With the North Easterly gusting to 20-25 knots, many yachts reached their upper wind range, which caused a high rate of attrition today. Several mainsails blown out, spinnakers shredded and one dismasting were amongst the early retirements littering the anchorage at Kata Beach. The sail lofts will be busy long into the night. To make matters worse some confusion at the finishing line has resulted in many skippers requesting redress from the International jury. Despite all this, most crews relished the fresh conditions - IRC 0 & 1, Firefly and Multihull's completed a windward/leeward race before the fleet set off on a passage race around the islands to the South East of Phuket and a quick downwind slide back to the finish.
Initially the President of the King's Cup, Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 Won Ma Rang scored two wins, both by a mere two seconds and went directly to the top of the class. After redress, Frank Pong's R/P 76 Jelik took the daily double after having the hammer down on the long race and ends up on top of the scoreboard, tied with Won Ma Rang on 11 points in second place. Third and fourth for the Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Utarid skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor drops them from the top of the leaderboard to third spot. Although Ben Copley's RP45 Katsu shot into second place on the passage race, their fourth place in the first race leaves them in fourth overall.
By excelling in speed on the upwind legs, Steve Manning's Sydney GTS 43 Walawala 2 rammed home the short race and went on to claim the daily double on the passage race, to leap frog into second overall. David Fuller's chartered Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban and Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 traded second and fourth places, which leaves Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 grimly holding onto top spot by his fingernails in an extremely competitive class. Fuller's Ichi Ban continues to plague the fleet by keeping up with or in front of their nearest rivals to be tied on 13 points with Manning's Walawala 2 and holding onto third spot. Also keeping the pressure on is fourth placed Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake by staying on the pace and correcting out in front of the bigger boats in the handicap stakes.
Matt Allen's Adams 10 Ichi Ban stole the march on the rest of the IRC 2 fleet to claim the daily double and increase his lead in the pointscore. Provisionally Stuart Williamson's First 34.7 Skandia EOW holds onto second place but as the rest of the fleet have been recorded Did Not Finish (DNF) the results are subject to redress by the International jury and will not be available till tomorrow.
There is no stopping the reigning Firefly 850 Sports champion, Hans Rahmann on Voodoo as they blitzed the fleet with superior boat speed to win both races and extend their lead in the pointscore. Two second places for Peter Dyer's Dyer Straits gives them a strangle hold on second overall. Both the Chinese Advanced Racing Team on Advanced and Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi sustained damage to their mainsails and Did Not Finish (DNF). Although John Spencer's Mamba slotted into third place on the long race the Advanced Racing Team still hold onto third overall.
Andrew Stransky's Seven Seas 50 Fantasia and Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo shared first and second places today to even the score. Resulting in Mojo still holding a one point lead over Fantasia in the overall stakes. Henry Kaye's Sea Cart 26 Sweet Chariot skippered by Mark Thornborrow missed out on second place by only one second and by posting two third places, climbs up into third overall. Disaster struck Alan Carwardine's new Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane with a broken mast and John Punch's Stealth 12.6 Sidewinder of Darwin Did Not Finish both races and drops out the back door.
After bailing out of the Premier Cruising Class, William Lo's Hanse 545 No Name has joined the Cruising Class and immediately struck gold by nearly two hours on the long distance race. Thailand's Patinyakorn Buranrom on Sansiri climbed the mountain for second place by correcting out one minute in front of William Sax's Fraser 41 Astraeus. Yesterday Jack Cristensen's Bavaria 49 Linda held a slim lead over Gokova Sailing in the overall stakes but as Linda Did Not Finish and Gokova Sailing down in fourth place it is Buranrom's Sansiri that takes the Overall lead.
Simon Morris Sirius 1935 is the only competitor in the Classic Class and after slogging it out on the long windward beat managed to reach the finish at the back of the entire fleet and awarded another win.
As the Platu 25, Premier Cruising, Bareboat Charter and Modern Classic Classes are all subject to protest and counter protests, the international jury have a long back log of hearings scheduled tomorrow that will ultimately determine the results.
Racing continues tomorrow with Race Day 3. Proceedings begin with the Sail Pass and Royal Gun Salute by the Third Naval Area Command at Cape Promthep. In the evening a candle light ceremony to celebrate H.M. the King of Thailand's 85th birthday will be held at the Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa on Karon Beach.
More info and results at www.kingscup.com