By AsianYachting MultiMedia
05 Dec 2013: The days proceedings started with a sail past the Royal Thai Navy vessels from the Third Naval Area Command at Cape Promthep, to honour HM the King of Thailand's 86th birthday.
Crews lined up on their yachts chanting three cheers, doffing their caps and some even singing Happy Birthday. A parade of sail is an appropriate way for International sailors to pay homage to Thailand's royal sailing family, that have supported yachting events all these years. Right on cue at 10am as Thai Navy 1 started the procession, it began raining and drizzled on and off throughout the day. After the sail past the boats continued out to sea to begin Race Day 4. Despite the overcast sky and drizzle, a 10 to 12 knot East North Easterly enabled the race officers to send the Cruisers on an island course and the racing classes got stuck into windward/leeward races.
As it seemed doubtful that there was enough wind to complete an island course, PRO Ross Chisholm decided to continue with windward/leeward races for the IRC racing classes. Once again the wins were shared amongst the 52 footers, with Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi taking Race 8 and Ray Roberts’ TP52 One Sails triumphant in Race 7 and 9, to open up a four point lead in the overall stakes. Three second places for Peter Ahern's TP52 Oi! breaks the tie for second overall in their favour and depending on how many races are held tomorrow, the podium places are still open for the taking. Line honours favourite Frank Pong's Custom 75 Jelik just can't generate enough steam to convert to handicap wins and reclines back in fourth place. A battle within a battle between Ben Copley's RP45 Katsu and Kevin Whitcraft's GP 42 Wan Marang is taking place at the rear of the fleet, with only one point separating them for 5th and 6th places.
Adding three more wins to their tally, Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 has a strangle hold on the IRC 1 title with one day to go. At the press conference Bill reiterated the old cliche 'Never count the chickens before they hatch' and added 'We have contested 10 King's Cup on five different boats and finished second on four occasions but never won. Its been unbelievable surviving the tricky conditions, amongst the tidal overflows, 60 degree wind shifts and varying strength we managed to find some big lifts and pressure to help us along the way'. Singapore rivals, Sarab Jeet Singh's Sydney 40 Mod Windsikher have consistently scored podium places and not finished worse than fourth to regain second overall in their own right. Back on the pace with 2, 4, 2 score line, Patrick Pender/Jamie McWilliam's Ker 40 Signal 8 leap frogs Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake into third overall.
Japan's Yasuo Nanamori's Beneteau First 40.7 Karasu, has proved to be unstoppable with 7 wins in a row, they could afford to blot their score sheet with a second place and still seal the IRC 3 Class title. Not one to give up, Peter Sorensen's Beneteau 44.7 Fujin is the only boat to take a win against Karasu and in doing so stepped up to second overall. Slightly out of luck in the tricky conditions, Denis Sarana's Beneteau First 40 No Applause slipped down to third overall in the race for the remaining podium places.
Anthony Root's Archambault 35 Red Kite II progressively improved through the day with a 4, 2, 1 score line to increase their overall lead to seven points. Matt Allen's defending champion Ichi Ban finally broke through for a win but being called over the line on the next race has ruined their chance of making a comeback. By winning the second race today, Peter Dyer's Humphry's 3/4 tonner Team Kata Rocks secured third overall in their own right after a couple bad results mid regatta.
Less than a minute separated Gian Luca Braggiotti's Swan 76 Silandra V and Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri's X-55 Pine-Pacific at the finish line but the smaller Pine-Pacific made it four wins in a row to lead the Premier Cruising Class by a healthy margin over Silandra V. By claiming second place today, Brian Pozzey''s Beneteau F53 Sailing Adventures (Ex Baby Tonga) climbs up into third overall and dispatches Christoph Ganswindt's Hanse 545 Pachmo down to fourth overall.
After five hours of racing the Cruising and Classic classes that embarked on an islands course and due to the fading breeze, were finished back at the last gate they all passed through. David Boekemann's Hanse 400 Venture was awarded first place and added to their exemplary 2, 2, 1, 1 scoreline and failing any mishaps tomorrow are in line for the Bareboat Charter Class title. Second place for Nikolay Shkurin's First 45 Sita restores them to second overall. By dipping down to seventh place today, Petr Kochnev's Sun Odyssey 44i Rambutan is relegated to third overall but still has a chance of improving as they are only one point behind Sita.
