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Phuket King’s Cup set for “hat trick’ history



Phuket King’s Cup set for “hat trick’ history | Thaiger

PHUKET: The final day of racing in the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta tomorrow may go down in the history books as the first King’s Cup in which not one, but two yachts have accomplished a sporting achievement not seen in nearly a decade – winning a King’s Cup Regatta hat trick.

The feat was last achieved by Bill Gasson when he won the keelboat class in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

Although Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban in the IRC1 class have not managed a repeat of their record-setting clean sweep of the IRC1 class they achieved last year, they already have their trophy in the bag.

The crew have an unassailable lead with a 1-2-1-3-1-1-3 scorecard.

The battle tomorrow for the remaining IRC 1 podium places will be between the Peter Wintle’s Koull Baby, Ben Copley’s Katsu and Rick Overton and Kenn Eyears’ Kukukerchu.

But in the IRC 2 class, CPO Wiwat Poonpat’s Royal Thai Navy 1 will have a fight on their hands for their hat trick, with only one race left on the racing program.

Royal Thai Navy 1 currently lead the class on nine points, but only on “countback”.

King’s Cup veteran Peter Dyer and his Team Sea Bees crew, skippered by Jamie Watts, also have nine points.

Royal Thai Navy 1 lead the class because they have scored three first-place finishes, while Team Sea Bees has won only two races – so far.

If Team Sea Bees win their race tomorrow, they will win the class on “discards”.

Royal Thai Navy 1 has discarded a five-point finish, but Team Sea Bees has discarded only four points.

Phuket is well represented in the Multihull class, with the top three boats in contention for first place.

David Liddell’s Miss Saigon, Andy Pape’s Da Vinci and Henry Kaye’s Thor are comfortably at the top of the 12-boat fleet.

Kaye, the defending class champion after a clean-sweep win last year, will be desperate to defend his title even though he has missed out on a clean win after achieving a 5-1-2-10-1-4 scorecard.

And then comes the big boys in the Racing class. Ray Roberts’ Evolution Racing is back in form leading on eight points.

Defending champion Neil Pryde’s HiFi is in second place on 11 points.

Pryde has won the King’s Cup four times; Roberts has won three times.

Will Roberts match Pryde’s record?

The spectators and fellow Racing class crews can’t wait to find out.

HiFi tactician Tony Rae is keeping practical about his boat’s chance of winning the series.

“You never know what tomorrow will bring. You just have to go into it and try and win like any other day, sail the best you can and let the rest of it pan out.

“The conditions are very tricky here and you never know till you get out there if it is going to be heavy or light air. Our only strategy for the last race is to sail the very best we can,” he said.

Racing starts at about 9am tomorrow.

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