SAMUI, Thailand – With a slightly lower wind forecast this morning, Ross Chisholm and his Race Management team headed North out of Chaweng Bay to set a windward/leeward off Samui's northern tip for IRC Zero and IRC One, followed by a 26 nautical mile coastal course which took sailors towards the famous Full Moon Party beach off Phangan island, “Haad Rin”, around the marks in the channel between Samui and Phangan, and back to the finish. For the Cruising Class, they enjoyed the single coastal course today.
It's all become a little predictable in IRC Zero as Kevin Whitcraft's newer generation TP52, THA72 – considerably lighter and clearly faster – is out performing the older generation TP52's of Oi!, Freefire and Team Ulumulu, together with the rest of the IRC Zero fleet. They added two more bullets to their tally today and whatever the conditions, whatever the course, appear unstoppable.
The race is now on for second and third in the class and here it's hotting up. Oi! have bounced back from a slow start to the series and today posted a 3,2, building on their 4,2 yesterday and with it sit just two points behind Sarab Singh's Custom Welbourn 52, Windsikher II, who struggled in the coastal race placing fifth.
Sam Chan's Freefire (HKG) sits one point back, fourth overall and still with plenty to play for.
IRC One went to script in the first race: Jessandra II took the bullet, another second for EFG Mandrake III and third for Fujin, but the subsequent coastal race turned the scoreboard on its head.
With a track record of performing better over longer courses than windward/leewards, 2015/16 AsianYachting Grand Prix champion-in-waiting, Black Baza, scored their first win of the series and made it a double adding line honours. EFG Mandrake III kept them honest around the course correcting out less than 30 seconds behind to secure their third second place of the series and with it move to second in the standings, tied on points with Fujin whose fourth today behind series leaders Jessandra II has set the scene for a tight battle over the final two days.
In the Cruising Class it was all change as the 74-foot Le Cochon Noir V knocked El Coyote off their perch, just missing out on line honours but correcting out 14 seconds ahead of SailQuest Hi Jinks whose second place today moves them upto third overall in the standings. With El Coyote finishing third on the day, Le Cochon Noir V now sit just one point behind them in the series.
Tomorrow is the Lay Day and Samui Regatta are hosting an IRC Q&A Session with James Dadd, Director of the RORC Racing Office for the sailors. Racing continues on Friday 27th May off Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach.