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9 December 2005, 11:31 am
Quantum Racing Poised For Victory
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Raiman Land Phuket Kings Cup Regatta 2005
Phuket, Thailand

Two provisional second places at the Raiman Land Phuket Kings Cup Regatta in Thailand today has given Sydney yachtsman Ray ROBERTS (AUS) and his crew on the DK 46 Quantum Racing Drumstick an almost unbeatable lead in the series with only one day of racing remaining.
While Quantum Racing's main opposition in the IRC racing class scored a win in the earlier race six, Neil PRYDE (USA) and his crew, including America's Cup sailors on his Farr 52 Hi Fi, could only manage a sixth place in race seven, dampening their chances of taking home the Kings Cup. Hi Fi is second on the leaderboard, three points behind Quantum Racing.

Race seven was won by well known Hong Kong businessman Frank PONG, sailing Boracay, but his other results are not enough to put him on the podium. Third place in both races went to Nick BURNS' British entry, Mandrake, for a current overall place of third.

On the windward/leeward courses today, competitors sailed in a pleasant ten knot breeze, but there were problems in race seven. In a ten to twelve knot breeze, course officials laid the top mark a good 20 degrees to the right from the start, with the breeze going left, making it impossible for anyone to locate the mark.

'We couldn't find the mark, I don't think anyone could - we were very fortunate to be a bit to the right side, but others went left and paid the penalty. We just have to hang in now for the final race tomorrow,' Quantum's tactician Steve MCCONAGHY said of tomorrow's race, expected to be a trapezoid course.

MCCONAGHY went on to say, 'it's been a great series, we've all really enjoyed it and the locals have made us feel very welcome.'

With ROBERTS and his DK 46 crew due to take part in the Rolex Trophy Series starting on Sydney Harbour tomorrow, Justin LAMBETH will take the helm of ROBERTS' Farr 40 Quantum Racing with good back up from MCCONAGHY's 1996 Olympic skipper, Matt HAYES (AUS) calling the tactics.

Meanwhile, the Sydney businessman and his crew, including MCCONAGHY, Jamie WILMOT and Stuart BROOM, will jump on a plane which arrives back in Sydney on Sunday morning at 0730 hours local time. The crew will make a dash to the CYCA, just in time to jump aboard the Farr 40 for the second day of racing.

'We've got a busy programme this month, we've got a bit on,' said MCCONAGHY. Following the Farr 40 campaign, it will be back to their DK 46 for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, then comes Sailing South Week in Tasmania followed by Skandia Geelong Week in Victoria.

The 19th Raiman Land Phuket Kings Cup Regatta finishes tomorrow evening with the prizegiving.

Di Pearson. Image:© Guy Nowell
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