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Vol. X No.18 - December 1 - December 31, 2011

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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern

Fitting finale to King’s Cup Regatta

Karasu, Winner of IRC 1. Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2011. (Photo by Guy Nowell)

Going into the last day everything was still to play for with many classes wide open. The strongest winds of the week were forecast for the final day and they turned up perfectly on cue.

The conditions played into “Team Premier's” hands today as skipper Hannes Weimer and crew took a win from the first race and a second in the final race to conclude the series as IRC Zero Class winner on 13 points, ahead of Neil Pryde's “Hi Fi” and Sam Chan's “Freefire” in second and third respectively. Today's racing was sponsored by PTT Group.

Hannes said, “We’ve raced in 10 King’s Cups now, but this is the first time we competed as our own team under the name of “Team Premier.” I was feeling fairly comfortable going into the last race because I believe we have the fastest boat; she is a good all-round performer, so we get results whether the wind is light or 17 to 18 knots. We won in 2003, but not as “Team Premier”, so it’s extremely satisfying to win after trying many times before.

IRC 1 Class has been thrilling throughout the week with so many strong entries from around the world. Yasuo Nanamori and his all-Japanese “Karasu” team delivered a consistent performance taking first in the class. Steve Manning’s “Walawala 2” scored a second and a first on the final day to take second place overall, from Singapore entry “KukuKERchu”, skippered by David Ross, in third.

The IRC 1 Class was arguably the most competitive of all with 13 boats and sailors of 17 different nationalities. Winning entry “Karasu” is the first-ever all-Japanese team to win their class at the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

Thailand scored a magnificent victory in IRC 2 Class, as Chief Petty Officer First Class Wiwat Poonpat’s team on “Royal Thai Navy 1” honoured His Majesty the King of Thailand with a clear class win.

Wiwat said, “We are very proud to be able to take overall victory for His Majesty the King’s birthday. I’m sure all Thai people will be very appreciative of this result, and hopefully we can encourage more people into the sport of sailing. I was quite confident coming into the last race, maybe 80% confident, but until we crossed the finishing marker, we were never totally sure if we could do it. I’m very happy with our performance in this regatta; the team has trained hard and has been very well disciplined.”

Second place went to Singapore entry “Foxy Lady V”, skippered by Bill Bremner with Russian entry “Ruby Tuesday”, skippered by Arbuzov Andrey, finished third.

Firefly 850 Sport Class racer “Moto Inzi”, skippered by Britain Roger Kingdon, put in a strong final day performance with a first and a second to claim class victory by a single point over their nearest rival, “Voodoo”, skippered by Hans Rahmann.

In the Multihull Class, Alan Carwadine’s “Sidewinder” was unmatched in consistency and finished the runaway winner with two wins today to take the class title. Second place was claimed by “Da Vinci”, skippered by Mick Coleman, with David Liddell's “Miss Saigon” in third.

“Titania of Cowes,” a British team which delivered consistent wins throughout the week performed strongly in the final stages to take the Premier Class. Despite the best efforts of rivals “Baby Tonga Strongbow” skippered by Peter Sorrenson, Richard Dobbs’ “Titania of Cowes” team sealed victory with third and first place finishes on the last day of the Regatta. Third place was secured by the stunning 82-foot Swan from China, “Chao Ren Plus One”, skippered by Wang Bin.

“Venture”, lead by Mark Crisp, dominated the Bareboat Charter Class, and claimed second place finish in the final race of the series today. The team have been largely uncontested throughout much of the competition; a testament to the outfit’s professionalism and preparation in a class which attracts entries from across the world.

Second place went to “Sail Plane” skippered by Oliver Heer with “Tonicola 2”, skippered by Mikhail Beloborodov in third.

Modern Classic Class was won by Bo Standergaard’s “Patrice III” by two points from Peter Wood's “Windstar” in second and Nicholas Smith's “Free Wind”, in third.

In the Cruising Class, “Odin”, manned by Aquacraft Asia, finished with a win today and a win overall. Second place went to William Sax's “Astraeus” with Jack Cristensen's “Linda” in third.

In the Kiteboard Class, an exciting exhibition event at this years Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, France’s Olivier Dansin won four out of five races in the Series to be the runaway winner. Thai star and two-time Asian Champion, Narapichit Pudla, finished second overall with Turkey's Salih Alexander in third.

2011 was the 25th anniversary of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. The event attracted the largest fleet in the competition’s history with 91 keelboats and multihulls, 38 dinghies and 19 Kiteboards, and over a thousand sailors from 33 countries across the globe. Conditions have been good for much of the week, and comments centred on the enjoyable racing and spectacular beach side parties each evening.

Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Organising Committee, said, “This anniversary year has been an event of particular poignancy. To see a great number of keelboats and multihulls, strong levels of ability in the International Dinghy Class and the introduction of Kiteboards, this has been one of the most exciting Regattas in years. Our sponsors have also supported us strongly each and every day, and everybody has had an enjoyable week. The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is renowned throughout Asia, and with good wind and beautiful conditions, the racing has not disappointed. We continue to push the Regatta, to innovate and to improve it, so it has lived up to its billing as the best Regatta in recent years.”

