Phuket, 8 December 2023 –  The wind gods have been kind this week, maybe because a TP52 sailing in the IRC Zero class is named Vayu, after the Hindu god of wind. Every class sailed two windward-leeward races on December 8th. The winners of all classes including the completed International Dingy Classes champions will join the Royal Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Dec 9th, 2023 where Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana will be the  representative for His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua  at the Royal Awards Ceremony, handing out the Royal Awards.

James & Kate Murray’s Callisto, a Pac 52, won the second race today (ninth in the class series) in in the four-boat IRC Zero class and finished second in the first race. This sets up a thrilling final day in this class because after each boat dropped their worst score Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood (earning a second & third today) sits atop the class with 12 points and Callisto is just two points back at 14.     

Kevin Whitcraft’s TP52 Vayu THA72 had a good day on the water winning the first race and coming third in race two. Technical issues earlier in the regatta, however, forced Vayu THA72 out of three races; otherwise it would be battling Team Hollywood down to the wire as it usually does. As it stands now Vayu THA72 has 23 points heading into the final day and a stranglehold on third spot in the class. Steve McConaghy’s Aftershock Syndicate, a Davidson 55, was fourth in both races today and sits last in this class with 29 points.

In the five-boat Premier class Ithinai Yingsiri’s Thai vessel Pine Pacific, an X-Yacht 55, shot through the fleet, winning its sixth straight race sealing victory in this class before the final day with a 5-point overall score after its drop race was factored in. Peter Cremers’ Shatoosh, a Warwick 75, has had a good regatta, finishing second five times, but just can’t nudge Pine Pacific off the podium. Shatoosh does, however, have second spot all sewn up in this class. Hans Rahmann’s JV 72 custom-built Yasooda chances were hurt when it had a power failure in race three and couldn’t finish the race being awarded a DNF instead. Yasooda will finish third followed by Bernard Huybens’ Aphrodite, a Vitters 92, which has come fourth in all races except for  race three where it claimed a third. 

Nick Burns’ Witchcraft, a Millenium 40, won the second race of the day in the seven-boat IRC One class giving it victory in eight of the nine races held in this class so far, and a commanding league of nine points heading into the final day. Rolf Heemskerk’s The Next Factor, a Farr 40 (Mod), won the first race of the day, giving it two victories overall. The Next Factor trails Witchcraft by six points heading into the final day of action and will need a minor miracle to pull of an upset. Craig Douglas/Gordon Kettleby’s Ramrod, a Farr 40, sits in third in the class with 27 points.

The battle in this class is between Craig Nichols Alright, a Sydney 40, and Susurnu Kurose’s Char Chan, a First 40.7, both tied with 33 points for fourth spot, six behind Ramrod. Robert Carr & Sandy Farquharson’s Aquarii, a Sydney 40, did not start the first race today and finished fifth in the second, giving it 41 points overall. Clayton Craigie’s Anjo, a Beneteau First 40, has had a challenging regatta with four DNFs & one DNS leaving it mired in last spot in this class with 59 points.        

The six-boat Bareboat Charter Class saw Dean Peng’s Gragonborn, a Beneteau First 40.7, win for the fifth straight time today, clinching this class. Mike Downard’s Piccolo, a Farr 1104, had a DNF today and sits a point ahead of Hippocrates Toshihiko Iijima in second spot with 12 points heading into the final day. Moonshine, a Oceanis 45, featuring the ASA Sailing Dream Asia, is ensconsed in fourth place with 18 points while Alan Anderson’s Judy, a Farr 30, and Team Hayato, on a Sun Odyssey 409, will battle for fifth spot on the last day as only a point separates them.    

The five-boat Monohull Cruising class is the tightest class with three boats tied with nine points each heading into the final day. Steve Maine’ Enavigo, a Grand Soleil 45 has won three races but was hurt by a DNF on the first day. Philippe Dallee’s Swan II, a Swan 43 (1969), also has nine points as does Jianhao Yang’s Isabella, a Bavaria 46C, which was disqualified in the third race for carrying an anchor on the bow. Thomas Veltin’s Brisk, an RG 6.5 Classe Mini, will take fourth in this class, and Mo Yiwei’s Sumalee, a Sun Odyssey 409, will place fifth.  

The two-boat Multihull Racing class saw Dan Fidock’s Kata Rocks Parabellum, an Extreme 40, win for the seventh time; nine races have been sailed in this class so far. John Newnham’s Kata Rocks 2, aka Twin Sharks, a Firefly 750 Sportboat sits second in this class, six points back. The flashy Parabellum has won overall line honours time and time again in this regatta.     

Meanwhile, Andrew McDermott’s Corsair 28 Trident has won all four races in the Multihull Cruising class since having to sit out day one because of a dismasting. It has a one-point lead over Frank Kastelein’s Team No Escape (Pooichat), a Leopard 40 from Sunsail, and the other yacht competing in this class, heading into the final day.    

There was great excitement off of Kata Beach yesterday as Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalaksh was seen her practicing on Vayu THA 72 during a break in competition. She will participate as a crew on the yacht tomorow, the final day of the regatta. The crew are on Vayu THA 72, comprise the finest keelboat crew in Thailand as they regularly compete in the prestigious TP52 campaign in Europe during the summer season. King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua graced the regatta with his presence yesterday making sure the Queen arrived safely on Vayu THA 72.    

The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta has evolved from its inception in 1987 from a local contest to a globally recognized event. It began with Thailand’s yachting community uniting to honour Rama X’s father, the late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Fifth Cycle Birthday. The inaugural event was set against the backdrop of the Andaman Sea’s crystal waters, with the Phuket Yacht Club Hotel, serving as the venue. Founded by Royal Varuna sailors, including Commodore Chris King and M.LTridosyuth Devakul (Mom Tri), the Regatta has since blossomed into a world-class sailor event.

The event’s economic impact is profound. Local businesses, from hotels to restaurants and transport services, experience a significant upturn during regatta week. The festive atmosphere, coupled with the influx of visitors, substantially boosts the local economy. An economic impact study has shown that the Regatta contributes several million Thai Baht to the local economy annually.

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.

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