20th Phuket King's Cup 2006
AY Race Report 5 & Summary

09Dec06 Phuket, Thailand

Final act rests with the wind...

Racing got away on the final day in a light North Easterly breeze. The racers with a chance at winning their class were keen to get away and hoped the short trapezoid course for everyone would bring them glory and bragging rights for christmas. Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling and Neil Pryde's Hi Fi took a commanding lead and after the windward/leeward legs looked as if they had the race in the bag. Having been delayed on the first beat Frank Pong's Jelik was quickly making up for lost ground. A sheer in the wind developed across the course while the cruising classes sailing on the wing side of the trapezoid course suffered from a lack of breeze, the racing classes sailing a mile over to the right enjoyed reasonably brisk conditions. As they transferred to the wing mark of the course the leaders came to a halt and the back markers happily caught up with them and effectively a restart occurred with two legs to go. Any advantage the leaders had was washed away in the current. When the fleet was sufficiently bunched up the breeze then swept across the course further helping the back markers and effectively sealing the fate of the leaders.

After trailing the fleet Adam Ng's mainland Chinese boat Konka Hummingbird benefited the most from the restart to win another race on their first year of competing. All racing class yachts eventually finished within seven minutes of each other, which gifted Toby O'Connell on the chartered DK 46 Dhevatara Drumstick his first King's Cup victory. After leading the fleet Neil Pryde's Hi Fi tied on points with Drumstick but lost out on a count back. Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling has shown allot of promise during the week but had to settle on third place overall after drifting into the mark adding further insult to injury. It must be said how a twist of fate seems to play a hand in determining King Cup results, as earlier in the week Drumstick was dealt a difficult blow from the jury and perhaps as retribution, nature has repaid them for the inconvenience.

Similarly in the Premier Cruising class David Ross's Frangipani Girl came from behind to clinch a win in today's race. Geoff Hill's lower rating Strewth scored second place to break the overnight tie with Peter Churchhouse's Moon Blue II and take out the overall title. Jon Wardill's Australian Maid slipped into third place today but a little to late to make any impression. Andrew Richards on the smaller Moon Blue finished fourth which was enough to keep them in third place overall.

Peter Dyer's Humphreys 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly extended their lead by adding a third win to their tally and taking out Racing 2 on their first try. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix maintained second place and although Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings dipped down to fifth place today has done enough to survive in third overall.

In the Sportsboat scramble for the line Keisuke Nagamatsu's Platu 25 Risotada came out on top today but finished down the order in fifth overall. Japan's Kenichi Takahashi kept his Platu 25 Motornet on track with a second place to claim the overall title. Scott Duncanson's G4S Somtam Express is by far the fastest boat around the track but after handicaps are applied usually yields to the Platu's and has finished up with second overall. Shuji Hagihara's third place on Just keeps him in third overall.

Ryuji Nakata's X442 Rhythm Stick is certainly in sync with the weather as four first places and two second places gives them the overall IRC 1 title. A tussle for the placing's behind Rhythm Stick has resulted in Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk skippering Octopussy securing second place and Peter Wintle's improved performance on Sita has them finishing in third overall. Despite first place today for Andy Pape's Big A and second for Valdemar Bandolowski's Di Hard it comes a little to late to make an impression on the leaders.

Yesterday Marc Cudennec's Chi Machine already tied up the inaugural Firefly 850 Sport catamarans class so did not have to compete today. In their absence Bill Phelps picked up the win on Twin Sharks to end up with second overall. Henry Kaye's second place on Mamba today is an improvement but Roger Kingdon's third place on Moto Inzi is enough to secure third overall in front of Mamba.

Despite the light wind on the Multihull Racing course Philip Day's crew kept The Sting on the pace in front of bigger opposition to secure first place today and the overall title. Tim Milner's second place on Seekronghuk keeps them in second overall. Benoit Lasaffre's much faster Crowther 50 Atmosphere has taken line honours in all races but after handicap calculations has finished in third overall.

Larry Pollock's second place today on Running Cloud is enough to take out the Performance Multihull title. First place for Liam Nichols on Gone with the Wind lifts them to second overall in front of Chris Runnegar's Raimon Land Chameleon that was in the running for the title but a third today sees them drop out of contention.

Lt. Peera Sagultem's crew did everything right today on Royal Thai Navy 1 to win the race and the IRC 2 title. Although Andrey Novoderezhkin's crew on Master Blaster kept the pressure on till the end with line honours but scoring second place leaves them in second overall. Rob Taylor's fourth place on Minx secures them third overall and Peter Forbes third place on Next Page has them in fourth overall.

