A pleasant eight knots welcomed sailors on the final day of the 2015 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, held from 15-19 July, and PRO Simon James wasted no time in getting the fleet into sequence.
Oi! (AUS) got the better of Kodo (AUS) in the first IRC Racing I start and led up to the first mark. Kodo closed the gap on the downwind leg and the two TP52’s match-raced around the course with little between them. It was a close duel and Oi! crossed the line just 10 seconds ahead, claiming line honours and the win on corrected time.
Jessandra II on its way to victory in IRC Racing II class at the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2015. (Photo by Guy Nowell)
In Race 2, Kodo took an early lead and managed to keep daylight between themselves and Oi!, sailing a good race and further stretching out their lead around Maithon Island. They crossed the line just 56 seconds ahead of Oi! after more than two hours of racing and with handicaps accounted for they recorded their second win of the series. It wasn’t enough to knock Oi! off the top step of the podium however as they claimed a deserved win overall.
Jessandra II (AUS) came into the final day of IRC Racing II with a 1,2,1 scoreline and needed to sail clean and keep themselves out of trouble in order to protect their lead and secure the title. Lining up like dinghies on a startline, Fujin (AUS) and Jessandra II got away clean but Foo 4 (USA) found their rhythm and soon took a clear lead and went on to claim line honours. Jessandra II and Fujin raced each other almost side-by-side, with Fujin just managing to get a small lead over Jessandra II on the final leg, finishing ahead by just five seconds. However, it wasn’t enough as Jessandra II converted third on-the-water to a handicap win.
It was again just a five second margin in Race 2, but this time it was the difference between Old Mutual International Endeavour of Whitby (MAS) and Fujin for second and third. The winner was, again, Jessandra II whose three minute winning margin secured them the IRC Racing II title.
Multihull Racing was back in strength with the six-boat line-up looking to end the regatta in style. Two more wins for Asia Catamarans Hurricane (AUS) saw them unbeaten over the week and the clear class winner. However, second and third places were hard earned with just seconds in it. Less than 30 seconds separated WOW (GBR) and Java (CHN) in Race 1 and while WOW scored another second in Race 2 it wasn’t enough and they had to settle for third overall, one point behind Java.
Neck-and-neck racing in the Firefly 850’s was typical of the final day. (Photo by Guy Nowell)
It was like a game of cat and mouse as the Firefly 850’s chased each other around the start area and along the line in Race 1, with Twin Sharks (GBR), Advanced Racing Mamba (GBR) and Voodoo (GER) neck-and-neck, and Dyer Straits (AUS) and Blue Noze (GBR) on the second row. Mamba Advanced Racing lead Voodoo and Blue Noze around Lone Island with Twin Sharks further back and as they re-emerged from Chalong Bay it was Voodoo who had snatched the lead which they held through to the finish.
Twin Sharks bounced back in Race 2 with an outstanding win by nearly two minutes and secured their dominance, winning the class overall by six points. Advanced Racing Mamba finished second and Voodoo was third.
With just one regatta under their belts, the four Corsair Pulse 600 crews were still learning their rides over the four days of some of the trickiest racing conditions ever at Phuket Raceweek, all four boats learnt a lot and improved. The series was to be decided on the final race, and by just three seconds it was SuDu 1 who edged out SuDu 3 to take the overall Corsair class title by a single point. SuDu 3 had to settle for second with SuDu 4 third overall.
Sansiri Windstar (THA) brought a one point lead into the final day of the Cruising class series and everything was to play for. Sailescapes Fargo Ladies (AUS) got the best start but Sansiri Windstar edged ahead soon after and enjoyed the space to stretch their legs up the course. The crew on Sansiri Windstar sailed flawlessly to lead around the course and claim line honours and the win on corrected time, and with that they were crowned Cruising class champions.
Despite fumbling the spinnaker hoist and wrapping it around their keel early in the race, Sailescapes Fargo Ladies (AUS) recovered well to finish third on the day and an admirable third overall.
Uhuru (AUS) revelled in the stronger final day breeze, making the top mark first in the Charter/ Bareboat class and despite being overhauled later by Venture (AUS), Uhuru managed to keep in touch and earn a well deserved win on corrected time – their first win of the series. However, it was too little too late as Venture’s second place in the race was enough for them to hold on to the win overall from Uhuru in second, with Fei Yu (AUS) finishing in third.
The 36 boats and 500+ sailors and friends came together to celebrate at the final prize-giving ceremony hosted by Cape Panwa Hotel on Sunday, July 19.
For more information and a full list of the results, go to: http://phuketraceweek.com.
(Source: Infinity Communications)