While the Multihull as well as IRC Zero titles were sewn up the day before, sailors competing in the 2012 Samui Regatta started the last day of racing with plenty to play for in some of the classes. Stabile wind at the startline belied what was to arrive. A storm appeared off the northern tip of Samui Island and out to the race area bringing 30 knots and gusts, leaving a trail of tied sailors, breakages, shredded sails, along with one ‘man overboard’.
IRC Zero were first off. A single Windward/Leeward today to finish their 10-race series. Despite already winning the class the day before, Marcus Blackmore and crew on Hooligan were on the startline their, competitive nature undiminished. A blown spinnaker and woman overboard put pay to their race, adding a DNF today to their six firsts.
The battle was now on for second and third places between HiFi (Neil Pryde) and Freefire (Sam Chan) who came into the final day on equal points, and after some close racing and screaming runs HiFi came out on top winning the last race on corrected time. Freefire was second ahead of Mui Mui (Frank Pong) in third.
While Hooligan took their inaugural Samui Regatta title, the 90-foot Maxi superyacht Genuine Risk (Geoff Hill) was a sight to behold throughout the week. Despite being unable to compete with the 52-footers on handicap, the 24-man crew had a great time and took secured 10 Line Honours from 10 races. A new Regatta record!
Two races were schedule for IRC One and with only one point separating the top two, and the race-track looking tricky, no-one was celebrating just yet. Foxy Lady 6 (Bill Bremner) needed to keep ahead of EFG Bank Mandrake (Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth) on the scoresheet to score the series win. In Race One, things didn’t go to plan. The building winds played into EFG Bank Mandrake’s hands who sailed a flawless race to finish third on-the-water behind KukuKERchu (David Ross) and Walawala 2 (Steve Manning), and take the win on corrected time ahead of Walawala 2 took second and KukuKERchu took third. Foxy Lady 6 finished fifth in the first race putting a serious dent in their chances of the class title.
Pressure was building on Foxy Lady 6 who needed to finish four points (or more) ahead of EFG Bank Mandrake in the last race of the Series. The race was on! KukuKERchu continued their improving form and finished the Regatta impressively with Line Honours and handicap win in the last race of the Series, with Walawala 2 in second and Foxy Lady 6 improved to finish third.
However, for Foxy Lady 6 it was not enough. EFG Bank Mandrake’s fourth place in the final race was enough to earn them the Series title, two points clear of Foxy Lady 6 who had started the day one point ahead.
After retiring from yesterday’s race in IRC Premier, Dynamite (Brad Kirk) was back on the race course today. El Coyote (Gary Baguley) revelled in the winds and enjoyed victory on corrected time in Race One ahead of Moonblue 2 (Peter Churchouse) in second and Dynamite third. In the Race Two, the tables were turned with Moonblue 2 taking the win ahead of El Coyote in second, while Dynamite posted a DNC. At the end of the Series Moonblue 2 and El Coyote finished tied on nine points, with an equal number of firsts and seconds. Having placed first in the final race, Moonblue 2 take the Series win.
The top three in IRC Two/ Bareboat were separated by just two points going into the final two races of the Series. Reef Knot (Stuart Collins) took to the front and lead through to the finish taking Line Honours and the win on corrected time. Swedish entry Lennart Fahlgren with his Thai crew on Amanda finished second, and Abraxas (Greg Coops) in third.
In the final race, only two made it to the start and Amanda kept close on the heels of Reef Knot, managing to secure the win on corrected time, with Reef Knot second. This wasn’t enough to knock Reef Knot off her perch who finished with nine points overall to take the Series title.
Andrew Stranksy and his crew on Fantasia had wrapped up the Multihull class title yesterday with three wins and an unbeatable scoreline, but nonetheless headed out for the last day of racing and put in a stella performance to add another first and another Line Honours to their collection in Race One. Despite being second to finish on-the-water, Sweet Chariot (Henry Kaye) slipped to fourth on corrected time leaving the door open for Crazy Horse (Kunta) to take second. All-Thai entry Cedar Swan (Radab Kanjanavit), who has blown four spinnakers this week, finished an impressive third. Three DNF’s and one broken mast in the race was testament to the strong winds.
In the second race, only two made it to the startline, Fantasia and Crazy Horse, with Fantasia taking the final win of the Series. Crazy Horse finished second in the second race, and second overall.
Participants and VIPs gathered for the final prize-giving – a lavish Gala Dinner hosted by Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. Following the Series presentations, the 2011/12 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship ‘Skipper of the Year’ and ‘Yacht of the Year’ prizes were presented to Neil Pryde and HiFi respectively.
Overall Series Results:
1st Hooligan, Marcus Blackmore (13)
2nd HiFi, Neil Pryde (19)
3rd Freefire, Sam Chan (20)
1st EFG Mandrake, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth (19)
2nd Foxy Lady 6, Bill Bremner (21)
3rd Walawala 2, Steve Manning (23)
1st El Coyote, Gary Baguley (9)
2nd Moonblue 2, Peter Churchouse (9)
3rd Dynamite, Brad Kirk (16)
IRC Two/ Bareboat
1st Reef Knot, Stuart Collins (9)
2nd Amanda, Lennart Fahlgren (10)
3rd Abraxas, Greg Coops (15)
1st Fantasia, Andrew Stransky (9)
2nd Crazy Horse, Kunta (17)
3rd Sweet Chariot, Henry Kaye (23)