Antonio Escribano on Princess Athena could only manage a seventh place today but three wins and a second place secures them the Sunsail One Design SunOdyssey 35 race of the princesses. Keith Harding's Princess Isabella added a third to their tally and finished second overall. A win for Robert Yeltes on Princess Christina lifts them to third overall in front of last years winner Christian Eschenberg on Princess Anna.

Naoki Wada's smaller Fidgi claimed the race today and by doing so broke the leaders tie coming into the final race and picked up third overall. Theodore Bakker's second place on Intan moves them into second overall and D. Maddern/Keith Blankly third place on Bintang is enough to win the Bareboat Charter class title. The tie between Bintang and Amadeus was broken when Japan's Masakido Kato's Amadeus finished back in sixth place.

Geoff Wilson's Dufor 54 Calypso JJ had a insurmountable lead coming into the final race to sail away with the Ocean Rover class title. Simon Piff's Singaporean based Rainbow Dream third place today lifts them to second overall. Despite Nick Pochin scoring ten points today on Festina Lente they have done enough in the earlier races to finish in third overall. Simon Dupe's first place on Waconda today gives them a much needed confidence boost.

Four wins for Tim Wilson's Cordelia gives them the Classic Class title. Brendon Baumeister's win today on the 33.5 meter Argo has secured them second place. Roger Brett's second place today on Kiara lifts them to third just above Mathew Harsley's 24 meter Jubilaeum on the very last race.

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006

AY Race Report 4

08Dec06 Phuket, Thailand

Finally there is wind at last...

The big news of the day is that the North East tradewind has made an appearance. Twelve to fifteen knots greeted the racers as they made their way out to the start line. After three days of racing in less than five knots of breeze and up to two knots of unfavourable current, it was a great sigh of relief to see the conditions had returned to normal or what the local sailors call champagne sailing conditions. However since Wednesday's race, the jury have spent a massive fourteen hours working through several protests that were lodged over the marathon Ko Racha race. Due to the light conditions many classes were happy to cut the race short at the first outward gate but as the sailing instructions contain a time limit and there was no general consensus to quit in the racing class, the yachts that decided to continue on till the end despite being told by radio to go home have been awarded the race. The earlier published results are incorrect as initially they were all disqualified then reinstated behind the correct finishers in the order they passed though the first gate. This momentous decision has a direct affect on overall placing's and confirms the train of thought that "You should not believe anything you hear on the radio, even if it comes from the race committee". Apparently some changes can be expected for next years event.

In all the confusion Adam Ng's Konka Hummingbird was eventually awarded race 5 to become the first mainland Chinese boat to win a race at the King's Cup. In today's brisk conditions the handicap places were shared between Paul Winkelmann's TP52 Island Fling in race 6 and Frank Pong's Jelik taking out the daily double in race 7. Second places for Jelik and Neil Pryde's Hi Fi means that with the reorganization of the scoring, these boats are all within striking distance of the lead. Toby O'Connell's third place on the chartered DK 46 Dhevatara Drumstick has been on the bad end of the decision making but stays in the running as the drop race is introduced.

Similarly in Racing Class 2 Jeff Davison's Panic was awarded race 4 and the only yacht to finish at the Ko Racha gate within the time limit. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix and Peter Dyer's Humphreys 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly shared the first and second places in race 5 and 6 today. Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings scored two third places to lift him in the overall standings. A run of second places sees Madam Butterfly take a commanding overall lead

The battle between the Phuket 8's and Platu 25's continues in the Sportsboat class. Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 G4S Somtam Express took out first place in race 5 and excels when the wind is in to take line honours in both races today. Kenichi Takahashi's Platu 25 Motornet claimed second place in race 5 and won race 6 in front of a gaggle of Japanese Platu's sailed by Toshio Furuta, Shuji Hagihara and Keisuke Nagamatsu, to keep Motornet at the top of the leaderboard with G4S Somtam Express in second overall.

Two wins for Ryuji Nakata's X442 Rhythm Stick today sees them streaking away with the IRC 1 title. Second places for Peter Wintle's Sita and Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk skippering Octopussy has them fighting it out for second overall. Valdemar Bandolowski's third place on Di Hard could see them on the podium if they finish well in the last race tomorrow.

The increased wind strength saw the Firefly 850 Sport catamarans pick up the pace but some judgment errors turned the tables on the result sheets. Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi came to the fore in race 5 and despite running over his spinnaker Marc Cudennec's Chi Machine scored first place in race 6. Bill Phelps on Twin Sharks sailed consistently to capture two second places and despite being five minutes late for the start Henry Kaye's Mamba finished in third. With four wins Chi Machine has an unbeatable lead in the overall standings to take out the inaugural class event.

The rest of the Cruising classes competed on a coastal course around the islands as viewing the beautiful scenery while racing is one of the biggest attractions at the King's Cup. Peter Churchhouse's Moon Blue II has been on fire in the Coutts Premier Cruising Class and added another win to his tally today. Geoff Hill's star studded Aussie crew on Strewth scored second place and currently share top place on the leaderboard with Moon Blue II that will be decided tomorrow. Hans Rahmann's sleek looking Yasooda scorched around the course to take line honours but had to settle on third place on handicap.

Although Benoit Lasaffre's Crowther 50 Atmosphere made quick work of the coastal course it was Tim Milner's Seekronghuk that came to the fore on handicap in front of Atmosphere in the Multihull Racing class. Bob Brindley's X Catriot managed third place but it is Philip Day's The Sting with a slender one point overall lead coming into the final day of racing.

In the Performance Multihull class Larry Pollock's Running Cloud added a second win to his tally in front of Chris Runnegar's Raimon Land Chameleon this time. Tony Roberts on Tactical Directions managed third place but with only one point separating Raimon Land Chameleon and Running Cloud on the top of the leaderboard, the overall winner is expected to come from within.

The juggling of places in the IRC 2 class has seen a number of changes at the top through out the week. Andrey Novoderezhkin's Master Blaster has steadily improved to score their first win of the regatta and move to second overall. Thailand's Lt. Peera Sagultem on Royal Thai Navy 1 scored second place to regain the overall lead. Kenn Eyears Singaporean based entry Waka Tere took third place and Rob Taylor's seventh place on the X342 M/H Minx sees the former leader drop down to third in the running.

In the Sunsail One Design SunOdyssey 35 race of the princesses saw Antonio Escribano on Princess Athena add a third win to their tally and stay top of the leaderboard. Last years winner Christian Eschenberg's Princess Anna claimed second spot today but will have to settle on third overall this year. Third place for Keith Harding's Princess Isabella moves them to second overall but trailing Princess Athena by three points is to much to expect with one race to go.

Japan's Masakido Kato's Amadeus has rebounded with a first place in the Bareboat Charter class after being disqualified in race 2 to come within striking distance of the leaders. Theodore Bakker's second place on Intan initially lifted them to first overall but was short lived when the discard race was introduced. Simon Denye's third place on Sudawadee has tied the overall points lead between Amadeus and D. Maddern/Keith Blankly Bintang with Intan only one point behind. Tomorrows final race will be the big decider.

John Clayton's Millenium stepped up to the plate in the Ocean Rover class with a first place. Nick Pochin's second place on Festina Lente elevates them to second overall to be tied on nine points with Gunnar Myhre's Embla that finished in third place today. With three wins in the earlier races Geoff Wilson's Dufor 54 Calypso JJ has an unassailable lead at the top of the leaderboard.

The scorer has finally caught up with what is going on in the Classic Class. Apparently Tim Wilson's Cordelia has won every race so far and Brendon Baumeister's 33.5 meter Argo has placed second. Mathew Harsley's 24 meter Jubilaeum maintains third place from Roger Brett's Kiara that has only just appeared on the score sheets.

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006

AY Photo Library

07Dec06 Phuket, Thailand

Want to look at some photos?

While the International Jury sort through a record number of protests on the lay day a selected group of photos taken by yours truly, during the King's Cup and recent Raja Muda Regatta's have been compiled into a slide show and posted in the AsianYachting Photo Library. Please enjoy and a reminder that they are available in A4 size resolution for a reasonable fee by contacting info@asianyachting.com

Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2006 : http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?PKCR06

Raja Muda Selangor Int Regatta 2006 : http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?RMSIR06

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006

AY Race Report 3

06Dec06 Phuket, Thailand.

We have been robbed...

The remnants of tropical storm Durian that was expected to bring some breeze as it crossed the Kra Peninsula has turned into a fizzer. Two schools of thought have been circulating around whether there would be any wind or not associated with the disturbance that played havoc in the Philippines a few days ago. The racers got away in 4 to 5 knots of Northerly breeze but with up to two knots of outgoing current saw crew hiking out on the leeward rail to heel the boat over as they made slow progress up the short windward beat. As the breeze died out it became very apparent that the weather forecasters had got their prediction of less than two knots of wind and light rain correct. Despite all this Race Officer Tony Denham decided to take a gamble and run the long passage race out to Ko Racha and back. After nearly three hours of racing some classes had not rounded the windward mark and others had not even crossed the starting line. At this stage a number cracklings on the VHF radio announced their retirement and others requested to put an end to the misery as they have been deprived of the long slide experienced in previous years.

