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Neil Pryde wins regatta

June 6, 2011

The final day came down to an one passage race shootout, down South to the Mat Sum mark and back for the Racing and IRC 1 classes. The IRC 2 and Multihull classes set off in 10 knots of breeze on a slightly shorter passage race to finish of the event. Only seconds separated the leaders as they went tack for tack, picking the wind shifts on the long windward beat.

As the breeze faded the boats began to struggle into the current. Luckily the breeze returned in time for all classes to round the mark and set off downwind. As there was no sign of the seabreeze, PRO Ross Chisholm called it a day at the Hin Ang Wang gate for all classes.

It seemed like each gybe one boat would pull slightly ahead, then the next gybe another boat was looking famous for a while. Until eventually Frank Pong’s 76ft Jelik II crossed the shortened finish line taking line honours with the 52 footers hot on his transom. Twenty seven seconds latter Hannes Waimer’s TP52 Team Premierbreasted the line with Neil Pryde’s Welbourn 52 Hi Fi only four seconds adrift. A further 22 seconds elapsed and Sam Chan’s TP52 came through with Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing trailing them by forty three seconds. All in all, a little over two minutes elapsed for all the Racing Class boats to finish and the number crunching started. When we left off yesterday

Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi took over the lead and stayed on the pace to win the last three races and take out the Racing Class title. A couple of bad luck races reduced Hannes Waimer’s Team Premierdown to second overall and second place today for Sam Chan’s TP52 Freefire breaks the tie with Ray Roberts Evolution Racing to end up third and fourth overall respectively.

Although Neil Pryde has won the regatta and Ray Roberts finished in fourth place, under the six regatta’s to score system, Ray Roberts still manages to win the Championship and take home the new 2010-11 Evolution Sails Skipper and Yacht of the Year trophy. This regatta is the seventh event they have both contested and becomes the drop event for Roberts, after winning 4 events as opposed to Pryde’s 2 wins, Roberts defends the title they won last year.

Despite being recalled at the startline, Marcel Liedts Archambault 40 Elektra managed to claw their way back into contention and win the final Race 10 by 33 seconds from Matt Allen’s Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichi Ban and Simon Powell’s Archambault 40 Sell Side Dream slipping into 3rd spot. Several protest hearings and redress for the Day 2 accident has resulted in Matt Allen’s crew having a torrid time in the protest room and his Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichi Ban being dethroned as top gun in the IRC 1 class down to second overall. As a result of Ichi Ban scoring average points and collecting a 50% penalty infringement, Marcel Liedts Elektra is elevated to first overall in the points shakeup. With placing’s ranging from 2 x 1st to 7th, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake takes the third podium place, in front of the hungry chasing pack of 40 footers that have scraped for every single place in the pointscore.

Greg Coops X 372 Abraxas added another win to their tally making it five wins out of seven races to sew up the IRC 2/Cruising class in fine style. Peter Herning’s Baveria 42 Kirafiki turned the tables on Jean Rheault’s Johnstone One Tonner Souay 1 in today’s race but in the overall stakes Souay 1 retains second and Kirafiki slots into third overall.

In the Multihull class Saad Pangawan’s Belize 43 Kindred Spirit are ecstatic that they have won a race at their home regatta. Second place for Kirati Assakul (Nim) Bandara Sonic gives them the overall victory on handicap. Despite not being able to convert line honours into handicap victories, Henry Kaye’s Firefly 850 Sports Pagatoon ends up in second place on the podium. Second place today for Kunta’s (Samui Ocean Sports} bi-plane rigged Radical Bay 8000 Team Zazen has lifted them into third overall after Radab Kanjanavanit’s KT-ZMICO Cedar Swan had to retire from the event with hull damage.

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Sawadee.com Samui Regatta 2011
Freelance photographer Jacques Herremans
www.jacquesherremans.com

The ‘Junior Optimist Koh Samui Regatta 2011’ continues through to Sunday when the new champion will be crowned.

Due to passing rainstorms in the afternoon, it was decided well in advance to hold the final prize presentation indoors at the spectacular Centara Grand Beach Resort on Chewang Beach.

Although the wind has played havoc with competitors and the race committee alike, the full race program has been completed and the overall results seem to be evenly divided among the top contestants. No matter what the conditions the cream of the crop always seem to rise to the top. As the annual AYGP comes to a conclusion, the new pointscore calculations will come into force by the first event of the 2011-12 season and heralds the beginning of an exciting new era. The whole Ko Samui organising team must be congratulated for their efforts in continuing on with the fine tradition and reaching the 10 year milestone. Long may it continue and the superb camaraderie and sportsmanship attract many more competitors and the warm hospitality keep the party going long into the future.

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