Roberts and Evolution Racing clean up in Samui...
Talk about close, it does not get much closer than that! Having that little edge going upwind makes all the difference and despite Neil Pryde employing close covering tactics and splitting to either side, when the boats came back together again, it was Evolution Racing that prevailed over Hi Fi. Also after Hi Fi's rating was increased by the IRC during their annual renewal to be the same as Evolution Racing it seems to have demoralized the Hi Fi crew a little.
However they did not have it all their own way as Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II jumped up to claim a win in Race 9 and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Mills 51 EFG Mandrake slotted into second place. This result had a few heads turning and some pointscore recalculations to see what could happen on the last race of the regatta. All bets were off when Frank Pong steered Jelik II down the wrong side of the finish boat and failed to correct the mistake. Undeterred the dueling duo carried on gybe for gybe in close quarters right down to the finish line, when Roberts took the advantage and crossed a few seconds in front. Wow! What a race and the spectators gave a sigh of relief as they were held in suspense throughout the thrilling final. Goto AY Race Reports and AYGP Photo Gallery on Facebook of the trophy presentation.
By winning Race 6 David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu have posted four wins and went on to clean up the IRC class with one race left to run. Ben Copley's Club Swan NY 42OD Katsu have been fighting it out for line honours all week but just could not overcome Kukukerchu's advances to end up in second place overall. After an up and down sort of regatta, Robert van Paridon's Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum finally broke through to win Race 7 and secure the third spot on the podium.
Buoyed up with a win yesterday, Peter Forsythe and Jing Lee's X55 Xena went out more than ever determined to capitalise on the situation and that's just what the did. By adding two wins to their tally, took them directly to the top of the podium and brushed aside any other claims to the Premier Cruising title. After leading coming into today's final races, two second row starts did not help Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid cause and saw them drop to second place overall. Gary Baguley's Holman & Pye 52 El Coyote were always pushing for a good result but after a good battle had to settle on third spot on the podium.
The Bareboat/Cruising class tuned into a two boat race coming into the final day. Nigel Hopkins Oyster Lightwave 48 Celere came on strong to take the fight to Scott Finisten's defending champion Andrew Short - Constanza for the last two years. A prestart dog fight resulted in both boats being over the start line and recalled by the race officer. In the ensuing melee Andrew Short - Constanza managed to come out on top and by winning both races today, go on to win the title in honour of their departed skipper. Nigel Hopkins and Celere ended up in second overall. The Singapore Management University (SMU) Team on the Sunsail 39 Bussakorn, skippered by Shaun Toh finally prevailed over John Stall's Atkins 34 Smooth to finish up in third and fourth respectively.
After scoring four wins in a row, Kirati Assakul's Crowther 42 Sonic had all but secured victory in the Multihull Class. Despite scoring second and third places today they are still standing proud on top of the podium. Living up to the occasion and with two wins today Kim Thomas' bi-plane rigged catamaran Storm steps up to second spot on the podium and best off the locally built boats. Kunta's (Samui Ocean Sports} Radical Bay Team Zazen put on a good show in the early stages but dipped a little towards the end to finish up with third overall.
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