Neil Pryde's Hi Fi managed to claw themselves up to the windward mark and round first just in front of the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth's owned Mandrake and streaked away in the outgoing current. The TP52's and big boats either got caught up in traffic or stick in less than 5 knots of wind to look pretty sad at this early stage in proceedings. A traffic jam resulted with each puff of wind as the boats converged on the first mark, some got clear early and others struggled to find wind to drop further behind. What started as a downwind leg turned into a beat as the breeze swung to the South East and boats ghosted off in the direction of the Ko Racha gate. After over seven hours of racing no yachts had rounded the Ko Racha mark so the race committee decided to use the earlier times when the yachts passed through the navy gate back near Ko Noi. This gave Neil Pryde's Hi Fi a win in front of Fred Kinmonth/Nick Burns Mandrake and Adam Ng's Chinese entry Konka Hummingbird.

Hans Rahmann's sleek looking Yasooda managed to avoid the earlier pitfalls to gallop away with a first and fastest in the Coutts Premier Cruising Class. Peter Churchhouse on Moon Blue II quickly got off the blocks to record second place at the shortened gate finish just in front of Jon Wardill's Australian Maid to keep themselves in the overall running.

In the Sportsboat class Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 G4S Somtam Express was awarded first place after capturing the lead at the Ko Noi gate from Phil Wardrop's Vino who led around the first mark. Kenichi Takahashi's Platu 25 Motornet had to settle on third place and Shuji Hagihara's fourth place on Just are the only boats to record a finish time.

The times taken for the Firefly 850 Sport catamaran class has Marc Cudennec's Chi Machine in first, Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi in second and Henry Kaye's Mamba in third. Overnight the protest committee awarded Henry Kaye's Mamba first place in race 2 and dropped the remaining boats in line behind Mamba instead of disqualifying them.

In IRC 1 Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk skippering Octopussy managed to get to the gate a few minutes in front of Ryuji Nakata's X442 Rhythm Stick to record first and second places respectively. Peter Wintle's Sita scraped into third.

Only two boats finished in the Multihull Racing class with Philip Day on The Sting eclipsing Benoit Lasaffre much bigger Crowther 50 Atmosphere by only a few minutes.

Similarly in the Performance Multihull class Larry Pollock's Running Cloud managed to get to the gate before Liam Nichols Gone with the Wind and Chris Runnegar's Raimon Land Chameleon. There were no other finishers.

In IRC2 Thailand's Lt. Peera Sagultem lucked in on Royal Thai Navy 1 in front of Andrey Novoderezhkin's Master Blaster with Peter Forbes Singaporean entry Next Page taking third place. Rob Taylor's X342 M/H Minx was fourth and the rest of the 10 boats in the class retired after struggling for hours against the current to get around the first mark.

After drifting backwards for a while the Sunsail One Design SunOdyssey 35 princesses stayed out for over seven hours to record a finish. Now thats what I call determination. Antonio Escribano on Princess Athena finished only one minute in front of Philip Bowring's Princess Sharda and Christian Eschenberg's Princess Anna further back in third spot.

Japan's Naoki Wada patience paid off on Fidgi to record a win in front of the bigger boats in the Bareboat Charter class. Theodore Bakker's Intan posted second place and despite being disqualified after winning yesterdays race 2, Masakido Kato's Amadeus rebounded with a third place today.

In the Ocean Rover class Geoff Wilson's Dufor 54 Calypso JJ made it three wins in a row to take a commanding overall points lead. Roger Brett's Kiara improved to take second place as did Kevan Perrins on Rusalka for third after a slow start to the regatta.

Three hours after the official start time the two big heavy weight Classic Class yachts of Brendon Baumeister's 33.5 meter Argo and Mathew Harsley's 24 meter Jubilaeum had drifted further away from the startline so the committee decided to award them equal points for competing as an encouragement prize.

As at the time of writing there was a big crowd of protestors on the balcony outside the jury room waiting their turn for a redress or hearing. The results are very provisional at this stage and several brushes were noticed as crews fended of boats in the drifting conditions.

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006
AY Race Report 2

05Dec06 Phuket, Thailand.

Long live the King...

To celebrate His Majesty the King's 79th birthday a special sail past was organised before racing got underway in front of Kata Beach. A spectacular sight indeed as crews lined 101 boats dressed in royal yellow t-shirts, chanting three cheers and doffing their caps. A parade of sail to mark the King's 60th year since his accession to the Throne and 20th Phuket King's Cup is an appropriate way for International sailors to pay homage to Thailand's sailing royal family that have supported yachting events over all these years. As Gypsy Moth IV is visiting Thailand on her round the world voyage skipper Tim Magee had her specially dressed with signaling flags to grace the occasion.

