Close racing in challenging conditions on Day 4 of 2013 Samui Regatta

Jelik claims the IRC Zero crown one day early at the 2013 Samui Regatta
Samuipics.com
At the 2013 Samui Regatta, following a day off for some well-earned rest and relaxation, the sailors were back in action today with two races – a windward leeward and around-the-cans – starting in an eight knot building breeze off Chaweng Beach.

It was another double for Frank Pong and his Asian crew on Jelik (HKG) with Line Honours and the handicap win in Race 1, but the interest is in the details with just a few a minutes separating the entire class on corrected time. Freefire (HKG), skippered by Sam Chan returned to form with a second place, followed by the improving Royal Malaysian Navy team, skippered by Mohamad Razali Mansor, on Uranus (MAS) whose second and four thirds so far shows they can mix it up with the best in Asia.

PRO Ross Chisholm changed the course for Race 2 to what is known locally as the 'Samui Course'. According to Race Director Simon James, 'This course allows flexibility in length and whilst a variation allows to include a cleverly designed Windward/Leeward leg, it provides the sailors with different conditions and a different test.'

The change had a dramatic impact on the results. Pong and his crew slipped to fifth place with the glory going to Antipodes (HKG), the 72-footer currently being driven by five-times round-the-world veteran Matt Humphries, who displayed great skill to beat Katsu (AUS), skippered by Ben Copley by just over 30 seconds. The smallest in the class at 45-foot, the Aquila Reichel Pugh has delivered a few surprises so far this week with three second places in the Series and remains a threat currently sitting in third overall. Third place in Race 2 went to Freefire (HKG).

Despite a disappointing fifth in the second race today, Jelik has sewn up the Samui Regatta 2013 IRC Zero title one day early and can no longer be caught in the 2012/13 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship.

Tight racing in IRC One – Foxy Lady 6, currently tied in first, chasing defending champion EFG Bank Mandrake - 2013 Samui Regatta
Samuipics.com

In IRC One, the lighter winds in Race 1 proved tricky for some shaking up the class and the scoreboard on this the penultimate day. Foxy Lady 6 (SIN) suffered most placing fifth in the race with Windsikher (SIN), skippered by Sarab Singh and an ex-Foxy Lady itself, showing superior sailing skills to master the conditions and top the class on corrected time, ahead of defending champion EFG Bank Mandrake (HKG), skippered by Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth.

It was Marcel Liedts' Elektra (HKG) that came out on top in Race 2 to move them up to third in the overall rankings. A second for Walawala 2 and third for Foxy Lady 6 sees them tied on 16 points going into the final day.

Aussie Matt Allen consolidated his command of the IRC Two Class on the penultimate day of the 12th Samui Regatta, even though he was absent today. Matt turned over the reigns of Ichi Ban (AUS) to fellow Aussie, local and a former Aussie youth champion, Scott Duncanson, to carry the flag. But, it was close racing against another Aussie, Ocean Marina skipper Gary Baguley's El Coyote (THA). In fact, scarce minutes - even seconds - have been the margin between the two IRC Two front-runners.

Close behind, also, in fierce competition are three Thai entries: Mick Grover's Moon Shadow (THA), Nicholas Smith's Free Wind (THA) and Bryan Coianiz's Siren (ITA).

The consolation for these skippers and Patinyakorn Buranrom's Sansiri (THA), right behind them, is that all these will be also rated separately as the top skippers in the Bareboat/Cruising class, to be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner tomorrow.

Elsewhere yesterday, Ao Chalong Yacht Club (Phuket) entry, David Liddell's Miss Saigon (THA), bolted away from erstwhile challenger in the Multihull class, Phuket's Henry Kaye, on Sweet Chariot (THA) and leads the standing by two points.

The 2013 Samui Regatta is organised by leading regatta services provider, Regattas Asia, with strong support from Samui businesses and staff. The final day of racing is tomorrow, followed by a lavish Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach.

For more information, visit www.samuiregatta.com.