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Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Phuket King’s Cup 2018. A trip round the islands.

by Guy Nowell 4 Dec 2018 08:56 PST 01-08 December 2018
Under the watchful eye of the Buddha. Phuket King's Cup 2018 © Guy Nowell / Phuket King's Cup

Another grey day to start with, but it burned off pretty quickly and out came the sun with his hat on. The Cruising fleet (Bareboat A and B, Cruisers, Multihull Cruisers, Classics and Modern Classics) got an off-wind start and set off towards Koh Kaeo Noi, Koh Hi, and back again. RO Simon James had an interesting time at the boat end, anchored in 50m of water, and took care to explain that the black-and-white buoy was an IDM, not the end of the start line. Really this didn’t matter, as everyone started at the upwind end of the line anyway, reaching into the sunshine towards the first gate mark.

The space ‘inside’ the islands had some pretty healthy tide running against the racecourse, so the trick was to stay over towards Koh Hi and out of the current, but it was still slow going. Eric Alfredson’s Lisanne (Cruising) understood the programe, leading the way through the paragliders and around the top of the island, and then escaped in the softest of breeze to extend her lead all the way to the finish and a hefty victory – 63 minutes on the clock in front of the next finisher and 42 minutes on corrected. Kinnon (Andrey Eliseev) in Bareboat A got it right as well, putting 28 corrected minutes between themselves and second place.

After a quick windward/leeward ‘put-another-race-on-the-scorecard’, in which Team Hollywood, Aquarii, Highlead Encouragers, Firstlight, Voodoo and Fugazi in the various Racing divisions made the most of the breeze by putting bullets on their results sheets (and Java corrected out for a dead heat with SHK Scallywag Fuku bld), the Race Officer prescribed an islands course, chasing the departed Cruisers. There was a General Recall and a couple of Individuals on the next try, and then they were off towards Koh Aeo.

The tide was still ebbing, and the boats had to beat up the same patch of water, but they were going a little further (to the top of Koh Aeo) so crossing over to Koh Lon and short-tacking up the northern shore was an option. Some of the tacking was very short, and very close, and the navigators below decks were glued to the depth sounders. Around the end of the island, and then spinnakers up for the run home. Sunshine had already turned into threatening storm clouds, which sometimes in this part of the world produces gleaming jade coloured water beneath the leaden overcast – check out the pic of Scott Badley’s East Marine Emagine. Then the rain came – a proper deluge, briefly bringing visibility down to near-nothing.

Sarab Jeet Singh’s much travelled Windsikher knows her way around very well, and scored an IRC 0 victory with 3m 30s to spare in front of Team Hollywood. Mandrake III scored 2,2 today but retains her place at the top of the IRC 1 table. Highlead Encouragers are still in charge of the IRC 2 division, but Igor Gorikvov’s Uminoko (that wiped the Cruising class last year) and John Grendon’s beautifully-prepared Die Hard have picked up the ball and are running hard. It is really good to see some older IOR boats resuscitated and racing!

As usual, you can find Full Results at www.kingscup.com/result

Standing by on 72.

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