The racing class were very keen to get underway and a general recall was sounded as yachts crowding the pin end had no alternative but to overflow onto the course side with only seconds to go. A restart after the rest of the fleet had started resulted in a bit of a drifting match as the top mark was repositioned in the oscillating breeze. The Chinese crew on Adam Ng's Konka Hummingbird went on a flyer out to the left which seemed to be paying dividends for a while but tacked back and eventually lost ground on the fleet out to the right. In the patchy conditions it is paramount to keep a watchful eye on were the wind is and keep the boat moving within the zones of breeze. Toby O'Connell's crew on the chartered DK 46 Dhevatara Drumstick did just that to take the honours in Race 2 and Race 4. Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth's Mandrake recovered from a disastrous race 2 to take first place in race 3 to stay in the running. Neil Pryde's Farr 52 OD Hi Fi and Steve Dodd's TP52 Island Fling shared second and third places on the three races held today and this consistency will keep them amongst the overall leaders.

The Premier Cruisers were a bit more cautious at the start as the strong current could have pushed them over early. Aussie Geoff Hill's Strewth bounced back into contention recording two wins on the day to show her dominance in light weather. Andrew Richards Moon Blue scored a second and third place today and is coming very close to notching up their first win. David Ross's Frangipani Girl scored third place in race 2 and second place for Nico Cortiever's Nix in race 3 rounded out the placing's.

Racing Class 2 sees Peter Dyer's aging Humphreys 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly getting the better of the newer Mumm 30's of Jonathan Mahony's Happy Endings and Jeff Davison's Panic. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix squeezed into second place in race 2 and Jonathan Mahony's Happy Endings reversed the order with Madam Butterfly in race 3 to record a win in a nick of time.

In the Sportsboat class the battle between the Platu 25's and Phuket 8's is hotting up and the jostling for the places is proving an interesting talking point at the bar. Japanese entry Kenichi Takahashi's Platu 25 Motornet finished with two first places. Shuji Hagihara's second place on Just and Ket Manghlaseranee's third place on Platu completed the rout in race 2. Phil Wardrop's second place on Vino and Scott Duncanson's third place on G4S Somtam Express in race 3 has the Phuket 8's returning to the podium and they are more than ever determined to stay there.

IRC 1 has Ryuji Nakata's X442 Rhythm Stick recording two wins today to climb up the top of the leaderboard. Andy Pape's chartered Big A finished with a second place in race 2 with Valdemar Bandolowski's Di Hard in third. Thailand's Jaray Tipsuk skippering Octopussy claimed second place in race 3 and Peter Wintle's third place on Sita ensured that the places are shared around amongst the class.

The colourfull Firefly 850 Sport catamaran class has Marc Cudennec's Chi Machine adding two more wins to yesterdays victory and shoot to the top of the leaderboard. Andrew Marshall scored a second on Pink Lady in race 2 and Roger Kingdon's third and second place on Moto Inzi puts him in second place overall. Bill Phelps steps onto the podium after Twin Sharks bit its way into third place in race 3.

All other classes only had one race today but had to contend with wind directional changes anywhere from North East to West North West as well as varying strength from 5 to 10 knots. Tim Milner's Seekronghuk came to the fore on handicap in Multihull Racing. Philip Day finished only minutes behind on The Sting in second place and Thailand's Radab Kanjanavanit made a move in a nick of time with third on Cedar Swan to put himself into contention.

In Performance Multihull Liam Nichols added another win for Gone with the Wind onto his tally and Chris Runnegar on Raimon Land Chameleon scored second place. Alfred Poulsen's Ambre took third place to throw a cat amongst the pigeons.

IRC2 saw Rob Taylor's X342 M/H Minx jump into the lead during race 2 with Peter Forbes Singaporean entry Next Page in second place and Thailand's Lt. Peera Sagultem on Royal Thai Navy 1 finishing in third after winning yesterdays first race.

The battle of the Sunsail One Design SunOdyssey 35 princesses saw Antonio Escribano on Princess Athena taking the honours today narrowly in front of Keith Harding's Princess Isabella in second place. Robert Yeltes Princess Christina finished in third and two boats were scored OCS after not returning to the start line after being on the course side when the whistle sounded.

Masakido Kato's Amadeus turned the tables today on D. Maddern and Keith Blankly's SO40 Bintang in the Bareboat Charter class. Japan's Naoki Wada on the chartered Fidgi for filled a dream to finish in third place.

