Sailors revel in good wind
The Wind Whisperer, aka PRO Simon James, set his finely-tuned wind detecting skills to work again and got the competitors in two races on the third day of action at the 19th Phuket Raceweek at Cape Panwa Hotel.
The first was a windward-leeward to the east of Koh Lan. And the second saw the racers stretch their legs and their kites as he sent them out past Koh Bon, around Koh Aeo, and then back around Koh Bon again in the Ao Chalong area of southern Phuket.
Ray Roberts Team Hollywood (head picture) flew off the start line today and never let up, capturing both races in the four-boat IRC Zero class. James Bury and Craig Nichols’ Alright came second in both races, while Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On had two-thirds. The Douglas/Kettlebey Ramrod, still getting used to its substitute sails, settled for two fourth-place finishes. All are in play tomorrow as Alright (9 pts) still has a chance to catch Team Hollywood (7 pts) for the overall title in this class.
The IRC 1 class repeated its results yesterday as Alright continued its excellent campaign to win both races. Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On took second in both races & Ramrod claimed the third spot twice in the three-boat class. Heading into the final day, Alright has a two-point lead on Let’s Get it On and will be trying to seal the class victory tomorrow.
The Racing Multiclass class saw Dan Fidock’s Extreme 40 Parabellum do it again, taking line honours and winning both races. Parabellum has this division wrapped up heading into tomorrow’s final day of action. Warwick Downes’ Bonza claimed two seconds today; Alan Carwardine’s Saffron two-thirds on the day, and Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 wrapped up the four-boat with two fourth-place finishes.
The four-boat Firefly 850 Sport boat class saw John Newnham’s Twin Sharks. Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo continued their storied friendly rivalry finishing one-two in the four-boat class, while Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol and George Eddings Blue Noze swapped third and fourth-place finishes in the four-boat division. However, the latter was able to find its sea legs today and post much better times. Twin Sharks has this division won heading into the final day, but good gusts and a group of Fireflies always make for an exciting race to watch.
Niels Degenklow’s Phoenix and Stuart Williamson’s APW Endeavour of Whitby swapped the top two spots in today’s six-boat Cruising Monohull class. Toshiro Furuta’s Japanese crew on Sakura and Kirill Stashevsky’s Russian crew on Agata had a similar swap for third and fourth-place finishes. And then Fred Haes’ Venture and Kampon Sutara’s Kantus Bride did the same, swapping fifth and sixth-place finishes. Kantus Bride, by the way, is the only boat in the regatta with an all-Thai crew.
The Cruising Multihull division is the tightest in the regatta as headed into the final day, Phoenix and APW Endeavour of Whitby sit tied atop the leader board with seven points each.
In the Pulse 600 class, Tristan Hamilton’s Pulse Grey won both races today, making it six straight wins in a row, and he has the division sewn up going into the final day. But the unflappable Paul “Flatty” Baker, skippering Pulse Yellow, would still like to get a couple of wins in and will be going full bore tomorrow to try and make that happen.
The Saturday Raceday and the evening awards were sponsored by Alan Carwardine and Roger Diggleman of Asia Catamarans. We can’t say enough about these two gentlemen, whose Phuket-built Stealth Catamarans are now being sailed worldwide. Two (Saffron & Twister 2) are being sailed in this regatta, and the company did not miss a beat during COVID-19.
The exciting racing finishes tomorrow with the sailors coming ashore for a sumptuous banquet and final series awards ceremony tomorrow evening at the host Cape Panwa Hotel.
Make no doubt that Phuket Raceweek at Cape Panwa Hotel continues turning Phuket into a world-class sporting destination.