4 December 2023, Phuket –Race Officer Simon James didn’t have far to look for the wind on the first day of sailing for the keelboats & multihulls in the 35th Phuket King’s Cup; it was right there waiting for him as he set off from Kata Beach. And the wind, gusting up to 13 knots, held allowing Simon to get in three windward-leeward races for the IRC Zero, IRC One & the Multihull Racing classes. The Premier, Bareboat Charter, and Multihull Cruising classes had two races each while Monohull Cruising got in one. 

Thirtyone keelboats and multihulls spread over seven classes are competing in Asia’s longest-running and most illustrious regatta, held over five days racing through scenic courses amidst the beautiful Andaman Sea islands.

Combined with the 123 participating dinghies the total of participating boats this year is 154. This makes the regatta the largest sailing event in Southeast Asia this year. A terrific bounce back from the pandemic years, which saw the regatta canceled in 2020 and 2021.      

All eyes are on the four-boat IRC Zero class where Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 THA72 renews its epic TP52 battle with Ray Roberts Team Hollywood. Steve McConaghy’s Aftershock, a Davidson 55, which just competed in the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, and James & Kate Murray’s Callisto, a Pac 52, round out the class. The majority of the crew on THA 72 raced as the Vāyu team in the TP52 Super Series this past summer in Europe.

Day one belonged to Team Hollywood though as it won all three races in its class, taking line honours in the class in each race as well. Callisto rode two second-place finishes to take second on the day while TH72 finished third. Aftershock finished fourth in each race today.     

The five-boat Premier class saw the Thai vessel Pine Pacific, an X-Yacht 55, skipped by Ithinai Yingsiri, win both races in its class today. Peter Cremers’ Shatoosh, a Warwick 75, was second in both races, taking line honours in the class in race one. Hans Rahmann’s JV 72 custom-built Yasooda, was third in both races, but the first across the line in race two. Bernard Huybens’ Aphrodite, a Vitters 92, finished fourth in both races and Viroj Nualkair’s MaDuZi did not sail today as it is acting as the committee boat for the dinghy races.     

Nick Burns’ Witchcraft, a Millenium 40, fresh off its victory in the recent Raja Muda Selangor Internatiional Regatta had a great start in the seven-boat IRC One class winning two races and coming third in the first race. Rolf Heemskerk’s The Next Factor, a Farr 40 (Mod), which lost to Witchcraft by one point in the Raja Muda, also had a good day, winning the first race and then placing second in the next two.

Susurnu Kurose’s Cha Chan, a First 40.7, was third on the day followed by Craig Douglas/Gordon Kettleby’s Ramrod, a Farr 40. Clayton Craigie’s Anjo, a Beneteau First 40, was fifth with Craig Nichols Alright, a Sydney 40 in sixth. You might remember this yacht as it was formerly owned by Scott Bradley and called Emagine. Robert Carr & Sandy Farquharson’s Aquarii, a Sydney 40, rounded out this class.       

The six-boat Bareboat Charter Class saw Dean Peng’s Dragonborn, a Beneteau First 40.7, sitting in first place after day one with a win and a second-place finish. Hippocrates, a Yamaha 34s, skipped by Toshihiko Iljima, is in second spot, having won the first race of the day and scoring a fourth in the second. Mike Downard’s Piccolo, a Farr 1104, & former Sydney-Hobart winner, sits in third spot after today’s racing with two third-place finishes.

Moonshine, a Oceanis 45, featuring the ASA Sailing Dream Asia finished fourth and Alan Anderson’s Judy, a Farr 30 was in fifth place in this class with Kailani, a Sun Odyssey 409 featuring Team Hayato, coming in sixth overall on the day.       

The five-boat Monohull Cruising class saw Jianhao Yang’s Isabella, a Bavaria 46C, win the only race in its class today. Philippe Dallee’s Swan II, a Swan 43 (1969) was second today with Thomas Veltin’s Brisk, an RG 6.5 Classe Mini in third.Steve Maine’ Enavigo, a Grand Soleil 45 was in fourth spot and Mo Yiwei’s Sumalee, a Sun Odyssey 409, in fifth today.   

The two-boat Multihull Racing class saw two of Phuket’s fastest and finest crews do battle against each other as Dan Fidock’s Kata Rocks 1 aka Parabellum, an Extreme 40, took two of three races against John Newnham’s Kata Rocks 2 aka Twin Sharks, a Firefly 750 Sportboat in today’s racing. Parabellum also took the overall line honours in all three races today.       

Andrew McDermott’s Corsair 28 Trident dismasted during the practice race yesterday, when a shackle gave way, but they hope to have the trimaran ready to race in day two. Their sole other competitor in the Multihull Cruising class, Frank Kastelein’s Team No Escape, a Leopard 40 from Sunsail, won both races today sailing against itself.       

The International Dinghy Classes race from 3-5 December at Kata Beach, divided into four starts as follows: Monohull Dinghy Handicap (12 boats); ILCA 4 (15 boats); Open Skiff (17 boats); and Optimist (79 boats).

Today all of the dinghy classes sailed four races each. The overall Optimist winner was Karit Phrammanee followed by Prapassorn Kaewprom and Pailin Jaroenpon, all Thais.The Optimist Under-12 Boys Class was won by Thanvisit Kitchanasiri, followed by Panudat Polpool and Sorawit Naksuk, again all Thais. While the Optimist Under-12 Girls Class went to Worrakan Saksriklom followed by Punthita Werotjanakul and Nirada Sasiwattanaporn, again all young Thais.   The Optimist Under-10 Class was won by Robert Nazarov with Nirada Sasiwattanaporn coming second and Roong Chantarawinij placing third.   

The Open Skiff class was won by India’s Anandi Chandavarkar for the second straight day, followed by UWC’s Dom Kaewpradab of Thailand and fellow Indian Eashaan Mehta placing third. The same results as yesterday.   

The ILCA4 class was won by Nanvatorn Supaamphonwit for the second straight day with Ton Rattana coming in second and Thanaphat Sirichaoren placing third. 

The Monohull Dinghy Handicap division was won by Robert Nazarov’s sister Claudia with Voravong Racharattanaruk coming second and Prakasit Hongpradab placing third.     

The Regatta’s sponsors, including Host Sponsor Kata Group, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, RMA Group, Ford Motor Company (Thailand), Ricoh (Thailand) Limited, Haad Thip PCL, Pine Pacific Corporation Limited, Singha Corporation Co., Ltd., and National Telecom Public Company Limited.

For more information and result, please visit www.kingscup.com.

About the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta – Asia’s legendary yacht race under Royal Patronage
Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.
For more information and result, please visit www.kingscup.com