Koh Samui Regatta - On a glorious sun-drenched morning, the 2011 Sawadee.com Regatta fleet took to the blue waters off Chaweng Beach to compete on the first day of the 10th anniversary of what is known as the ‘tropical island regatta’.
10 knots from the south saw the fleet briskly away on windward/leeward courses, but the breeze started to fade as Race 1 was coming to its conclusion. Then there was a two-hour wait before the race committee could get Race 2 underway.
The four 52-footers in the Racing class went ‘tack for tack’ trying to cover each other and the resulting position changes saw them round the top mark within seconds of each other. Finally Johannes Waimer's TP52 Team Premier took control of the race to the finish line. Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II took line honours with Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi claiming handicap honours in front of Team Premier and Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing in third place.
Race 2 was a bit of a lottery in a clocking breeze, and once again Team Premier took control and this time claimed the daily double. Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire slotted into second place with Hi Fi in third.
Although six boats finished in front of Matt Allen’s hard-to-catch Beneteau 47.7 Ichi Ban, they still managed to claim Race 1 handicap honours by 27 seconds. Katsu claimed second place and Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth highly-fancied Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake settled for third.
In the Race 2 lottery, Ichi Ban got caught out on a limb and Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake became the first boat in two years to take a IRC 1 win in front of Matt Allen who finished in second place. Rick Poulson's J130 Jingjing, helmed by Steve McConaghy, missed out on eclipsing Ichiban by twenty seconds.
The Sawadee.com Regatta also promises a plethora of other exciting activities that add to the party atmosphere that surround the week-long celebration of sailing. There’s a fashion show, a car rally, property expo and golf day, as well as lots of parties.
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