Beautiful Conditions Mark The First Day Of Competition Between 90 Keelboats And Multihulls At 29th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Asia’s legendary regatta under Royal Patronage, set sail on the opening day of its 29th running with a grand fleet of 90 keelboats and multihulls competing for one of sailing’s top trophies bestowed by His Majesty the King of Thailand. The 2015 Regatta remains faithful to the classic King’s Cup formula of around-the-island courses in spectacular sunshine and light to moderate winds; the first day was particularly kind on both counts.
Hannes Waimer, Skipper of Team Premier has chartered Oi! this year in IRC0, and is competing with Phuket King’s Cup regulars Frank Pong (Jelik) and Sarab Jeet Singh (Windsikher II) for grand prix class honors. Hannes’ team put in a solid early claim to the Cup with a win in race 1, but Frank Pong’s Jelik hit back in race two, setting up a very open Class this year. Windsikher II is runners-up in both races but claims winner of Day 1.
Due to damage to the rigging of their new TP52 in transit, Kevin Whitcraft’s team is now racing on the GP42 Won Ma Rang in IRC1. Joining the class for the first time are Black Baza, Imagine (Ex. Babe) owned by Scott Bradley on their first outing, and Rerefine (Ex Windsikher) now owned by Kenn Eyears. Kenn’s team chalked up a victory in race one, winning by a scant 10-second margin on corrected times. Wan Ma Rang performed superbly in the second race, to nose home after time corrections were applied.
Challenging the IRC2 Class this year will be Evgenil Nekiforov’s new Cookson 12 Megazip heading the ratings, followed by two 44.7’s, Roland Danes Jessandra II, Simon Piff’s Kerr32 Rekering Dream, and Krabi Sailing School’s Mumm 30 Judy, all competing with the Japanese 40.7 team on Krasu. The Commodore of Phuket Yacht Club, Scott Duncanson, is racing on Jessandra II in IRC 2. In race one it was the Japanese who were dominant, immediately rising to the top of the Class. Roland’s team won out in the second race ahead of the Japanese team by just five seconds on corrected times – a classic Phuket King’s Cup day one contest!
In Premier Class it’s a battle of the X55’s with defending Champions Pine Pacific challenged by Australian Team Audeamus, previous Champion Baby Tonga, Newcomer Jeanneau 57 Raincloud and the Perennial Swan 55 Big A. Pine Pacific have truly thrown down the gauntlet with a first round win, taunting rivals with a huge victory.
Bareboat Charter Class comprises a fleet of 14 traditional shallow draft bareboat yachts, including four Japanese teams and seven Russian teams. Andrey Novikov skippering Alexa was quickest in race one, with compatriot Andrei Duvanov and Uhuru second.
The racing-spec charter yachts competing in Open Charter include past Champions Popeye (Ex Sailplane) and Venture, being challenged by the Big Boy Sailing Team on the new charter configured J130 “Jing Jing”, Phuket Yacht Club’s Vice Commodore Mick Kealy on Beaux Esprit and the ever-present Russian charter team on the First 45f5 Sita. Popeye took the first race, and by a not inconsiderable margin ahead of Big Boy Sailing Team.
Modern Classic Class sees the first battle of the three Phuket-based Farr 1104’s challenging previous King’s Cup Winners Windstar and Madam Butterfly who will be closely followed by 2 Platus and the Chinese team from Krabi Sailing School on Mas Alegre. Thai Navy 1 came in five minutes behind day one winners Farrgo Express skippered by John Vickery.
Cruising Class features a range of returning boats including previous winner Lady Bubbly. She was victorious again today, with a clear performance margin over the trailing pack.
There are only two boats competing in Classic Class this year, Vintage 6r4 yacht Selma and Japanese new build Umeboshi. The French team retired with a broken backstay, leaving victory to their rivals.
Firefly 850 Sports Class is a fleet of five past winners, but it was a familiar name at the top of the rankings following race one – Voodoo, skippered by Hans Rahmann, which won emphatically.
For Multihull Racing, the return of 6-times King’s Cup Winner Pro Sail’s Scott McCook with the first championship outing for the RAW 30 to challenge Alan Carwardine’ Stealth Designs, along with King’s Cup veterans Radab Kanjanavanit (Cedar Swan) and Henry Kaye on Sweet Chariot. David Liddell skippering British-registered Wow took victory on the first day with Asia Catamarans Hurricane in second.
The Cruising Multihulls include a range of Cruising Cats ranging from 38ft to 67ft with teams representing five different countries. Japanese entry Minnie skippered by Norikazu Arai was fastest of the big multis.
The new Performance Multihull Class consists of five new Corsair Pulse 600 yachts on only their second outing. Heading the field are Phuket Race Week Champions Andrew Debris and Zam Bevan on Multihull Solutions H30, but today could only manage a runner-up spot behind a powerful run by Sudu4 skippered by Scott Galle. The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta’s combined 24 multihull entries make it probably the region’s largest multihull regatta.
Sponsors of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta include Principal Host Sponsor Kata Group, and Strategic Partners: The Government Lottery Office (GLO), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Co-Sponsors: Central Pattana, PTT PLC, Siam Winery & Montclair and Haadthip. Media Partners includes Phuket Gazette, PGTV, Prestige, SailWorld.com, Yachtstyle, Sea Yachting, Phuket Magazine, Image Asia, RL Magazine, The Guide Phuket, Phuket Marine Guide, and Art & Culture.