Double victories for Team Premier and Voodoo at Phuket’s Raceweek

PHUKET: Six Senses Phuket Raceweek faced unusually calm conditions on day one and kept crews in eager anticipation for the start of Asia best regatta.

The Answering Pennant (AP) had been raised by Principal Race Officer (PRO) Simon James to signal that racing was postponed, but winds soon picked up to a worthy 13 knots and jockeying for the start line began.

Bon Island was deemed the best start point, and just before 1.30pm the AP was dropped. Once in sequence, the boats of Classic Class sped off to navigate around the islands course as winds grew gradually stronger.

Next into sequence was the IRC Racing fleet that faced a windward-leeward course one. Jing Jing skippered by Rick Pointon raced ahead from the start, but Neil Pryde on Team Premier soon got to grips with his chartered TP52 and chased down the leader.

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Team Premier eventually took line honors and the handicap win by just 26 seconds based on corrected time. Jing Jing held on to second ahead of Scott Duncanson Quantum Fusion M in third place.

In race two, Team Premier secured a second victory on corrected time from David Ross on the new Kerr 40 KukuKERChu, while Jing Jing placed third.

IRC 2 and IRC 3 started together on course three. The highly charged competition prompted an early start by Ruby Tuesday skippered by John Vause, and was called On the Course Side (OCS).

Peter Dyer’s Team Sea Bees deservedly took line honors and the handicap win in race one of IRC 2 with WDB Endeavour of Whitby skippered by Stuart Williamson placing second. The 1976 Sydney to Hobart winner, Piccolo, skippered by Mark Chapman took third.

Piccolo was triumphant in race two with Royal Thai Navy 4 with Cdr. Pornprom Sakultem on board in second and Team Sea Bees gaining third.

IRC 3 race one saw local boat Remington skippered by Jim Ellis take the handicap win, without a spinnaker. Rob Azzopardi Dreamtime finished in second and Venture skippered by Mike Crisp placed third.

Graham Collar Linda was first in race two with Dreamtime in second and Rambutan skippered by Phillip Grove coming in third.

Course three was also given for the one-design Firefly Class. The Phuket-built multihulls never fail to generate exciting and close racing. The lead changed constantly in race one, but it was Voodoo with Ian Coulson and Clarance Tayong onboard who took the win. Peter Dyer on Team Land and Houses came in second and Twin Sharks skippered by John Newnham finishing third.

A good spell of sailing earned Voodoo a second win while Team Land and Houses placed second and Twin Sharks again finished in third place.

Miss Saigon skippered by David Liddell was race favorite following last weekend’s victory at the Phuket Multihull Regatta. She led the Multihull Class race one from the start, but couldn’t shrug her pursuers. DaVinci skippered by Paul Larsen took first place on corrected time despite Miss Saigon taking the line. Neil Ayre’s Shanghai Baby placed third.

DaVinci again claimed first with a handicap win in race two. Sidewinder skippered by Alan Carwardine placed second while third went to Miss Saigon.

Simon James set a single ’round-the-island’ scenic course for Classic Class. Mark Myking’s Idiom took first place from Seraph skippered by Khun Bao by less than two minutes after three hours of sailing.

Friday, July 22 Race Day 2

10am: Racing off the east coast of Phuket

3pm-7pm: Free-flow all drinks at Regatta Party Bar

5pm: Prize giving

5:30pm: Buffet dinner

The Phuket Gazette is a proud sponsor of the Best Regatta in Asia.

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— Neil Quail

Phuket News
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