The 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta honors HM the King

The IRC-1 start of the Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2011 (Photo by Guy Nowell )

The 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta made an impressive start with a sail past to honour of His Majesty the King on his 84th birthday, which was followed by hot favorites in each Class preparing to deliver their best form. The sail past ceremony took place to the south of Pu Island at 08:30 where the Royal Thai Navy ships, led by HTMS Chonburi, received salutes from participating vessels. It was the official start for Asia’s most prestigious sailing event, at which more than 1,000 sailors from 35 nations are participating.

The sail past has become a tradition in honour of the Regatta's Royal Patron, an award-wining sailor who won the gold medal at the 4th South East Asia Pennisular Games (now known as the SEA Games.) “It is another way for us to express our respect for the King,’’ said Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Organising Committee. “The tournament is held at this time of the year because it is an event for the King who loves sailing.’’

In the first of five days of competition, local hopeful Royal Thai Navy 1, skippered by Wiwat Poonpat,  holds third place on six points in the IRC 2 class after winning race one and finishing fifth in race two.  “We have a better standard than last year even though we have five new crewmen in the team,’’ Wiwat said. “We also made a lot of changes to the vessel which was damaged by storms last year.” Wiwat added that it was hard to predict the result and that it is going to be a tough class since there are many good newcomers. Peter Dyer’s Team Kata Rocks stayed top of the table on three points after taking second spot in race one and wining race two.

Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns of EFG Bank Mandrake continued their form after winning the Raja Muda International Regatta two weeks ago as they took a lead of five points in IRC 1. Despite finishing fourth in race one, they regrouped to win race two.

Japan’s Yasuo Nanamori of Karasu finished the day second on seven points following their race one victory and sixth place finish in race two. Defending champion Matt Allen's Beneteau First 44.7 had a poor start finishing the day seventh on 14 points.

Phuket King's Cup President Kevin Whitcraft's Won Ma Rang remains seventh on 12 points while Jonathan Mahony's Humphreys 42 Zanzibar is lurking in the wings ready to pounce when the opportunity arises.

In IRC Zero, Hannes Waimer’s Team Premier stayed one point ahead of Sam Chan’s FreeFire, with a second in race one and an improvement to take the win in race two.

In the Firefly 850 Sports class, Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi won both races to take a two point lead over defending champion Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo.

In the hotly contested Multihull Class, Alan Carwardine's Stealth 12.6 Sidewinder, who recently won at the Raja Muda International Regatta, came in first place after two races taking three points.

In the final day of the International Dinghy Classes, Thailand sailor Patteera Mee-u-Samsen cruised to victory in the Laser Class. The 19-year-old sailor from Chon Buri won four out of six races to take the title on 9 points. Second place went to Jittawat Boonrat who was eleven points behind the champion. Chut Dawruang was a point behind in the third place. “I really enjoyed the race and was happy to win it,’’ said Patteera who also won gold medal in the Optimist class at the 2007 SEA Games.

In the Optimist Class, the title went to Akapoj Kankeaw of Trang who finished on 11 points, four better than second placed Sutida Poonpat of Chon Buri. It was a disappointing result for Sutida who triumphed in four races but suffered a seventh finish in race four and third in race three.

“It is a great finish for me in Optimists before I move up to the Laser Class,’’ said the 15-year-old Akapoj. Meanwhile, event manager Pornprom Sakultem said the three-day International Dinghy Classes series was successful with a large number of skilled local participants. “Our goal is to encourage local involvement and we did it here,’’ he said. “Next year will be bigger and we will have more young sailors.’’

Sponsors of the 2011 Phuket King's Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts Thailand, PTT Group, Siam Winery, Singha Corporation, AIA Thailand, PTT Global Chemical, PTTEP, Thai Oil, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, Boathouse and Sunsail. Media Partners include 91.5FM, Helm Superyacht Asia Pacific, The Nation, Phuket Best Group, Phuket Gazette, Phuket Magazine,, SEA Yachting and YachtStyle Asia. (PR)

Chang Thailand Golf Tour opens for amateurs in the North

The “Golf Channel” the only 24 golf TV in Thailand air on True Visions 111, together with “Chang” Thai Beverage Marketing Company are sponsoring the biggest amateur tournament in Thailand; the“Chang Thailand Am Tour 2011 Presented by Golf Channel Thailand”,  with the Nation Champion’s prize of a Suzuki SX4 worth 799,000 baht!!

This is the first and biggest tour for amateur golfers in Thailand and designed for those amateur golfers who are looking for a real “professional experience” in golfing tournaments. There will be 5 local qualifying stroke play tournaments in each of the four regions of Thailand with the winners of each flight qualifying for the Major tournaments and National Match Play Championship.

The “Chang Thailand Am Tour 2011 Presented by Golf Channel Thailand” is now opening for its first local qualifying round.  The Northern region will start on December 8th at Summit Green Valley in Chiang Mai and the Eastern region qualifying is at Eastern Star Golf Club in Rayong. 02 203 0285, 086 000 0654 for more information on how to compete.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Fitting finale to King’s Cup Regatta

The 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta honors HM the King

Chang Thailand Golf Tour opens for amateurs in the North


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