Ray Roberts eyes fourth King’s Cup trophy after Day 2 and 3
PHUKET: Cooler weather brought slightly lower wind speeds for the third day (December 4) of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, creating conditions that required good tactical decisions from all of the teams.
In the IRC0 class, Ray Roberts’ OneSails Racing team continued their exceptional form to secure another win today in race four, and a 2nd place in race five, won by Neil Pryde’s Hifi team. The team came in 3rd place in the final race of the day, with the last winner being team “Oi!” from Australia. Today’s results put OneSails Racing at the top of the table in IRC0, four points clear of Ahern Bailey Wilmer’s “Oi!”.
Ray Roberts, Skipper of OneSails Racing, said, “We have a crew which consists of English, Malay, Australian and Singaporean sailors, a mix of professional (full-time) and amateur sailors. Our big advantage has been in our new sails, which are fused with carbon fiber; we have a lighter sail and a different shape. Apart from this, the light conditions require a mix of understanding of sail shapes, weather patterns, sailing tactics, race craft relative to the wind, so you need people who are highly proficient. We raced our first King’s Cup in 1995 and won it, plus a further two King’s Cup wins after. We are now focused on this week as being our fourth King’s Cup victory.”
IRC1 class yesterday was won again by Bill Bremner’s Foxy Lady VI, following several excellent wins over the first two days of racing. Yesterday’s final race went to EFG Bank Mandrake team, with Foxy Lady in 2nd place – the first time they have not won this week. Foxy Lady and her crew are shaping up to be clear favorites in IRC1 however, with a huge point advantage going into the final two days.
In IRC2, Yasuo Nanamori and Karasu took victory with another excellent couple of runs, achieving two wins yesterday and establishing themselves as unrivaled leaders in the division; they have won every race they have entered in this year’s Regatta.
Anthony Root’s Red Kite II team took the win in IRC3 race four, with the Royal Thai Navy team finishing in 5th place. LT. JG. Pontep Sookudom’s team will be trying very hard in the final two days to find the sort of pace they enjoyed yesterday. Peter Dyer’s Madam Butterfly (Team Kata Rocks) took the win in yesterday’s second race, in which the Royal Thai Navy was 3rd. Red Kite II now leads the table ahead of Ichi Ban.
In Premier class, Pine-Pacific were once more a long way ahead of all rivals, finishing first and consolidating their position at the top of the table.
Ithinai Yingsiri, Skipper of Pine-Pacific, said, “The preparation we have undertaken with a crew that was together for last year’s Regatta has been key to our success so far. We were 2nd last year but this time we are enjoying winds between 10 and 12 knots which is suiting us well. If the wind stays reasonably strong tomorrow, we will maintain our advantage over the lesser-handicapped teams. If we continue to make strong improvements and keep away from making any mistakes, we can be class winners at this year’s Regatta.”
Amongst the Sports Boats, IPPAI followed up their great form with another two wins, with rivals Planet Blue finishing in 4th (last) place in both races yesterday. The Japanese team look unassailable at the top of the class, having won all but one of their races.
In the Bareboat Charter class, Venture (AUS) were fastest on corrected times. The team is sitting on top of the table but a large number of competing teams are separated by small points differences.
In the Open Charter class, Gokova Sailing Agata won yesterday giving them a good chance to catch up with Sarawadee who lead the table.
The Firefly 850 Sports class is being dominated by John Newnham skippering “Twin Sharks” with the team achieving another two class victories yesterday. They are now firmly at the top of the table in this one-design series.
In Multihull Racing class, Asia Catamarans Hurricane came in with another two wins to maintain their top-of-class position.
In Multihull Cruising class, “Minnie” skippered by Japanese competitor Norikazu Arai and his crew placed 1st. They are now joint top with Russian rivals Ariana.
Amongst the Modern Classics, Jim Ellis’s Remington team were quickest again, following a win in the first two races, and now lead the division.
Sunshine Schooner skippered by Peter Wood was quickest again in the Classic class, to record another win on Regatta day three to stay top of the class.
Lady Bubbly won the Cruising class race yesterday, creating a nice duel to be played out over the Regatta with nearest rival Rumrunner11 skippered by Chris Hillier.
This year’s Regatta, the 27th Phuket King’s Cup, has delivered racing that has lived up to its billing as Asia’s best large sports sailing event. Combined with its renowned series of beach-side parties, great food, and drinks and hospitality provided by the Regatta’s sponsors, the 2013 “jewel in the crown of the Asian yachting calendar” will be another memorable King’s Cup year.
Following is the report for the second day’s action in case you missed it:
Day 2 (December 3) roundup
Changing winds made for a technical challenge and generally good racing conditions on day two of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, with top contenders across all classes looking for strong early point scores.
Ray Robert’s OneSails Racing team followed up a win yesterday in IRC0 class with another excellent first place yesterday in race three. Neil Pryde’s Hifi team finished 2nd. OneSails has established awesome pace over the two race days, with yesterday’s vacillating winds between 8-15 knots providing ample opportunities for the team to maximise their advantage with good decisions on tactics and sails.
The level of competition in IRC0 class has been very high this year, with popular Thai team Won Marang struggling to make headway against faster boats. Skipper Kevin Whitcraft explained, “Yesterday we had challenging wind that was constantly shifting, which is good fun but leaves no room for error with decision-making. The fastest boats were finished before the light wind set in, basically hampering the slower boats finishes. You simply need to sail the perfect race; we ran well downwind on the right spinnaker but missed our chance to change to a spinnaker more suitable to the ensuing lighter conditions. You need a bit of luck and a bit of skill also.”
IRC1 class yesterday saw yesterday’s victors Foxy Lady VI win again yesterday. The Singaporean team are establishing the pace early on but several teams will look to overturn their dominance over the course of the week.
In IRC2 yesterday, Peter Sorensen’s Fujin team came back strongly to take the win on day two, with yesterday’s top performing Karasu team managing only 2nd place.
The Royal Thai Navy team was victorious In IRC3 yesterday, racing home for the win following adjustments for handicap rating. LT. JG. Pontep Sookudom led his team to the line behind several rivals, but the team performed very well to overcome their handicap deficit.
In Premier class, Pine Pacific were a long way ahead of all rivals, finishing 1st and building upon their strong performance in the first race yesterday.
The third race of the Sports Boat class was won by Planet Blue, skippered by Kazumi Asai.
The large Bareboat Charter class fleet presented an exciting battle, with Peter Kochnev and Sail Experts taking the win in “Rambutan.”
In the Open Charter class, Russian Maxim Taranov skippered “Little Eva” to take 1st place ahead of the “Sarawadee” team.
The Firefly 850 Sports class was won by John Newnham skippering “Twin Sharks,” building further on their victory and 2ndplace earned yesterday.
In Multihull Racing class, Asia Catamarans Hurricane came in two minutes behind nearest
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