The Phuket High Season weather turned on the taps at last night’s Opening Party, but made up for the deluge with a clear, calm and altogether sparkling morning today. By 0800 most boats were clear of Kata Bay and heading towards their respective race areas – Course Seraph for the various Cruising and Classic classes, Course Marie G for the Racing classes.
Maybe it was Monday-morning-itis. Maybe it was just a shake-down time. Maybe it was the idyllic weather – sunshine, flat water and 12kts from the north east. But one way or another starts on both course areas were substantially delayed by shifty breeze and some errant buoyage and ground tackle.
When proceedings got under way on Course Marie G, PRO Ross Chisholm was able to fire off two back-to-back windward-leeward courses for IRC classes 0-3, the Fireflies, Sportsboats and Racing Multihulls. Settling in at around 040?, the breeze gradually died until at 1430h the decision was made not to attempt any more racing today.
To the north, on Course Seraph, some competitors reported difficulty plotting the announced marks on their charts, and others had trouble finishing with the Committee Boat to starboard. Like we said, shake-down stuff.
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2013. Red Kite 2 - © Guy Nowell/Phuket King's Cup
Just one day’s racing is not much on which to base performance judgements, but some boats came out of the traps at full tilt and made a statement of intent. Bill Bremner’s Foxy Lady VI, fresh from a win at the Raja Muda, posted two wins from two races in the IRC 1 division, and so did Karasu (IRC 2), Red Kite 2 (IRC 3) and Ippai (Sportsboats). Ray Roberts and OneSails opened the batting in IRC 0 with a 3, 1 which is good enough to lead the last after the first day. The only King’s Cup Virgin in this particular collection is Anthony Root’s very well-sailed A35, Red Kite 2, presently ‘on tour’ from Hong Kong where she has been won pretty much everything in her class for the last three years. 'We felt it was time to broaden our horizons,' said Root. Many of the Red Kite crew are well experienced in Phuket waters, and we figured that if the Asia fleet isn’t coming to Hong Kong (yet) then we’d better take ourselves to the fleet. There are four more days of racing to go, but starting fast feels good and we will be working very hard indeed to hold on to our lead.'
IRC 3 could well be the division to watch over the next few days. Red Kite is off to a flying start, but Matt Allen (Ichiban) is not one to be walked over, and Peter Dyer’s Kata Rocks (Madame Butterfly) fights a good fight every time. Rock N Rolla (Greg Reynolds) got up for a second place today, and it’s a long time since we saw the Royal Thai Navy (5, 8) pushed off the podium. There’s going to be some scrapping in this division.
Tomorrow – breeze permitting – the race management are planning a resuscitation of the Andaman Sea Race, a straight line reaching course to Koh Racha and back. Some boats love it – ask Frank Pong if size really does matter when he gets Jelik’s 76’ waterline up to speed. Whatever, it is part of the character and variety of Asia’s premier regatta. We look forward to seeing you on the water tomorrow, and if you are unlucky enough not to be in sunny Phuket, then we’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Full results of today’s racing can be found at:
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2013.Oi! and OneSails. - © Guy Nowell/Phuket King's Cup
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2013. - © Guy Nowell/Phuket King's Cup
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia
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5:22 PM Mon 2 Dec 2013GMT
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