The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Asia’s legendary regatta under Royal Patronage, set sail on the opening day of its 29th running on Monday with a grand fleet of 90 keelboats and multihulls competing for one of sailing’s top trophies bestowed by His Majesty the King of Thailand.
The 2015 Regatta remains faithful to the classic King’s Cup formula of around-the-island courses in spectacular sunshine and light to moderate winds; the first day was particularly kind on both counts.
Hannes Waimer, Skipper of Team Premier has chartered Oi! this year in IRC0, and is competing with Phuket King’s Cup regulars Frank Pong (Jelik) and Sarab Jeet Singh (Windsikher II) for grand prix class honors. Hannes’ team put in a solid early claim to the Cup with a win in race 1, but Frank Pong’s Jelik hit back in race two, setting up a very open Class this year. Windsikher II was runner-up in both races but claimed top place overall on Day 1.
Due to damage to the rigging of their new TP52 in transit, Kevin Whitcraft’s team is now racing on the GP42 Won Ma Rang in IRC1. Joining the class for the first time are Black Baza, Imagine (Ex. Babe) owned by Scott Bradley on their first outing, and Rerefine (Ex Windsikher) now owned by Kenn Eyears. Kenn’s team chalked up a victory in race one, winning by a scant 10-second margin on corrected times. Wan Ma Rang performed superbly in the second race to nose home after time corrections were applied.
In Premier Class it’s a battle of the X55’s with defending champions Pine Pacific challenged by Australian Team Audeamus, previous champion Baby Tonga, Newcomer Jeanneau 57 Raincloud and the Perennial Swan 55 Big A. Pine Pacific threw down the gauntlet with a first round win, taunting their rivals with a huge victory.
Check the Pattaya Mail next week for full coverage and final race results of the 2015 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.