SAMUI, Thailand – While the winds are blowing keep 'em racing, and that's what Race Officer Ross Chisholm did again today as 12 knots off the northeastern tip of Samui made for an idyllic tropical breeze to get the sailors underway on Day 3 of the 2017 Samui Regatta.
A quick windward/leeward was fired off for all followed by a move further offshore, a new startline and a second, longer windward/leeward to wrap up two races for all classes today.
In IRC Zero THA72 went about business in their usual unassuming manner: quick off the line, clean air and bangin' the corners, and they came home with two more wins. It was the Ker 46 Zannekin who took up the challenge of keeping them honest and did well to convert two fourth-across-the-line finishes today to two second places on handicap, moving them upto second overall ahead of Freefire and Jelik.
Just a few seconds have made the difference between being on top of the podium or not being on the podium at all in IRC One this week, and today it was close again in the ratings race with a little over one minute separating the top six in the second race of the day.
The Sydney GTS 43 Mandrake III were the grinners today winning Race 1 and placing fourth in Race 2. With that they have tied Fujin who after a disappointing sixth place in the first race rediscovered their form in Race 2 to finish third.
Scott Bradley's East Marine Emagine had their moment in the sun with a third (their first podium) in Race 1, but remain sixth overall after a sixth in the final race of the day.
The ever-consistent Club Swan 42 Loco of David Dimmock added two more second places to their tally today and stretch out a four point lead over Fujin and Mandrake III, while Black Baza's inconsistency and 5,1 scoreline today keeps them in the hunt in fourth overall, three points off third spot.
Samui Regatta has a reputation for delivering some of the closest racing on the circuit and IRC One this year hasn't disappointed. Many will recall the two second winning margin by Foxy Lady VI on the final day of the 2014 regatta that secured them the class title and the 2013/14 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship. In today's racing just nine seconds separated the second, third and fourth placed boats, making for exciting racing where the smallest of mistakes come with at a high price.
While it was close on-the-water for the Cruising boats in Race 1, the student crew under the careful eye of skipper/ teacher Tim McMahon on SailQuest Hi Jinks continues to fall short and had to settle for a brace of second places again today behind Chris Mitchell's Lady Bubbly who now, after three days, goes into the Lay Day having won the class already (all things being equal).
It was a similar scenario in the Multihull class with Nut Thongtoam and crew on Multihull Solutions H3O, running away for their Corsair brethren Pixalux in both races today and reign undefeated and unbeatable with two days remaining.
Hosted by Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui for the 16th consecutive year, the regatta is organised by Regattas Asia in conjunction with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipal of Koh Samui and the Sports Authority of Thailand. Tomorrow is the Lay Day. Racing continues on Friday 26th May off Chaweng Beach.
Top three in each class after three days of racing
THA72, Kevin & Tom Whitcraft (6)
Zannekin, Marcel Liedts (14)
Freefire, Sam Chan (15)
Loco, David Dimmock (12)
Fujin, Gary Baguley (16)
Mandrake III, Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth (16)
Lady Bubbly, Chris Mitchell (5)
SailQuest Hi Jinks, Tim McMahon (10)
Multihull Solutions H3O, Nut Thongtoam (6)
Pixalux, Mick Tilden (12)