by Event Media
Samui returned to its glorious tropical ways for the final day of the 2013 Samui Regatta with 10 knots of breeze and building, under a blue sky with calm seas. PRO Ross Chisholm set two windward/leewards for all classes except IRC Zero, who needed just one more to complete their 10 race schedule.
Multihulls enjoying the racing at the 2013 Samui Regatta
Although Frank Pong's Jelik (HKG) had already wrapped up the IRC Zero title yesterday, he was out on the startline this morning, full of energy and with the bit between his teeth. Some tweaks to the set-up last night following their one,five yesterday saw Jelik back upto speed to take the final race win on the two nautical mile windward/leeward course. Jelik was crowned class winner and also the 2012/13 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship Skipper (Frank Pong) and Yacht (Jelik) of the Year.
Sam Chan's Freefire (HKG) placed second in the final race to secure second overall and, although finishing strongly with a third in the last race, it was not enough for the Royal Malaysian Navy entry Miri Marina Uranus (MAS), skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, to overhaul Ben Copley's Katsu (AUS) who took third place overall on countback.
Coming into the last day level on points were Foxy Lady 6 (SIN) and Walawala 2 (SIN) in IRC One. Business in Europe meant Bill Bremner, owner/ skipper of Foxy Lady 6, handed the helm to Steve McConaghy for the final day and the pressure was on.
Two windward/leewards were scheduled and in the shifty winds there was plenty of chance to gain points... and loose them. Foxy Lady 6 and Steve Manning's Walawala 2 battled over the short course to finish second and third respectively, behind the rapidly improving Elektra, skippered by Marcel Liedts.
Going into the final race, it was all to play for with a close three-way battle at the top. Having thrown away the lead last year on the final day, placing fifth in the last race and giving the title to EFG Bank Mandrake, all eyes were on the Foxy Lady 6 crew. Game on.
Windsikher (SIN), skippered by Sarab Singh, put in a good performance to finish second, missing out on the win by less than 10 seconds, and secure a comfortable fourth overall. A third for Elektra in the final race was enough to claim second overall and displace Walawala 2 who finished fourth in the last race and third in the overall standings. After the disappointment of last year, it was Foxy Lady 6's time to shine, triumphing in style with a win in the final race and the overall class title.
There's talk of a new Sydney GTS43 for Sarab Singh in the works, and also possibly for Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth, which is likely to add even more spice to the hot 40-footers in the region right now. Watch out for this class at Samui Regatta 2014.
A perfect ending to a perfect regatta – at least the winners in IRC Two, Bareboat/Cruising and Multihull classes thought as much. In fact, all competitors felt the same. Matt Allen, the Aussie ace from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, left a fellow-Aussie in charge of Ichi Ban (AUS), Scott Duncanson, who continued Allen's succession of wins to win handsomely IRC Two, scoring a total of nine successive firsts.
Pattaya sailor Gary Baguley held on grimly on El Coyote (THA), to be scored second in the class, followed by Thai-based Free Wind (THA), helmed by Nicholas Smith, Bryan Coianiz's Siren (THA) and Mick Grover's Thai entry Moon Shadow (THA).
But, there was additional kudos for these later finishers, as the Race Director sub-divided IRC Two into a Bareboat/Cruising class, with Free Wind taking the top placing, followed, in order, by Moon Shadow, Patinyakorn Buranrom's Thai-crewed Sansiri (THA), Aussie Barry Waugh's aptly-named The Waughship (AUS), and the Sailquest team from Ocean Marina on Paprika ll (THA). Only one point separated the second and third-placed boats.
Last, but definitely not least, was the ongoing struggle for supremacy in the Multihull class. David Liddell's consistency won the day and the Ao Chalong (Phuket) multi Miss Saigon (THA), beat fellow Phuket challenger Henry Kaye, on Sweet Chariot (THA), who finished some six points behind, with Samui team Crazy Horse (THA) dropping out of contention at the half-way mark.
A popular addition to this year's regatta has been the Standup Paddleboard Challenge, sponsored by JP Australia, NeilPryde and Kiteboarding Asia, with a competition run daily between sailors, crews, and even select media that took part. The top two of each day went through to a Grand Finale with the winner, Akira (nickname Splash) representing Walawala 2, taking away an inflatable board, pump and accessories worth over US$1,200.
The 2013 Samui Regatta, organised by leading regatta services provider Regattas Asia, has been a roaring success with some of the highest quality competition and closest racing on-the-water seen at any regatta in Asia, and many sailors announcing it the 'Best Racing in Asia'. The proceedings concluded with a lavish Gala Dinner and final awards presentation, including awarding the 2012/13 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship Skipper and Yacht of the Year, on the lawn at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Overall Series Results:
First Jelik, Frank Pong (13)
Second Freefire, Sam Chan (21)
Third Katsu, Ben Copley (29)
First Foxy Lady 6, Bill Bremner (24)
Second Elektra, Marcel Liedts (22)
Third Walawala 2, Steve Manning (23.5)
First Ichi Ban, Matt Allen (8)
Second El Coyote, Gary Baguley (16)
Third Free Wind, Nicholas Smith (29)
First Free Wind, Nicholas Smith (10)
Second Moon Shadow, Mick Grover (21)
Third Sansiri, Patinyakorn Buranrom (22)
First Miss Saigon, David Liddell (12)
Second Sweet Chariot, Henry Kaye (18)
Third Crazy Horse, Team Kunta/ Zanzen (29)
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