Evolution Racing wins Phuket King’s Cup 2010

PHUKET: Ray Roberts and his Evolution Racing crew just held onto series honors today to win the 24th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.

It was a dramatic start for Roberts. Missing the start gun put Evolution at the back of the pack on the start line.

Then the big boat of the fleet, Frank Pong’s Jelik III, along with Song Xia Qun’s Jelik V and Hannes Waimer’s Team Premier were called over the line – and had to return to cross the start line again.

This gave Sam Chan’s FreeFire the chance to come out fighting and with HiFi streaked ahead of the Racing fleet.

By the third time around the top mark, FreeFire had edged out HiFi and ultimately claimed both line and handicap honors.

Defending Racing class champion HiFi placed second and Team Premier third.

“There was a lot of current carrying us over the line. We got lined up a little bit too early and then we couldn’t bail out quick enough. Everybody just kept compressing up because of the amount of current,” Roberts explained after the race.

“Then we had to have another go at the start. We got into a little bit of bad gas and then the breeze started to shut down and got quite fickle.

“We were forced off to one side [of the course], which was the side that never paid. But we gained a lot on the last run,” he said.

Roberts commended his competition. “The HiFi guys sailed really well and so did FreeFire. I take my hat off to FreeFire. They battled all week and this time they got it together,” he said.

An exuberant Chan praised his crew’s work in the tough conditions. “At last we have done it. We had a few bad races before. The crew have done well in the last two races.

“On the first day we ripped our light jib and our medium jib is not forgiving. You can’t move the boat in the light wind without the light jib. We got it back, but we didn’t use it today and we were faster. The crew work was perfect: every gybe, every manoeuvre,” Chan said.

Second overall Pryde was tired, but understanding of his team’s result. “It was hard work today. We led [on corrected time] for 95% of the race. We lost it on the last run as FreeFire is lighter than us,” he said.

The provisional Racing Class top three series results are: Evolution 12 points, HiFi 13 points, FreeFire 27 points.

A protest is pending on the final race.

Full series report to follow.

For full provisional results, click here.

Phuket News

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