Going out to the left paid off big time earlier in the week but today the skippers that went right, picked up a favourable shift and gained over half a leg by the time they reached the bottom mark. As a result of the light wind, windward/leeward courses were set for all classes. While the IRC classes and multihull's completed multiple races, only a couple miles to the north, the cruisers struggled when it turned into a drift-a-thon before they could complete the first lap. This spin of the wheel of fortune has produced different winners and a change in the order in some classes and bolstered the standings in others.
First and second places in Race 8 for Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 Won Ma Rang and the Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Utarid skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, edged them closer to Frank Pong's R/P 76 Jelik sitting on top of the IRC 0 leaderboard. Changes made to Jelik earlier in the season have improved her light weather performance. In Race 9, Pong pulled out all the stops and romped away to claim the daily double and stay on top - 2 points in front of Whitcraft's Won Ma Rang in second spot. Razali's Utarid started the regatta strong but has been over run lately to be fighting it out with Ben Copley's RP45 Katsu for third and fourth overall.
Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake made a comeback to claim the daily double in Race 8 and by displacing the bigger boats climb up into third overall. As Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 could only manage two third places, they fall from grace at the top of the pointscore. David Fuller's chartered Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban helmed by Jamie Wilmot have hovered around the podium places in most races and scoring second and first today elevates them to top spot and almost in an unbeatable position for the IRC 1 title. A readjustment in Race 3 points has opened the door for Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 to regain top spot but they will have to win the final race tomorrow.
Two first and one second place for Matt Allen's Adams 10 Ichi Ban, seals the IRC 2 title with one race to go. Amazingly, seven weeks ago the boat was sitting neglected in Sydney Harbour and after purchasing plus freighting to Thailand, then hurriedly prepared did not finish worse than second and won on its first outing. Although Peter Dyer's Humphrys 3/4 tonner Kata Rocks made a late lunge taking victory in Race 9, they remain in third overall. Three third places for the Royal Thai Navy 1 skippered by CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat ended their race to defend the title and will have to settle on being the bridesmaid on this occasion.
Although Hans Rahmann's Voodoo chose the wrong side to finish fifth in Race 8, they rebounded with victory in Race 9 to put themselves in an unbeatable position for the Firefly 850 Sports title. Correction to earlier Race Reports, Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi is the defending champion and although they have had a slow start this year, two first and one second place in the last three races lifts them to fourth overall. Two third places for Peter Dyer's Dyer Straits is enough to hang onto second overall. John Newnham's Twin Sharks has been up and down the table but they still hold onto third overall.
The battle between Andrew Stransky's Seven Seas 50 Fantasia and Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo continues unabated. Although they traded first places, third place for Mojo in Race 8 has left them tied on 12 points and all to play for in the final race tomorrow. In a fine display of light weather sailing, John Punch's Stealth 12.6 Sidewinder of Darwin came through with line honours and a 2, 3 score line to regain some confidence in their new ride. Two fourth places for Henry Kaye's Sea Cart 26 Sweet Chariot skippered by Mark Thornborrow secures third overall and can only watch the leaders battle it out for the Multihull title.
Scott Duncanson mercilessly drove Tuay Lek to secure two wins and go directly to the top of the one design Platu 25 class. After leading all regatta, Junichi Ishikawa's The Beaver put in a shocker with two 4th places which drops them down the table to second overall. Makiko Matsuishi's almost all Japanese girl crew on IPPAI claimed the honours in the first race and two second places for Toshio Furuta's Sakura has them closing within two points of second overall.
In the drift-a-thon on the Northern course, Peter Forsythe & Jing Lee's X-55 Xena managed to claim victory and end Richard Dobbs Swan 68 Titania of Cowes run of wins. Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri X-55 Pine-Pacific also managed to beat Titania but third place for Dobbs and Titania of Cowes does no harm to them in retaining the Premier Cruising title.
After three hours drifting in glassed out conditions, Nick Band's Tartan 48 Emerald Blue came through to claim the daily double. Nick Smith's Ericson 38 Free Wind out sailed the displacement yachts to slot into second place, with Peter Wood's Commanche 42 Windstar pulling up in third place. Despite Bo Sondergaard's S&S 47 Patrice III chartered by Barry Cunningham recalculating the results with a new IRC rating and ending with fourth today, they still hold a shortened two point lead in the Modern Classic Class.
Some things never change and although the 23 yachts in the Bareboat Charter Class looked like painted ships on a glassy sea, the Russian's on Kirill Sakhattzev's First 47.7 Sail Plane still managed to take the win and hold onto top spot in the pointscore. Second place for Aussie Graeme Sheldon's Hanse 400e Agility International keeps them in second overall and three points adrift of the leaders. Although Nikolay Shkurin's Sita slipped into third place today they are well down the order to make any difference in the overall stakes. Twelfth place for Mikhail Beloborodov's Tonicola 2 is still enough to hold onto third overall and ends up tied on 19 points with Nikiforov Evgenii's SunOdyssey 32i Sarawadee.
Since moving to the Cruising Class, William Lo's Hanse 545 No Name has won every race and now takes the lead in the overall stakes. Thailand's Patinyakorn Buranrom on Sansiri came through with second place and although Jack Christensen's Bavaria 49 Linda ended in fourth today, they are tied on 12 points with Sansiri for second overall. Third place for William Sax's Fraser 41 Astraeus is an improvement but not enough to make an impression on the leaders.
Simon Morris claims to have a multinational crew onboard Sirius 1935 to make up for being the only competitor in the Classic Class and guaranteed of victory.
Tomorrow is the final day of racing with the Royal Awards and gala dinner at the Kata Beach Resort & Spa in the evening.
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