by Event Media
All change on day three of the Samui Regatta as the drop in wind strength shuffled the pack. A windward/Leeward for all classes was set in a building breeze, but by early in the second race, a passage race South, the winds died and kicked back in later ensuring a full schedule of races were completed.
2013 Samui Regatta
Coming into today undefeated, Frank Pong and his crew on Jelik (HKG) struggled in the first race to place fifth in IRC Zero, despite taking Line Honours. The win was Antipodes', who has had a mixed bag of results so far but got upto speed to secure the win by the slimmest of margins – just two seconds on corrected time.
The Royal Malaysian Navy (MAS), skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, sailed a good first race to take second place 11 seconds ahead of Sam Chan's Freefire (HKG). Just 63 seconds separated the entire IRC Zero fleet in race one.
In race two, Jelik was back on form, revelling in the distance race and improving winds, taking his sixth win from seven starts and stretching out an eight point lead overall in the standings.
Katsu (AUS), skippered by Ben Copley pipped the Royal Malaysian Navy to second and moves up to third overall, tied with the Royal Malaysian Navy team.
The story of today was the rapidly improving Royal Malaysian Navy team and how close all the IRC Zero boats are on handicap, with little more than a minute often separating the entire class on corrected time.
It was a similar story in IRC One today with leader Walawala 2 (SIN), skippered by Steve Manning, struggling in the lighter conditions and slipping down to two fifth place finishes. That opened the door for Bill Bremner and his crew on Foxy Lady 6 (SIN) who put in a fantastic performance in the challenging conditions to score two bullets and take the overall lead.
Windsikher (SIN), skippered by Sarab Singh, placed second in race one, just two seconds behind Foxy Lady 6 on corrected time, while Marcel Liedts' Elektra (HKG) 3,2 on the day saw them move up the standings into third overall, two points behind Walawala 2.
A four, today for defending champions EFG Bank Mandrake (HKG), skippered by Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth, sees them slip down the scoreboard to lay fourth overall and four points off a podium position.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia afficianado, Matt Allen, helming Ichi Ban (AUS) proclaimed his superiority of the IRC Two class, adding two first placings to his previous three firsts on the first two days, to be virtually unassailable in this fleet, with two more days of sailing to go.
2013 Samui Regatta
But, fighting him all the way in second place is Pattaya-based Gary Baguley skippering El Coyote (THA) who sailed down to Samui from the Ocean Marina. As in the previous races, Italy's Bryan Coianiz skippering Siren remained in third, while Nicholas Smith's Free Wind (THA) moved into fourth place.
In a division of the IRC Two which the racing committee will implement at Saturday's awards ceremonies, Nicholas Smith also found himself at the top of the Bareboat/Cruising class, ahead of the Ao Chalong entry Sansiri (THA) skippered by Patinyakorn Buranrom and the aptly-named The Waughship (AUS) piloted by Aussie Barry Waugh.
In the hard-fought Multihull class veteran racer Henry Kaye's Phuket-based craft, Sweet Chariot, (THA) after a disastrous start in the early races, has drawn close to class leader David Liddell's Miss Saigon (THA), but two firsts for Liddell today leaves him two points ahead overall, with Team Kunta/Zanzen sailing Crazy Horse (THA) in third place.
Tomorrow is a Reserve Day, racing continues on Friday off Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach.
Samui Regatta website