- Hurry up and wait, wait, wait...
The Firefly 850 One-Design class were first away and despite a botched port tack start, Hans Rahmann/Ian Coulson's Voodoo clawed their way back through the fleet, to give buoy room to the highly fancied John Newnham's Twin Sharks at the bottom mark. Then went on to take the win by 52 seconds from Twin Sharks in the tricky conditions. George Eddings Blue Nose followed through with third place, with Neil Ayre's Advanced Racing Team (Mamba) only two seconds adrift in fourth place.
Next up were the four Corsair Pulse 600’s nervously approaching the line and Charles Robinson Su Du Yellow recalled on his debut race. Aussie Mick Tilden's Pixalux Sudu Blue fended off a challenge from Zam Bevan's H30 and continued on his winning ways to take the honours. China's Jiamin Qu Phuket Island Radio forced their way through to take second place, leaving Bevan's H30 settling in third place.
Liz Schoch and the all girl crew on Phuket Boat Lagoon Fox took advantage of the difficult conditions and scorched around the course to eclipse the other Platu 25's, on their first outing as a One Design Class for many years. Clement Lim Phuket Boat Lagoon Weasel from Singapore jumped into second place, in front of Kev Scott's Absolute One Design with The Ferret being the oldest foredeck hand in the world, settling on third place.
The two TP 52's, preformed a match race around the course, with less than 50 meters separating them at any one time. Ray Roberts Millenium Racing I led off the line, only to be overhauled by Peter Ahern's syndicated Oi! on the first lap. Roberts was determined not to let them get away and stayed on the pace till the very end, to claim the handicap honours by 18 seconds, relegating Oi! to second.
Overnight some slight adjustments to the classes was carried out, to even up the entries by rating bands. This produced one of the closest finishes for the day. Only 11 seconds separated the three leading boats in the IRC Racing II class. As Ben Copley's recently acquired Ker 40 Gust (ex KukuKERchu) and Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine were battling it out for line honours, David Dimmock's Swan 42 Loco took a better line to the finish line and claimed the daily double by nine seconds. Leaving Bradley's Emagine in second place after miraculously recovering from a start recall and relegated Copley's Gust to third place in the process.
Ian Lodewyckx/ Keith O’Donnell's Farr 30 Foreign Affair led the IRC Racing III class around the course to claim both line and handicap honours. A master at closing in at the finish, Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix slotted into second place with Rex Hollyoake/Troy Scott's Krabi Boat Lagoon Piccolo in third. Paul Scholten's Soto 30 Moon Smile showed bursts of speed on the spinnaker runs but ended up in fourth.
The combined IRC Cruising/Charter Class turned into a very timid affair. On time and with speed at the start, Jim Oosterweghel's Hanse 400 Venture streaked away into the distance but eventually overtaken by Keith Garry's X-412 BeauX Esprits in the dying moments by 8 seconds. To late as the damage was already done and the positions were reversed when the handicaps were applied. Also suffering from a late start, Jim Ellis' evergreen Remington came through the pack to slot into third place, as the familiar Canadian cry of 'Yee Haa' echoed across the water.
Nine Multihull's, some up to 40 foot wide approaching the startline at different speeds, is a sight to behold. How they all got cleanly away without crashing is amazing. Mark Horwood's Formula 40 trimaran Adrenalin, somehow found enough space to come through and take the start. It wasn't long before the Stealth catamarans were on the pace and together with Henry Kaye's Seacart 30 Thor, made their way through the pack. At the end, defending champion Alan Carwadine's Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane is once again top of the result sheet. Matching them blow for blow, John Coffin's sister ship Java, is only 17 seconds behind in second place. Peter Wood's new Stealth 13s Top Cat, clawed his way into third spot, with the others breathing heavily down his neck.
Racing continues tomorrow and although the weather prediction is worse than today, there is hope and optimism that it will turn up roses.
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