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On the Regatta’s 10th Anniversary, It’s All Down to Race 10 In The Racing Class

June 3, 2011

On Day 3 the winds blew mighty…yesterday was a rest day…but today, on Carlsberg Race Day in Samui, rest was the last thing on anyone’s mind as the crews headed out to sea from Chaweng Beach on the penultimate day of racing. And what a race day it was to be.

Getting clear air off the start line and quickly up the first windward beat has produced consistent podium places for the top boats in each class. Being mid fleet at the top mark means playing catch up for the rest of the race. Racing got away on time in a fresh 12-14 knot SW trade wind which held for the first race but faded and clocked around to seaward before racing could be resumed. Once again, PRO Ross Chisholm waited patiently for the wind to settle before firing off two more races for the Racing and IRC-1 classes.

Johannes Waimer’s TP52 Team Premier has been setting the pace throughout the regatta, but failing to cover in close quarters during Race 9, left the door open for Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi-Fi to capitalise and take the overall lead in the point score with just one race to go tomorrow. Two wins and a second place catapults Hi-Fi two points clear of Team Premier. Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire and Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing have exchanged third and fourth places to be out of contention for the top spots, but tied on 24 points and are fighting it out for the third podium place.

With the crew all fired up after yesterday’s lengthy redress hearing, Matt Allen’s Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichiban returned to the race course and immediately posted two wins in a row and despite dipping to fifth in Race 9, holds onto top spot in the overall IRC-1 stakes. Marcel Liedts Archambault 40 Elektra scored three wins in Ichiban’s absence but was reduced to second place on their return and by keeping up the pressure are in second overall. Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake scrambled into first place in Race 9 to hold onto third overall and have lodged two protests against Ichiban that gives them a

glimmer of hope of knocking off the top spot.

In the IRC-2/Cruising class, Greg Coops X 372 Abraxas added another win to their tally and holds onto top spot. Their closest rival -Jean Rheault’s Johnstone One Tonner Souay 1 claimed line honours, but not far enough in front to make a difference and settled on second place. Peter Herning’s Baveria 42 Kirafiki have lifted their game during the regatta to claim third overall but will need a miracle to overcome the leaders.

In the absence of Radab Kanjanavanit’s KT-ZMICO Cedar Swan due to equipment failure, another win for Kirati Assakul (Nim) heavy displacement Bandara Sonic takes over top spot on the leader board. Coming from nowhere, Saad Pangawan’s Belize 43 Kindred Spirit jumped up into second place today and was happy to beat the other Samui based boats in at least one race. Despite finishing 40 minutes in front of Bandara Sonic, Henry Kaye’s Firefly 850 Sports Pagatoon settled on third overall.

The ‘Junior Optimist Regatta 2011’ kicked off today with a swarm of talented kids nipping around Chewang Bay in earnest with big grins on their faces. These are the Sawadee.com stars of the future.

With Samui’s 10th international regatta drawing to a close tomorrow, it was fitting for a number of regatta partners to come together this afternoon for a media briefing for key Thai and international journalists about the future of this leading sporting and lifestyle event. Callum Laing, Chairman of the Sawadee.com Regatta Organizing Committee, was joined in an informative media session with executives from Bangkok Airways, Web Sawasdee, Centara Grand, TAT, and Renaissance Koh Samui, who all discussed the value that the regatta brings to Samui and to their brand, detailing their partnership going forward. Laing is

upbeat about the direction that the regatta is heading in “New boats, new crews, new partners…and a new decade of sailing action about to begin on what is arguably Thailand’s most stunning island. The more interest that we create and the more brands that become involved, all add-up to the ways that we can give back to Samui and to its community. I’m feeling very positive about the next 10 years”.

As today was Carlsberg Race Day – a new Sawadee.com Regatta partner in 2011 – it was apt for today’s winners to celebrate their victory with a glass of freshly chilled Carlsberg. With one day left ago, it’s still tight at the top and tomorrow could be ‘probably one of the best race days in the world’.

The Regatta concludes tomorrow evening with the now legendary gala dinner set in the lush grounds of the Centara Grand on tropical Chaweng Beach.

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