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Tropical winds

June 1, 2011

On Day 3 of Koh Samui’s international regatta – the Sawadee.com Regatta – the wind was mighty, providing some of the best racing conditions so far this week.

Photo Credit: Anne Sophie MAESTRACCI- www.samuipics.com

Neil Pryde and the crew of Hi-Fi demonstrated that they are ‘in it to win it’, with two wins today – while Elektra in the IRC-1 Class showed that things really do come in ‘threes’ – unbeaten in 3 races on day 3.

Time to rejoice today as the South Westerly tradewind returned and PRO Ross Chisholm ran two windward/leeward races followed by a passage race to the South of Koh Samui. This may have been a result of last night’s torrential downpour in Chaweng. As the yachts reached the southern turning mark, the gathering gray clouds may have put an end to the bright sunshine and fair sailing conditions, but added 30 knot bullets and blinding rain into the equation.

With a 2, 1, 4 scoreline, Johannes Waimer’s TP52 Team Premier stays on top of the leaderboard, but Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi-Fi was the big mover and shaker today with two wins and a second place to close within one point of Team Premier. Equipment failure on Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire and Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing saw them drop down to third and fourth respectively. Frank Pong’s 76ft Jelik II has struggled with boat speed and some tactical decisions, but has resumed their rightful position at the front of the fleet with three line honours.

Three wins in a row for Elektra has them climbing up the extremely competitive IRC 1 pointscore into overall second place. Two seconds and a fourth place puts Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake onto the podium and within striking distance of the leaders. Although Matt Allen’s Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichiban did not race today, as a result of an accident yesterday that broke the spinnaker pole, the jury has agreed to award average points (2) for every race they miss and as a consequence Ichiban still holds first place in the overall stakes.

In the IRC 2/Cruising class, Jean Rheault’s Johnstone One Tonner Souay 1 and Greg Coops X 372 Abraxas, traded first and second places to run away with the top podium places from the rest of the competitors in the overall stakes. Two third places for Peter Herning’s Baveria 42 Kirafiki lifts them to third overall but they trail the leaders by six points.

Photo Credit: Anne Sophie MAESTRACCI- www.samuipics.com

Equipment failure on Radab Kanjanavanit’s KT-ZMICO Cedar Swan saw them score fourth place and then retire from Race 5, leaving the door open for other competitors to close in on their overall lead.

Bandara Sonic continues to out perform the lightweights and by scoring second and first places lifts them to second overall and tied on points with Cedar Swan for the overall lead. Henry Kaye’s Firefly 850 Sports Pagatoon continues to take line honours and third and second places elevates them to third overall. Kunta’s (Samui Ocean Sports} bi-plane rigged Radical Bay 8000 Team Zazen claimed first place in Race 4 but dipped to fourth in the long race to miss out on the overall podium places.

Good news for racing on Friday is that Matt Allen’s Ichiban will be back out competing in the IRC-2 class, following repairs after a collision yesterday that meant it missed racing today. Matt commented “We will be out racing again this week due to the support of many. Team Premier in the Racing Class helped us with carbon and resins, while Samui based boat builder Kim Thomas has supported us in sourcing various materials. Others have chipped in to help and we want to thank everyone that has gone out of their way to contribute”.

Now in its 10th anniversary year, Koh Samui’s International Regatta has developed into a leading regional sailing and lifestyle event that attracts crews, spectators and media from across the world. Captain Marty Rijkuris, the Malaysia based sailing journalist, covered the very first Koh Samui International Regatta in 2002 “This event has come a long way over the past ten years. A decade ago ‘Class 1’ was won by Pla Loma (Keith Moore) with Jelik (Frank Pong) in second place and Luna Nuova (Ray Roberts) in third. Both Frank Pong and Ray Roberts still race in this regatta, which is testament to its amazing popularity and competitiveness. I cannot imagine how the Racing Class boats will look in ten years from now – but I can imagine seeing these two fella’s still competing then!”

The Regatta continues through to Saturday 4th June, with racing set off tropical Chaweng Beach.

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