Ten to twelve knots from the East North East greeted sailors on the last day of racing. The IRC and Multihull's were sent on a long windward/leeward course and Premier Cruisers one windward/leeward before setting off with the Cruising Classes on a passage race around nearby islands. Some classes were already decided while others relied on the final race shootout to determine the overall class standings. Nerves were tense and while some buckled under the pressure, others found the resources going in their favour.
There is no stopping Frank Pong's R/P 76 Jelik when they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They confidently went out and blitzed the fleet to score the daily double and wrap up the IRC 0 title with ease. Kevin Whitcraft's GP42 Won Ma Rang has shown tremendous bursts of speed but just couldn't match Jelik over the last few days and had to settle on second place. The Malaysian Armed Forces DK 47 Utarid skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, started the regatta well but as the others hit their straps they couldn't match the pace or consistency and ended up with a credible third place in front of more fancied competitors.
By claiming the daily double, Steve Manning's Sydney GTS 43 Walawala 2 put an end to Bill Bremner's Mills King 40 Foxy Lady 6 only chance of winning the title. The Russians on Matti Sepp's Swan CS 42 Katsu finally kept it all together to score second place but a little to late in proceedings to make a difference. As the unflappable Jamie Wilmot helming David Fuller's chartered Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban crossed the finish line there was jubilation all round as they won the IRC 1 title. This should go down in the record books as Jamie Wilmot has helmed winning boats on seven occasions. Fighting till the very end, Bremner's Foxy Lady 6 finished in fourth place today and in a commendable second overall after leading most the regatta. By returning to form Manning's Walawala 2 slips into third overall and relegates Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake down to fourth overall.
Although the Royal Thai Navy 1 skippered by CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat won today's race, they have to hand over the IRC 2 title to Matt Allen's Adams 10 Ichi Ban, who claimed victory yesterday with one day to spare. Second place for Peter Dyer's Humphrys 3/4 tonner Kata Rocks keeps them in third overall and Commander Peera Sagurtam's Royal Thai Navy 2 rounds out the order in fourth spot.
First place for Hans Rahmann's Voodoo almost completes a whitewash of the Firefly 850 Sports class and wraps up the title. Second place for Peter Dyer's Dyer Straits keeps them in second overall. Third place for Roger Kingdon's defending champion Moto Inzi is to late to make a difference and regrettably hands over the title to Voodoo. Slightly off the boil, fourth place for John Newnham's Twin Sharks enables them to hold onto third overall.
The battle between Andrew Stransky's Seven Seas 50 Fantasia and Peter Wilcox's Schionning Gforce 1500 Mojo turned into an anticlimax when Wilcox's Mojo romped it home by a proverbial mile to take home the Multihull title on their first attempt. Starting in the second row Stransky and the Fantasia crew seemed to have trouble finding top gear and watched their chances disappear in the wind and settled in second overall. Up and down the order in different conditions, Henry Kaye's Sea Cart 26 Sweet Chariot skippered by Mark Thornborrow ended up in third overall with John Punch's Stealth 12.6 Sidewinder of Darwin improving by the day in a very depleted fleet after all the carnage.
Although Junichi Ishikawa on The Beaver rebounded to win today's race, second place for Scott Duncanson's Tuay Lek is enough to secure the one design Platu 25 class title. This is the fourth win for Duncanson who joins other great skippers like Bill Gasson and Neil Pryde on the Role of Honour. Third place for Makiko Matsuishi's almost all Japanese girl crew on IPPAI elevates them into third overall and by not finishing today, Toshio Furuta's Sakura drops down to fourth spot.
Thailand's Ithinai Yingsiri X-55 Pine-Pacific came good with two wins today but Richard Dobbs Swan 68 Titania of Cowes has done enough in earlier races to defend the Premier Cruising title in fine style. This result elevates Yingsiri's Pine-Pacific into second overall and after trading second and third places with Titania, Peter Forsythe & Jing Lee's X-55 Xena slots into third overall.
Although Peter Wood's Commanche 42 Windstar claimed the honours today, they could not close the points gap with Barry Cunningham's chartered S&S 47 Patrice III that slotted into second place and takes home the Modern Classic Class title. Despite a gallant effort by Nick Band's Tartan 48 Emerald Blue they have to settle on third overall.
Despite having 23 yachts in the Bareboat Charter Class only five boats featured in the podium places. Aussie Graeme Sheldon's Hanse 400e Agility International won the race today but second place for the Russian's on Kirill Sakhattzev's First 47.7 Sail Plane is enough to win the title on their first outing. Third place for Nikiforov Evgenii's SunOdyssey 32i Sarawadee breaks the tie with Mikhail Beloborodov's Tonicola 2 and has them finishing in third and fourth respectively.
Since moving to the Cruising Class, William Lo's professional team on the Hanse 545 No Name have won every race and much to the other skippers irritation have won the title hands down. Jack Christensen's Bavaria 49 Linda came good with second place to regain second overall and the best of the original entrants. Third place for Thailand's Patinyakorn Buranrom on Sansiri came through with third place to end the regatta in third overall.
All that can be said about Simon Morris multinational crew onboard Sirius 1935 is they have finished every race and as they are the only entrant take home the Classic Class title as a consolation prize. Summary
We have had it all. Strong, light and no wind to test the crews sailing abilities in all conditions. Some have coped well others have found their failings. Other than the finish line debacle on Day 2, the race organisation has ran smoothly. A massive amount of effort goes into organising this event and judging by the sailors response it is appreciated by all. The inclusion of the windsurfers and dinghy program is influencing youngsters to take to the water and involvement with the King's Cup is a feather in their cap and will remain memorable for years to come. As this regatta now passes the quarter century mark we must rejoice and just like HM the King wish them both longevity. Better mark November 30th to December 7th in the diary for next year.
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