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For some it hangs in the balance- Phuket Kings Cup

Regattas bring out the competitive nature of most sailors and the Kings Cup, being sailed on the waters of the Andaman Sea off tropical Phuket is no exception.

Overall results ‘hang in the balance’ in many divisions, going into today’s final day of racing.

Some divisions all ready have clear cut winners.

Chi Machine (Marc Cudennec) and her crew chose to celebrate and relax today rather than race, after convincingly winning the Firefly 850 division.

Likewise Rhythm Stick, (Ryuji Nakata) also finished well ahead of the field after the completion of yesterday’s racing. She convincingly won IRC 1 division and, as Phuket has a great deal to offer the visitor, the lure of the land proved too great for this crew today.

In Racing 2, Peter Dyer’s Madam Butterfly cannot be beaten and the battle of the Princesses ended today with Athena (Antonio Escribano) ascending the throne in the Sunsail One Design division.

In the Ocean Rover division Calypso JJ cannot be beaten, having sailed very consistently all week. Her worst place, and her drop is a 4, having secured three other firsts during the week.

In the competitive Sports Boats division, Japanese skipper Kenichi Takahashi and his crew have taken the top prize, courtesy of a first placing today. They have sailed consistently throughout the week, their drop being a 3.

But for others, the racing today will decide the ultimate outcome.

The big boats in the Racing 1 division are ‘neck and neck’ battling for the trophy. Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi, is on 16 points, Paul Winkelmann’s TP52 Island Fling is on 17 and Toby O’Connell’s Dhevatara Drumstick is on 19 points. Today Drumstick has to beat Hi Fi by three places and if she does that, she will tie and Drumstick will win on a countback.

In the Coutts Premier division, Peter Churchouse’s Moon Blue 11 leads from Geoff Hilll’s Strewth on a countback, so anything could happen.

In the Performance Multihull, Running Cloud (Larry Pollock) is a point ahead of Raimon Land Chameleon (Chris Runnegar), their drops are 4 and 5. Very tight indeed in this division.

In Multihull Racing, The Sting (Philip Day) is two points ahead of Fidgi (Naoki Wada) and needs to place well today to maintain the lead in the division.

In IRC 2, Royal Thai Navy 1 seems like she may win the division overall. Lt Peera Sagultem and his seasoned crew are currently ahead of Master Blaster (Andre Novoderezhkin). Minx (Rob Taylor) is also challenging for a placing.

In the Bareboat Charter division Bintang (Maddern and Blankly) and Amadeus (Masakido Kato) are equal on points, with Bintang have the current advantage courtesy of the drop.

Cordelia (Tim Wilson) currently leads the Classic division from Argo (Brendon Baumeister).

The regatta concludes today with the prizegiving and a spectacular party, courtesy of major sponsor, Raimon Land, a leading property developer in Thailand.

by Al Constable


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8:05 PM Fri 8 Dec 2006 GMT

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