Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Mixed emotions as racing gets underway.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Initially the staff at Cape Panwa Hotel were a little nervous about entertaining the yachting crowd, but they soon overcome their fears and served up a spectacular opening dinner, helped launch the new Mount Gay Extra Old Rum and despite a passing rain shower kept the free flow of drinks going well into the night. This service is bound to please any sailors and has set the tone for the rest of the week. Despite a heavy morning rain squall, by the time the yachts ventured onto the race course it was cloudy and overcast, with 8 knots coming from the South West and a rolly seaway left over from the storm. After a short delay, racing got underway and the cruisers were sent on an islands course and as the breeze picked up to 12kts the Racing classes completed two windward/leeward races. Overnight the race committee added a few more entries and juggled the class lists to even up the boats based on performance.
All thirteen IRC boats have been lumbered into the IRC Class with the Sportsboats and IRC 2 yachts further subdivided into their own class and get two bites at the cheery. Ben Copely's brand new Aquila Reichel Pugh 45, Katsu nailed the mass start for the combined IRC classes and gained an early advantage. A few mistakes and a late spinnaker drop allowed Rick Pointon's lower rated J130 Jingjing to close in and claim the handicap honours, leaving Katsu down in sixth place. John Vause's Young 11 Ruby Tuesday neatly slotted into second place with Stuart Williamson's Beneteau 34.7 Skandia EOW close behind in third.
The crew on Katsu were keen to repeat the perfect start in Race 2 but got the timing wrong and were forced to dip the pin end, then gybe around onto port tack and cross the stearns of the oncoming fleet. With better boat speed Katsu clawed back for line honours but to late as the handicaps were applied, Paul Murphy's Welbourn 25 Brace! Brace! Brace! claimed victory. Pointon's Jingjing finished in second to lead the overall class standings. Third place for Williamson's Skandia EOW bumps them up into second overall as the small boats are starting to dominate the overall standings.
All wound up and ready to go Paul Murphy's Welbourn 25 Brace! Brace! Brace! went out and blitzed the Sportsboat fleet in both races. The crew work on the other boats was a little rusty on the first day and Ray Waldron's Phuket 8 Surf Patrol and Rolf Heemskerk chartered Soto 30 Longitude finished in second and third respectively in both races.
A tight four way battle is developing in IRC 2 between Stuart Williamson's Beneteau 34.7 Skandia EOW, John Vause's Young 11 Ruby Tuesday, Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Pheonix and Peter Jones Bashford & Howison 41 Moya Hin, Second and first places for Williamson's Skandia EOW puts them on the top of the table and first and third places for Vause's Ruby Tuesday has them in a close second place. Degenkolw's Pheonix placed fourth and second to just edge in front of Jones' Moya Hin.
On the round the island course Rob Azzopardi's Beneteau Oceanis 423 Dreamtime romped away to notch up the daily double in the IRC Cruising Class. Mike Downard's late entry Sail in Asia slipped into second place, relegating Jim Ellis S&S 12.8 Remington into third place by 54 seconds. Stories of wrapped and torn spinnakers are plentiful during the prize giving.
David Roberts Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci skippered by Mark Pescott continued on their winning ways to triumph in both races today and go to the top of the Multihull leaderboard. Despite taking line honours in both races Henry Kaye's Seacart 26 Sweet Chariot had to settle on two second places. Rob Cullen's chartered Andaman Cabriolet Niña and Damien Kimball's Charro traded third and fourth places to respectively end up in that order. David Liddell's Corsair C37RS Miss Saigon had a day they do not want to remember as they went out the back door.
In the very competitive Firefly 850 One-Design class there is no stopping Hans Rahmann's Voodoo as they notched up two wins in a row. Two second places for Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi and John Newnham Twin Sharks followed suite with two third places. This continued along the same vein with Neil Ayre's chartered The Frog two fourth places and Peter Dyer's Premiere Cru with two fifth places.
The grand old dames in the Classic Class presented a majestic site as they set sail on their round the island course. When they returned Joe Gruba's Hans Christian 38T Mc Bob the Boat graced the finish line with line honours but ended up in third place. Simon Morris' Staysail Schooner Sirius snatched the handicap honours by a mere thirty seconds from Tom Howard's Gaff rigged schooner Seraph.
Racing continues tomorrow and the weather forecast is for a drop in wind strength but as we say in the classics "What ya see is what ya get around here".
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 July 2012 )