This may seem to be a very uncomfortable position for any length of time but the skippers will tell you how the crews increased leverage allows them to fully power up the boat in a breeze, especially off a crowded starting line or when engaging other competitors in close quarters. Neil Pryde's crew on Hi-Fidelity did it the other day on the final windward leg to come from behind and win the race by a mere 44 seconds. As the results are closing in after discard races are factored in today, perhaps some crews should give it a try as the increased speed could give you a slight edge to win the final race tomorrow or as one crew boss explained to me 'It makes all the difference, imagine if you lost a race by only a few seconds'.
Peter Ahern's YO! took out Race 6 and the Burns/Kinmonth Mandrake bounced back in Race 7 leaving Neil Pryde's Hi-Fidelity with a second and a forth to even up the scores. Troy Yaw's Ulumulu skippered by Ray Roberts has scored forth consistently but in Race 7 managed a third to get on the podium at last. After today's racing the worst result to date can be discarded which sees Peter Ahern's YO! going into tomorrows final with a slender 1 point lead over Hi-Fidelity and a two point margin over Mandrake in third spot. It is anybodies guess who will win and the wind strength may well be the deciding factor. May the best ones win.
Richard Grimes's Yendys came to the fore in race 5 over Marcel Liedts Hocux Pocux 2 and Brian Hayden's Vida to even up the pointscore with Vida and Hocux Pocux 2 tied on seven points and Yendys only one point adrift with eight. This leaves the overall result hingeing around tomorrows final race and the pressure is on all three boats but the one that performs above expectations will be the winner.
The new Buzz 8 skippered by Geoff Backshall added a further 2 wins to put them into an unbeatable position on their first outing. David Bell's Fremantle 8 Pink Pussy Cat and the Mumm 30's of Jativa skippered by Hannes Waimer and Stuart Harrison's Panic will fight it out for the remaining podium places. Although Scott Duncanson's go fast Phuket 8 Securicor Somtam Express has led the class home in nearly every race, after handicaps have been applied they have ended up down in 7th place and will need to work on their handicap rating for future events.
Yachtpro's Di Hard narrowly clinched 1st place today in front of John Vause's Ruby Tuesday and Pan Wei-Hua's Kylie. This leaves Ruby Tuesday with 3 firsts and 3 seconds in a commanding position at the top of the leaderboard. Di Hard is the closest contender after Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady had to fetch a man overboard but can still score a podium place if they put in a good performance in the final race.
The Royal Thai Navy 1 and 2 have scored their third 1, 2 result in as many days to successfully defend their title with one race to go. David Lindahl's La Samudra ended up third in today's race and his consistency sees him with a unbeatable 3rd spot overall.
Young Mia Gillow steering Minx climbed back onto the top of the podium again with a convincing win over Greg Coops on Abraxas and the Thai boat Ava skippered by Somkiat Poonpat. This leaves Minx and Abraxas tied on 7 points going into tomorrows final with Tracy Williams Patrice III narrowly leading a chasing pack for the third podium position.
Princess Anna skippered by Christian Eschenburg scored another win to make it 4 in a row and sail away with this years title from Nick Cox's Princess Arieta and Princess Sharda skippered by Mark Hamill-Stewart in third, with the rest of the little princesses following suite.
A change for the books sees 70 plus year old Al Boone sailing Blue Moon into 1st place today with Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit III 2nd and Yachtpros Tarawadee 3rd. Al's efforts maybe a little to late as it would seem that barring any mishaps tomorrow Aquavit III looks set to take the title.
A battle has been developing between Tim Milner's Charro and Peter Plant's twin rigged Coco Blues who share the overall lead with 2 wins and 2 second places apiece going into the final showdown. Although Henry Kaye's Ceberus finished 3rd today they will have to do much better to overtake Bob Mott's Chameleon who is presently claiming third place overall.
Claus Karthe's easier handling Greensleeves has cleaned up in the triangle courses beating Julian Hill's Phuket Sail Sanook with the more unmanagable classics of Peter Wood's 80 ton Sunshine and Dr Jens Ehrhardt's 42m Sylvia struggling around in third and fourth spots respectively. If all goes according to plan on tomorrows short course they are likely to finish up in the same order.
Full PKCR 04 results and Overall Summary can be found on the event website at the address below.
Photos are also available from Shu Fen by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org