The penultimate day of the Samui Regatta welcomed good consistent wind in the 10-knot range and the fleet of boats enjoyed two races, a fast and furious windward/leeward followed by a passage race for the boats to stretch their legs.
Race Officer Ross Chisholm set the start line in the channel between Samui and Phang Ngan islands and got the fleet off on time.
With just two days left, there was plenty to play for in IRC One. Having won six from six coming into the day, Bill Bremner’s Foxy Lady VI had built up a good lead but they also have one eye on the 2013/14 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship, and to secure that they need two more wins from a possible four races.
Based on their current track record, it would seem entirely possible. However, on closer inspection of the results sheets the wins are by mere seconds meaning one wrong call on the course could send them from hero to zero.
IRC One got off cleanly in a good breeze and it was the slippery Elektra, skippered by Marcel Liedts, that led around the course and across the finish line to add yet another line honours to their tally. On corrected time, however, it wasn’t enough as Foxy Lady VI managed to squeeze out another victory, this time by just six seconds. The rapidly improving Jessandra II, skippered by Roland Dane, sneaked into third.
In Race 2, the fleet were sent on a longer course, with the IRC One boats racing over a 22 nautical mile course offshore, and after over three hours of racing for some the winning margin was again under one minute. Giving Foxy Lady VI their first defeat was Red Kite II, skippered by American Anthony Root who pushed Foxy Lady VI into second with Jessandra II claiming the last podium spot.
In IRC Zero, Frank Pong’s 75-foot Jelik leapt off the line and the front of the pack, leading the seven-strong class around the course to take line honours, and having put enough distance between them and the second finisher Jelik also took the victory on corrected time.
Second place went to Peter Ahern’s Oi! who won the TP52 battle in Race 1 ahead of Neil Pryde’s HiFi in third, less than 30 seconds back.
Thailand’s all-star crew on Sansiri are giving a good chase to El Coyote, but just fell short by a little over one minute in Race 1 yesterday, having to settle for second to the larger boat.
At press time, IRC Zero and IRC Two were still competing in their second race of the day.
Racing finishes today followed by the Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach, Samui, Thailand.