The final race day of the 30th Anniversary Phuket King’s Cup Regatta on Friday Dec, 9 concluded this annual and celebrated international sailing event in a sincere expression of love and respect for HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and honored His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
This landmark anniversary year, under the theme of “A Heritage of Passion,” gave sailors a chance to look back on the long history of successes for the King’s Cup; it also spoke of the future direction of the regatta, with a strong focus on the development of youth sailing and greater connectivity to new and growing sailing markets around the world.
All classes ran just one race on the last of the five scheduled days of competition due to light wind conditions in the morning. Ross Chisholm, Race Officer, commented, “On really light days, for the race management it’s about retrieving what we can as best we can, but happily today we ended with a true breeze – it really brought the regatta to a close on a good note,” he said before adding, “Sailing in light conditions is the real challenge as it separates the men from the boys. Phuket is a characteristically light wind regatta, so very challenging for sailors, demanding a high work rate and a lot of tactical nous.”
Prevailing in the testing conditions, CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat and his Royal Thai Navy 1 team successfully won the Platu One Design class, having come first in all seven races during the week. The Royal Thai Navy team’s performance was particularly poignant given the fact that the 30th Anniversary of the Regatta was dedicated to HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, not only an inspiration for all Thai people but also a leading and progressive advocate of sailing in the Kingdom.
Kevin Whitcraft and his crew on THA72 only had Ray Roberts’ boat Team Hollywood to battle with in the two-boat IRC Zero class. The former finished six minutes ahead in the final race, a short sprint course, and were named Regatta class winners.
Yasuo Nanamori’s Japanese team on Karasu took the IRC1 class victory, fending off a stern challenge from perennial racers Mandrake III all through the week. They could only manage 7th place on Friday but had done enough on points following three wins earlier in the Regatta.
April Jorgensen’s IRC2 team on Judy performed very well all week and thoroughly deserved their victory for Phuket King’s Cup honors. Meanwhile, in Premier class, Ithinai Yingsiri and King’s Cup regulars Pine-Pacific won after a week of solid first and second place performances.
Among the double-hull fireflies a familiar name emerged by week-end; John Newnham and Twin Sharks, beating the Royal Malaysian Navy into second place on final standings.
Elsewhere, the Pulse 600 Racing class was won by Neil Ayre, skipper for Java Racing; the Multihull Racing class honors went to Andrew Hurford (Phantom V) and Kimiya Shimizu, skippering Ying Yang, won the Multihull Cruising class.
In Open Charter, Vladimir Oleynikov and team Popeye were the victors whilst their Russian compatriots on Snapdragon, skippered by Igor Ginzburg, won Bareboat Charter A. In the Cruising class (a much larger fleet this year), Jianquan Tong and Asia Pacific Atom won class honors on the final day.
The 2016 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta competitive classes included keelboats, multihulls and international dinghy classes. All participants, local and international sailors and organizers, joined in 89 seconds of silence at the opening of the event to mourn the passing of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej while the traditional sail-past, with a procession of keelboats, multihulls and dinghies sailing past the Royal Thai Navy vessel HTMS Klaeng and other Navy ships, took place on Dec. 9 in honor of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
(Report & photos courtesy Vivaldi PR, Guy Nowell and Phuket KCR)