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6 December 2005, 12:01 pm
ROBERTS Takes Lead
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Raiman Land Phuket Kings Cup Regatta 2005
Phuket, Thailand

Three straight wins in the short windward/leeward races on the second day of the Raiman Land Phuket Kings Cup regatta in Thailand has given Sydney yachtsman, Ray ROBERTS, the lead of the five day series.
With good support from Steve MCCONAGHY calling the shots, Jamie WILMOT on main and Stuart BROOM trimming, ROBERTS' crew on the DK46 Quantum Racing Drumstick are, in Mcconaghy's words, 'right on the pace.'

Light and shifty conditions were the order of the day, but ROBERTS' crew were undaunted. 'We brought our rig settings from Hamilton Island with us and spend a day tuning up in the practice race off Kata Beach. We are very happy with our performance so far,' ROBERTS said of their IRC lead on their chartered DK46.

In yesterday's opening race, a long passage race, which was subsequently shortened and described by MCCONAGHY as, 'four and a half hours of very testing conditions,' ROBERTS and his crew finished second behind Nick BURNS' Hong Kong entry, Mandrake. 'We started in five knots, but five minutes later it was blowing 20. Around one hour later the wind went a full 180 degrees then dropped out to five knots again. At times we had nothing,' MCCONAGHY said adding, 'the crew work has been awesome.'

Quantum Racing's main competition is Neil PRYDE's Hong Kong entry, Hi Fi, with a number of America's Cup sailors taking a sabbatical aboard ROBERTS' former Farr 52, Hollywood Boulevard. PRYDE finished fifth in the shortened passage race yesterday and finished today with a trio of second places.

The Australians have a healthy six point lead from Hi Fi going into tomorrow's race five and bodes well for ROBERTS' Rolex Trophy Series and Sydney-Hobart campaign.

Three more days of racing remain; windward/leeward courses and two further days of passage racing.

86 boats are taking part in the 19th running of the event. Racing resumes tomorrow, with a lay day set down for Thursday, and racing resuming again on Friday and Saturday.

Di Pearson. Image, Mandrake is keeping the pressure on the leaders:©
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