Phuket, 1st December 2014 – Asia’s yacht race under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, set sail on the opening day with a grand fleet of 93 keelboats and catamarans from 16 countries, jousting in close-quarters competition in honor of the birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand. Wind conditions were light with the annual yachting spectacle made ever more stunning as a result of Kata’s gloriously sunny weather.
Neil Pryde’s HiFi team opened their account with a six-second win on corrected times in Race One over Team Beau Geste in IRC0 class. Pryde’s two-times Rolex China Sea Race-winning Welbourne 52 performed well to stake an early claim for 2014 King’s Cup victory, looking to add to their previous Phuket wins. HiFi were runners-up in Race Two with rivals Team Beau Geste taking the win, again by a small margin – classic Phuket King’s Cup neck-and-neck action! Hong Kong competitors Team Beau Geste maintained their powerful display to beat their rivals and compatriots HiFi once again in Race Three – just half a minute the difference.
In Race One of IRC1, Paul F Winkelmann skippered Hong Kong-registered Island Fling to the win, ahead of four other rivals including Kevin Whitcraft’s Wan Ma Rang which placed third. Whitcraft’s team struggled in the second race, although the spread of the field time-wise was (again) very tight; Race Two went to Regatta veterans EFG Mandrake (on a new boat), with Winkelmann’s team coming back again to win Race Three easily – although just four seconds split second and third.
IRC2’s field yielded to Hannes Waimer’s TBG Team Premier in Race One, with Foxy Lady managing a hard-fought third place. Bill Bremner’s 2013 Regatta-winning Foxy Lady will have their work cut out to be champions this year with many possible winners competing in this epic division. They came back strong in Race Two to win ahead of TBG – this is shaping up to be another too-close-to-call class, with the two boats swapping positions in Race Three, TBG victorious. The wealth of the competing pack finished within a few minutes of each other.
In IRC3, The Royal Thai Navy could do no better than mid-division finishes (5th and 6th of nine runners), leaving an Australian team, Foreign Affair, to claim Race One victory. Peter Dyer’s Madame Butterfly (Team Kata Rocks 1) took the win in Race Two and Race Three, with Royal Thai Navy 1 skippered by CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat coming home in the runner-up spot. Both Navy teams will look to escalate quickly as they attempt to dominate the class throughout the rest of the week.
In Premier class, Ithinai Yingsiri and Pine-Pacific looked to consolidate on last year’s great Regatta performance with a win in both races today. This is definitely the team to beat in this 9-boat class division.
Bareboat Charters were split into two classes this year (A and B) to add to the close and competitive racing. Anatoly Kuzmenko skippering Isabella and Sergey Musikhin skippering Sarawadee were today’s winners, demonstrating ever-increasing Russian dominance in the sport. Open Charter hosted a single run today also, won by Venture team of Australia.
Firefly 850 Sports, a high performance multihull class, looks to be a class dominated by British entrants this year. John Newnham skippered a familiar face, Twin Sharks, to the win in Race One and Race Two, with the final round of the day going to Neil Ayre and his Advance Racing team, also from the UK.
Of the Multihull Racing entrants, Asia Catamarans Hurricane, another King’s Cup-experienced racing veteran team, won both races today. Alan Cardwine’s team remains the benchmark in this group.
In Multihull Cruising, there are just two registered vessels, resulting in a division that sees Russia versus Japan. Konstantin Kalmykov and Starfruit took the first race, with Masami Yamashita and Minnie looking for more pace tomorrow.
Among the other classes, Thai competitors Sansiri (Windstar) took the win in Modern Classic, Chris Mitchell skippering Lady Bubbly was fastest of the Cruising yachts, while Rob Devlin skippered S.Y. Ravensong, the quickest of the two Classic boats.
NOTE: All results are provisional.
1. Boat:Team Beau Geste Skipper: Karl Kwok Country: Hong Kong
2. Boat: HiFi Skipper: Neil Pryde Country: Hong Kong
3. Boat: Oi ! Skipper: Peter Ahern Country: Australia
1. Boat:Island Fling Skipper: Paul F Winkelmann Country: Hong Kong
2. Boat:Uranus Skipper: Norhafisam bin Ahmad Country: Malaysia
3. Boat:EFG Mandrake Skipper: Nick Burns/Fred Kinmouth Country: Hong Kong
1.Boat:TBG – Team Premier Skipper:Hannes Waimer Country: Germany
2.Boat:Foxy Lady VI Skipper: Bill Bremner Country: Singapore
3.Boat: Jessandra II Skipper: Roland Dane Country: Australia
1.Boat: Madam Butterfly (Team Kata Rocks 1) Skipper: Peter Dyer Country: Great Britain
2.Boat: Foreign Affair Skipper: Greg Reynolds Country: Australia
3. Boat: Tuay Lek Skipper: Dmitry Gornyy Country: Russia
1. Boat: Pine-Pacific, Skipper: Ithinai Yingsiri, Country: Thailand
2. Boat: Starlight, Skipper: Andy Cocks Country: Singapore
3. Boat: Shahtoosh, Skipper: Peter Cremers Country: Hong Kong
Bareboat Charter A
1.Boat: Isabella, Skipper: Anatoly Kuzmenko, Country: Russia
2.Boat: Uhuru, Skipper: Andrey Duvanov, Country: Malaysia
3.Boat: Tonicola, Skipper: Dmitry Kurshin, Country: Russia
Bareboat Charter B
1.Boat: Sarawadee, Skipper: Sergey Musikhin, Country: Russia
2.Boat: Shiraz, Skipper: Boris Gusev, Country: Russia
3.Boat: Malee, Skipper: Audeev Maxim, Country: Russia
4.Boat: Venture, Skipper: Tony Pfeiffer, Country: Australia
2.Boat: Sailplane, Skipper: Vladimir Oleynikov, Country: Russia
5.Boat: Sita, Skipper: Nikolay Shkurin, Country: Thailand
Firefly 850 Sports Class
1.Boat: Twin Sharks, Skipper: John Newnham, Country: Great Britain
2.Boat: Voodoo, Skipper: Hans Rahmann, Country: Germany
3.Boat: Advance Racing, Skipper: Neil Ayre, Country: Great Britain
Multihull Racing Class
1.Boat: Asia Catamarans Hurricane, Skipper: Alan Carwadine, Country: Thailand
2.Boat: Asia Catamarans Java, Skipper: Mick Coleman/John Coffin, Country: Thailand
3.Boat: Three-Itch, Skipper: Danny Moore, Country: Indonesia
Multihull Cruising Class
1.Boat: Star Fruit, Skipper: Konstantin Kalmykov, Country: Russia
2.Boat: Minnie, Skipper: Masami Yamashita, Country: Japan
Modern Classic Class
1. Boat: Sansiri (Windstar), Skipper: Patinyakorn Buranrom, Country: Thailand
2. Boat: Mas Alegre, Skipper: Libby Boyd, Country: China
3. Boat: Remington, Skipper: Jim Ellis, Country: Thailand
1.Boat: S.Y. Ravensong, Skipper: Rob Devlin, Country: Australia
2.Boat: Atlanta, Skipper: Laurie Piper, Country: Australia