As up to ten boats were over the start line when the horn sounded, a general recall was signaled and a warning issued about the cross current. First place for Nikiforov's Sun Odyssey 32 Sarawadee cements their place at the top of the Open Bareboat class. Second for Vladimir Oleynikov's Gokova Sailing Agata and third for Maxim Taranov's Bavaria 34 Little Eva has them tied on six points for second overall and all to play for.
Sam Butler-Hogg's S/Y Argo breasted the Classic Class start line, but it was not long before Peter Wood's and his crew on the Gaff Rigged Schooner Sunshine Schooner, wound them back in and left them in their wake. Sunshine Schooner managed to finish the course to make it four wins in a row, while S/Y Argo recorded Did Not Finish (DNF) and will settle in second overall. The result does not really matter to these classic boats and we can only be thankful to the owners for bringing them out to play in all their splendor.
Simon Piff's crew on his Lavranos 34 Rainbow Dream dug deep into their book of tricks today, to finally win a race in the Cruising Class. Second place for Chris Hillier's Cole 43 Rumrunner 11 and third for Christine Cuthbertson's Basanti, leaves the overall leader Chris Mitchell's Nat 40 Lady Bubbly in fourth. This result has shortened the points difference to two points between the leading trio and the title is open for the taking.
A win for Peter Waa's Farr 1104 Farrgo Express breaks Cruising Jim Ellis' S&S 42 Remington winning streak. Second place for Remington becomes their drop race and with a three point lead, Ellis and the crew can put the champagne on ice, ready for the celebration tomorrow night. Although Horst Latkis / Mr Wayne Pan Swan 55 Taihu Shanshui Marina - Big A slotted into third place, it is Patinyakorn 'Ging' Buranro's Commanche 42 Sansiri that holds onto third in the overall stakes.
Although John Newnham's Twin Sharks opened today's proceedings with fourth place, they quickly recovered their composure and posted two bullets in succession, to place both hands firmly on the Firefly 850 Sports Class trophy. Hans Rahmann's defending champion Voodoo, won the first race and 3rd and 4th in subsequent races, trail Twin Sharks by eight points and most likely to hand over the title. Two second places for Neil Eyre's Advanced Racing, comes a little to late in proceedings as Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi has booked third overall
Incredibly Alan Carwardine's Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane has scored eight Multihull Racing wins in a row and the only team in the regatta to keep a clean score sheet. Two second places and one third, keeps Mark Pescott's Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci in second overall. Scott Duncanson's Stealth 11.8 Multihull Solutions comes to rest in third overall and a great performance for a monohull sailor turning his talents to multihull's. After a good start to the regatta, Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo has slumped to fourth overall, but all is not lost if they regain form, as a podium place is still possible.
By posting another win, Norikazu Arai's Lagoon 410 Minnie has clinched the Cruising Multihull title. Second place for Nikikov's Sunsail 384 Ariana secures the silver medal, leaving Roman Shirokov's Lagoon 380 Star Fruit the bronze medal.
Six wins out of eight races gives Makiko Matsuishi's IPPAI the Sportsboat title. Lincoln Redding's Team Tornado and Toshio Furuta's Sakura followed suite with second and third places, to finish in the same order in the overall placing's.
The windsurfers started their competition today. Thailand's Navin Singsart was fastest on the day in all four races, with Thai rival Patharadanai Chinin following closely behind. Thai star Ek Boonsawad finished third. Siriporn Kaewduangngam and Sarocha Prumprai were joint quickest in the Women’s Open class. Thailand absolutely ruled the opening day of the windsurfing, with a large number of international competitors trailing in their wake.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing and sailors will welcome a well earned rest, after five full days of racing in challenging conditions. The Royal Awards Ceremony and prize presentations will follow at the Closing Party hosted by the Kata Beach Resort & Spa and home of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.