In the Ocean Rover class Geoff Wilson's Dufor 54 Calypso JJ improved to take out first place today in front of that has come all the way from Singapore to compete on this occasion. Roy Ellard's Festina Lente stepped up to take third place in front of a chasing pack.

Only two boats are in the Classic Class this year but the size and quality far out weigh the number of entries. Brendon Baumeister's 33.5 meter Langan designed Argo under full sail majestically paints a grand picture together with Mathew Harsley's 24 meter Don Poole designed Jubilaeum on the race course. The bigger Argo got the better of Jubilaeum this time but having fun while learning to sail seems to be off more importance in this class.

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006

AY Race Report 1

04Dec06 Phuket, Thailand.

Will there be any wind?

The discussion on the first few days of any regatta is usually about the wind. Will it be light or strong? You should have been here last week is often echoed around the walls of the race office or the day after the event you may get blown off the dock as the crew are clearing immigration. One very light year, apparently the official word from the palace was "It was especially arranged to test the skills of the Thai sailors". The racing class got away in 6-8 knots of breeze, then a short lull before the rest of the classes got away in 3-5 knots. After rounding the southern tip of Phuket the breeze increased to 10-15 powering the fleet up to Ko Hi and Ko Aeo. As the breeze then began to die out the race committee then shortened the course at the gates yachts must pass through on the course. Unfortunately for quite a few yachts the time limit ran out and had to be recorded a did not finish (DNF).

Frank Pong's Reichel/Pugh 75 Jelik powered around the course leaving the rest of the fleet in his wake to record a first and fastest which puts him in a good position at the conclusion of the first day of racing. Steve Dodd's TP52 Island Fling managed to stay on Jelik's tail to record second place and Neil Pryde's Hi Fi in third place after finishing in the same order. They were the only class to sail the entire course.

The committee have reintroduced Racing Class 2 for the smaller IRC racing yachts. Peter Dyer's Humphreys 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly corrected out in front of Jeff Davison's Mumm 30 Panic which left Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings trailing in the light conditions in third place.

The big Premier Cruising Class boats were led around the course by Hans Rahmann's spectacular looking Judel/Vrolijk 70 footer Yasooda, but it was Peter Churchhouse's Moon Blue II that corrected out in front of them to claim first place. Andrew Richards smaller Moon Blue came in third, just in front of Jon Wardill's Australian Maid that are hot off a class win at the Raja Muda Regatta a couple weeks ago.

The multihull class is out in force this year with a Racing and Performance Class plus the new Firefly 850 Sport division, totaling seventeen boats in all. Benoit Lasaffre's speedy Crowther 50 Atmosphere did a horizon job on the fleet to initially be awarded first and fastest but after the protest committee found they had rounded the wrong windward mark have awarded them a place penalty instead of a disqualification. The same has happened to Philip Day's The Sting which leaves the way open for Christopher Edwards on Chimera to claim victory in the Multihull Racing Class.

Liam Nichols on Gone with the Wind sailed into first place on handicap in the Performance Multihull class in front of Bob Motts Chameleon and Larry Pollock's Running Cloud from the USA finished a distant third.

Marc Cudennec's Chi Machine claimed the first ever Firefly 850 Sport race as a class and Bill Phelps new Twin Sharks still has some tweaking to do in the light conditions to finish in second place. Henry Kaye's Mamba followed in third and is looking forward to stronger winds to bring out the best in this high performance catamaran class.

IRC 1 saw Mike Downard's Switch Blade take the daily double of line and handicap honours only a few minutes in front of Ryuji Nakata's X442 Rhythm Stick. Peter Wintle's First 45f5 Sita sailed into a distant third as the rest of the class struggled with the fading breeze and outgoing current.

With 13 entries the IRC 2 class is the biggest at this years event. The Royal Thai Navy 1 Farr MRX skippered by Lt. Peera Sagultem came to the fore today in front of Rob Taylor's X342 M/H Minx who in past years have had a ding dong battle going on right till the last race. Andrey Novoderezhkin's much bigger SunKiss 47 Master Blaster ended in third place of the five finishers and the rest were awarded DNF as they ran out of time.

Only three boats managed to finish in the Sportsboat class with Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 G4S Somtam Express taking the honours again. Phil Wardrop's chartered Phuket 8 Vino slipped into second spot and Japanese entry Kenichi Takahashi's Platu 25 Motornet finished in third place just before the time limit run out.

Most the Ocean Rover class suffered the same fate of not finishing within the time limit. John Clayton's Millenium came in only minutes in front of Gunnar Myhre's Swan 44 Embla and Geoff Wilson's Dufor 54 Calypso JJ managed to sneak into third place.

