delight - winds pumping in...
Match racing took on a new meaning today as Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing and Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi started the day with dial-ups and dial downs followed by covering tacks and gybes around the entire 3 race courses. After yesterdays disappointment Ray Roberts was a lot happier with the Evolution Racing crew work when they picked up Race 3 (Protest pending) to get one back on Neil Pryde. Not to be outdone Pryde fired back in Race 4 to score their third win of the regatta and relegate Roberts back to second place. Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II (Boracay) and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Mills 51 EFG Mandrake shared third places in the first two races today.
After a short consensus, all boats decided to have a third race, so it was back to the hard grind and see if they could find that extra knot of boat speed. In a close fought battle it was Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II that triumphed over the dueling duo, were Roberts Evolution Racing claimed second place and Pryde's Hi Fi in third. Only five seconds separated first and second places with third place a further 39 seconds behind. Good value for the IRC rating system, as a mere forty four seconds separated the first three yachts after a little over an hour of racing. Pryde now has a two point lead over Roberts in the Overall stakes after five races have been completed and the way things are shaping up this series has a lot of twists and turns to come yet.
By starting at the boat end right from the go and pushing the pedal to the metal, with exceptional crew work, for the entire race earned David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu Race 3 victory in the IRC Class. Robert van Paridon's Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum also enjoyed the fresher conditions and pulled up in second place. Ben Copley's Club Swan NY 42OD Katsu has been chasing a win all regatta and although they have taken line honours today they just cannot convert it to handicap honours and had to settle on third place. Kukukerchu now takes the overall lead by two points from Katsu who will need to go harder to overcome the deficit.
Jon Wardill's well traveled Cassidy 55 Australian Maid came to the fore today in the Premier Cruising class and snatched victory just before the mainsail split in two. Peter Forsythe and Jing Lee's X55 Xena claimed second place in as many days and yesterdays winner Gary Baguley's Holman & Pye 52 El Coyote slotted into third to tie the overall score for the three front runners at four points a piece. The biggest boat in the fleet Dr Ian Nicholson's Dubois 80 Intrigue reveled in the strong breeze to out sail the others and take line honours much to the crews pleasure.
Despite Scott Finisten's absence the CYCA gang on the Oceanis 461 Andrew Short - Constanza claimed the daily double and kept the yacht on track for the Bareboat/Cruising class title for three years in a row. Nigel Hopkins Oyster Lightwave 48 Celere made it two second places in two races and slotted into second overall. The Singapore Management University (SMU) Team on the Sunsail 39 Bussakorn, successfully managed to score third place and stay in the overall running.
In the Multihull class Kirati Assakul's (Nim) Crowther 42 Sonic once again kept the locally built bi-plane rigged catamarans at bay to score first place and take the overall lead after two races. Kunta's (Samui Ocean Sports} Radical Bay Team Zazen took line honours but drops to second place again after handicaps have been applied but presently is the best of the bi-plane rigged pickled forks. Kim Thomas' Storm once again had to settle on third place today. Mick Grover's newly launched Yachting Siam 750 Mia Noi is the only bi-plane to carry a spinnaker and despite the hoist ending in the water, once the crew got it sorted the boat showed a tremendous burst of speed.
Racing continues tomorrow with more of the same fun and games for all.
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