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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

PHUKET KING’S CUP 2018

by Guy Nowell 3 Dec 2018 08:28 PST
The fleet's in, and ready to race. Phuket King's Cup 2018 © Guy Nowell / Phuket King's Cup

Hard on the heels of the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta comes the Phuket King’s Cup, Asia’s premier regatta for Big Boats. 11 classes of keelboats and multihulls, and 6 dinghy classes, competing for titles in what remains, after 32 years, the blue riband event in this part of the world.

There were all the usual pleasantries last evening – Skipper’s Briefing, Opening Speeches from Royal Varuna YC and local Phuket dignitaries, ring the bell and pull up the flags (thank you, the Royal Thai Navy).

Today dawned clear and gentle, but with a promise of wind from all the usual weather websites. And sure enough, in came a breeze only a little behind schedule at 09.30, 10kts from 070 degrees, and allowing the Race Officers on Course A (Ross Chisholm) and Course B (Simon James) to run two races for all classes.

And there were plenty of defending champions out there. THA72, Kevin and Tom Whitcraft’s TP52 and formerly Provezza 7, opened the batting against Ray Roberts’ newly acquired Team Hollywood (formerly Provezza 8). Roberts and his Men in Red are no strangers to the waters off the west coast of Phuket, but some of the more recently signed crew are more accustomed to the TP circuit in the Med, and were surprised to find that they had to wade out to a longtail in order to ferry to the boat, had to carry their luches with them all day (very heavy, lunches) and that there was no shore crew to manhandle sails after racing. And it was hot – relatively. Nevertheless, two wins from two races was a good way to start the proceedings at the top of the IRC 0 division.

Fresh from a narrow win in the Raja Muda just a week ago, Mandrake III took the day prize for IRC 1 with 3,1 races. Highlead Encouragers (Judy, Mumm 30) racing under China colours, took over IRC2, chased closely by Over Here (VX One Design, Morten Jakobsen) who hung on by the teeth to score equal points but surrender the day on a countback.

Andy Cocks has brought the former HKG boat, Lighthorse (Beneteau 50), to Phuket, now called First Light. Two wins today was a good way to start the week, and it was the same for John Newnham’s Firefly 850, Twin Sharks. There’s a bit of a mismatch in Multihull Racing, with SHK Scallywag Fuku Bld (ORMA69) trying to get the jump on the division in the first start, but size doesn’t always win the day and Dan Fidock’s PHI 1100 Fugazi took two bullets from a long way back down the race track. With the former racing off OMR 1.459 and the latter on 1.017, Scallywag will have to finish before Fugazi starts in order to make an impression – except where long races are concerned.

Over on Course B, the Bareboat, Classic, and MH Cruising class results were dominated by Russian entries; to be exact, Russia scored seven podium places in five classes. These are the divisions where (by observation) crew uniforms usually come from the charity shop and urgency is not at a premium. Relax, we’re cruising! One Cruising division entrant later admitted to running out of beer before the end of the first race today – something that will no doubt be rectified tomorrow.

Weather forecast holds good for the next couple of days.

Full results can be found at www.kingscup.com

Standing by on 72.

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