The results for the remaining classes were worked out from when they passed through an earlier gate as they struggled to reach the gate at the Ko Hi. In the Sunsail One Design Keith Harding's Princess Isabella was the best of the SunOdyssey 35 princesses with Peter Jung's Princess Arieta second and Robert Yeltes Princess Christina in third.

Similarly in the Bareboat Charter class D. Maddern and Keith Blankly's SO40 Bintang came in front of Masakido Kato's Amadeus and Peter Beaumont's SO43DS Paprika II was scored third place.

Photos by http://www.rick-tomlinson.com/

Full results goto: http://www.kingscup.com

20th Phuket King's Cup 2006

AY Pre-Race Report

03Dec06 Phuket, Thailand.

A bumper year on the 20th anniversary

Over 100 yachts will form the biggest fleet on record when racing starts off the southern resort island of Phuket today. The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta celebrates its 20th year and the regatta’s patron, His Majesty the King of Thailand, celebrates the 60th year of his accession to the Throne. This year’s fleet will be the biggest on record anywhere in Asia, no wonder this event was named Yachting Event of the Year at the prestigious Christofle Asia Boating Awards in Singapore. The competition is expected to be tough in all 13 classes, which will race over a variety of island passage races on the Andaman Sea and windward/leeward courses directly out off Kata Beach.

Being the first regatta in SE Asia to reach the 20 year milestone, its a good time to reflect back on how far we have come and meet up with some of the stalwarts that have made it all possible. Having been at every King's Cup since 1991, initially as skipper, then on a race winning crew before branching out into internet media coverage has given me a good insight into yachting developments in Asian waters and proud to be part of the rapid growth that has taken place, especially over the last six or seven years. Only a few years ago it was difficult enough to find anyone in Asia to have a conversation about yachting let alone someone who knew how to sail. Now days we have expanded to having trainee journalists filling the media room, local officials on the water and sponsors performing the essential promotional roles. All this has given birth to a yachting industry of sorts, mainly run by foreigners that have persuaded regional governments to build suitable yachting facilities and promote sailing events that in turn will publicize their area to an International audience.

Jon Wardill's Australian Maid has competed on twelve King's Cup's and although many skippers and boat owners have competed on more Aussie Maid can claim the most for one boat. Founding committee members Chris King has raced on nearly all 20 events and Bill Gasson has won four racing class titles. Neil Pryde has competed on 15 events with different boats plus winning on several occasions. Aussie Ray Roberts has been coming since 1995 and has won twice. There are plenty more big achievers and many behind the scenes workers that go unrecognized but on this auspicious occasion of the 20th anniversary the committee have commissioned long standing Bangkok based Aussie journalists Peter Cummins and Alan Parkhouse to produce a book that will be released this week to honour reaching the 20 year milestone.

The IRC Racing class is stronger than ever and dominated by Hong Kong-based boats except for Karakoa from the Philippines. The Multihull classes have blossomed in recent years with a healthy boat building center in Phuket, which now includes a fleet of colorful Firefly 850 Sport cats that are renowned for their speed and excitement. Several owners have traded up into very big premier cruising class yachts which are always a great sight to behold as they set their huge sails and line up together on the start line.

The first day of racing, sponsored by Chivas, starts today and is a race around the south islands of Phuket, a long passage race favored by the larger yachts and the small, fast Multihulls. The principal sponsor of the Regatta is Raimon Land PLC, who are joined by Kata Group, TMB Bank Plc, Chivas Brothers (UK), Royal Phuket Marina, Thai Beverages PLC, Thai Airways International PLC, Mom Tri’s Boathouse, Coutts Bank, Sunsail, Phuket Magazine, The Nation, Phuket Gazette and a host of local businesses which support the event.

Fore more information on the event, go to http://www.kingscup.com

Update on 20th King's Cup racing developments

01 Nov 2006: The racing programme will follow a familiar format as past years with a mixture of coastal and windward/leeward racing.

The Racing Class will this year be divided into 2 groups based on hull length, so that the smaller IRC optimised yachts can compete for their own King’s Cup trophy. A fleet of nine yachts from Hong Kong will be participating, including the TP52’s of Sam Chang and Steve Dodd along with regular regatta supporters Frank Pong (Jelik), Neil Pryde (Hi Fi) and Fred Kinmonth & Nick Burns on Mandrake. This year will also see the Chinese team on Konka Hummingbird joining us after their successful debut in the Koh Samui Regatta.

