classic Class title. Third place for Laurie Piper's Schooner Atlanta is enough to hold onto second overall. The rapid advancement of Gundel's Letizia takes over third overall relegating Tom Howard's 100+ year old gaff rigged schooner Seraph, skippered by local Thai Capt Bao down to fourth overall.
The introduction of Junior Phuket Raceweek for young sailors on Optimist and Topper dinghy's is another great initiative to introduce locals to the sport and a welcome addition to producing future talent. Plans are already afoot to make Junior and Senior Raceweek bigger and better next year. So mark down July 16th 20th next year, in the diary if you want to enjoy some tropical five star sailing action.
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