Sawadee.com Regatta 2009, SamuiFinal 2008-09 AY Grand Prix Championship Event
day of tropical sailing...
Long reaching legs and tough slogs to windward favoured the big boats on this occasion. Frank Pong's R/P 75 Boracay led the way around the course but breathing down his transom was Neil Pryde's Welbourne 52 Hi Fi that added a third win to their tally. Once again the TP 52's had a good battle with Sam Chan's Ffreefire 52 claiming second place and this time getting the better of Bill Bremner/Andy Cocks owned Foxy Lady IV in third place. Overall Neil Pryde and Hi Fi have built a healthy lead followed by Matt Allen's Beneteau First 44.7 Ichi Ban and Ray Roberts DK46 Quantum Racing in third overall.
The seven Premier Cruising yachts excelled in the fresh conditions and judging by the happy faces and favourble comments, it is just what the doctor ordered. All powered up Dr Ian Nicholson's Dubois 80 Intrigue crossed the finish line with a roar of cheers and high fives all round. Unfortunately not far enough in front of Peter Churchhouse's Warwick 64 Moonblue 2 that went on to take the handicap honours. The leaders are finding it to hard to shake Marcel Leits Beneteau 50 Blauwvoet off their tail, that held on for second place and takes a handy overall lead at this stage. Dr Ian Nicholson's Intrigue ended up in third place with Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid in fourth and holding onto second place overall.
With the increase in breeze the IRC/Sportsboat class has had a change of fortune. Kipson Beck's Shaw 6.5 Pornstar got up onto the plane on the long reaching legs to leave the other boats in her wake and take out the daily double. Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic made up on the beats to windward but could not hold onto Pornstar on the downwind legs and had to settle on third place. Not to be left out in the cold Ken Eyears Oracle 32 Waka Tere stayed on the pace to eventually become sandwiched between Pornstar and Panic for second place today. This makes it Displacement Boats 2 - Planning Boats 1. The juggling of results has narrowed in the overall score with Panic leading Waka Tere by a point and Pornstar a further point behind in third overall.
It was hard to distinguish the Multihulls in all the spray and mist but when it settled Fergus Wilmer and Henry Kaye's Seacart 30 Thor peaked at 20 plus knots and averaged over ten knots around the 22nm course to pick up Line Honours way in front of the next boat. But was this enough? Peter Dyer's Firefly 850 SEA Property was next to cross the line and when the computer spat out the numbers they took over the lead by a mere 53 seconds. Interest levels increased as Radab Kanjanavanit's F9-A Cedar Swan approached the line with speed. Another round of number crunching saw Cedar Swan take the handicap honours in front of SEA Property with Thor reduced to third after her almighty effort. On the Overall score sheet SEA Property leads the way by one point from Thor and another point back is Cedar Swan. It does not get much closer than this and anything can happen from here.
In the Bareboat Charter Class the Aussie's led by Andrew Short's Oceanis 461 Constanza, just keep getting better and better by recording three wins in a row and go directly to the top of the leader board. Hong Kong's Chin Yew Seah on the Sunsail 39 Bussakorn made a determined effort to change the order and succeeded with second place. John Stall's Sunsail OC361 Perigot with the Samui youth sailors onboard also made some improvements to lay claim on third place. Aussie Howard Blowes Sunsail 43 Milliebella ran into some difficulties and was forced to retire.
Racing continues tomorrow and with the wind expected to increase even more and all classes open for the taking, there is still plenty of action yet to come.
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Sawadee.com Regatta Samui
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