Sportsboats continue to be a growing class with the locally built Phuket 8’s being joined by a competitive fleet of Platu’s, and some new additions with Peter Plants Elliot 7.5 and Kipsan Bek Shaw 6.5 joining for the first time.

Premier Cruising Class welcomes the return of Singapore-based sponsor Coutts Private Banking. On the water, we see a number of old friends returning with Ian Nicholson’s Intrigue being joined by Moon Blue II, Nix, Strewth and Australian Maid, returning after a few years down under.

Last years new addition of the Bareboat Charter Class continues to grow with the increased availability of charter yachts in the region – this class allows charter competitors an opportunity to compete for their own Kings Cup with yachts carrying standard charter sails and inventory.

Introduced in 2004, the Sunsail One-design Class is fully booked with Christian Eschenburg returning to defend his trophy. They will again have up to three classes racing under the IRC handicap system. The classes are divided to offer competitive racing for yachts of a similar handicap.

The rapidly developing Multihull Division, will introduce a new class for the Phuket Based Firefly’s who will race as a class for their own King’s Cup under one-design rules. The other Multihulls will be divided into racing and performance classes with hot contender Atmosphere joining the regatta after a record breaking Hong Kong – Vietnam Race in the Racing class, and Bob Mott’s Chameleon heading the challenge in the Performance class.

The Classic class will continue as last year competing for their own “Xyphias” trophy. Awarded annually to the yacht that achieves the most line honours during the week of racing and reflects the “true spirit” of classic racing, the trophy will be presented at the final Saturday night party.

For those new to the event, we will again have the Ocean Rover Class. This division is designed to encourage live-aboard cruisers and first time visitors to join in the regatta in a less competitive division.

This years courses will retain the duel “start” format to give the faster yachts the opportunity to race on windward/leeward courses, while the other yachts can compete on courses more suited to their design. For further details on the racing, please contact Simon James on racing@kingscup.com.

His Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, his 80th birthday and the 20th anniversary of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

PHUKET: 15 June, 2006
Twenty years ago Thailand celebrated the fifth cycle of His Majesty the King's birthday with many memorable celebrations, including the grand Royal Barge Procession on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

This year is another special time for Thailand and its people as they celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne. Other monarchs and royalty from around the world have visited the Kingdom to celebrate and honour His Majesty King Bhumiphol's Diamond Jubilee.

The Thai's are paying homage to their beloved King, who has given tremendous support to the development of the country and its people both socially, economically and at times by mediating and offering advice in many political circumstances.

When His Majesty the King turned 60 in 1987, many celebrations were held. Among those who gathered to celebrate the occasion were a number of sailors and seamen, who came together to organise a yacht race to commemorate and celebrate the auspicious occasion. The organisers decided that a sailing race was a very good and appropriate way to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King, himself a very good and competitive sailor.

The first Phuket King's Cup Regatta was held that year under Royal Patronage. His Majesty the King is an expert sailor and represented Thailand at the fourth South East Asia Peninsular Games which are now known as the SEA Games in December, 1967, and won a gold medal in the OK Dinghy Class. The Thai Monarch sailed OK Dinghy No. TH 27 and his daughter, Princess Ubolratana, sailed OK Dinghy No. TH 18 and they finished equal first at the Games.

This year is also the 20th anniversary of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta, the sailing race that was started in 1987 in His Majesty's honour. Once again the organisers will be joining the nation in celebrating His Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, as well as celebrating his 80th birthday on December 5, 2006. During the Phuket King's Cup Regatta every year a candle-lit ceremony is held on His Majesty's birthday, and this year promises to be bigger and better for a number of reasons. His Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, his 80th birthday and the 20th anniversary of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

The annual Phuket King's Cup Regatta has grown from a small, mostly locally-contested regatta in 1987 to Asia's premier yachting event and a world-class outing for some of the world's leading sailors. This year sailors and yachts from all over the world will take to the beautiful waters of the Andaman Sea off Phuket, including one of the first competitive teams from the Chinese mainland, China Team. Most of the yachts which contested the regatta last year have signed up again for this year, with many racing-class yachts from Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Australia lining up. Some new race courses are being studied, several party venues have been inspected and negotiations are continuing with some international media organisations to make this year a special one as Thailand celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of His Majesty the King as well as his 80th birthday and the 20th year of Asia's premier sailing event, the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

World renowned ISAF sailing official Bryan Willis, who has overseen five Olympic Games and six America’s Cups as a rules advisor, chief umpire and Jury Chairman at next year’s America’s Cup in Spain, has agreed to play a leading role in this year’s regatta.

More at: website: www.kingscup.com or email: info@kingscup.com

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