The elements fought back today in Race Five of the inaugural Phuket Race Week. One knot of wind under sunny skies delayed the start until a stronger westerly was able to move the fleet across the start line.
Wind speed increased as the race progressed and for the first time in this series found racers on the high side. A passing squall on the final leg added some additional excitement to the action, catching some people by surprise: the Regatta's videographer was standing on a local channel marker filming as boats rounded the mark and Principal Race Officer John MC LELLAND graciously welcomed finishers sporting a foul weather jacket and underclothes.
A good start and the presence of more seasonal winds put the fight back into flailing spirits and the battle for victory became clearly evident. Keith MOORE'S Pla Loma took the early lead but hot on his heels were the other two Phuket 8's and Panic! A neck and neck race was sailed by the locally built boats with the Mumm 30 Panic! overtaking them on the windward legs and crossing the finish line first.
There was no Panic! today for Stuart HARRISON as he took first in the Racing class followed by Scott DUNCANSON'S Securicor Som Tam Express and Pla Loma third.
Yendys recorded the fastest time in the IRC class but was relegated to fourth on corrected time. New Zealand registered Ruby Tuesday, skippered by John VAUSE, took first place. Minx, an X342 previously owned by Phuket King's Cup Regatta founder Dr. RACHOT, and now owned by locals Mick KEALY and Kevin GILLOW, placed second. Octopussy, owned by Viroj NUALKHAIR came third.
Line honours and today's win in Club class went to Stuart CROW of Cinders, breaking the two day winning streak of Al Boone on Blue Moon. John FENN skippering Four Winds finished third.
Mark PeScott on Ceberus claimed his fourth victory in the series. Kilo, skippered by Chris SIEBER, placed second and Chimera, with Matt and the Phuket Youth Team on board, took third.
It's down to the wire as we head into the final day of racing tomorrow. This battle of wills determines class winners and the overall winner of the regatta. Securicor Som Tam Express and Panic! in Racing class and Blue Moon and Cinders have equal points with two firsts and two seconds. In IRC, there is a one point difference between Octopussy and Minx. With its fourth win today, Ceberus has won the Multihull class.
For full reports, images and results visit the Event Website.