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11 December 2006, 09:43 am
Drumstick Wins Overall
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Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2006
Phuket, Thailand

There was a dramatic finish to the Phuket King's Cup over the weekend. The big boats in the Racing 1 division were 'neck and neck' battling for the King's Cup. Neil PRYDE's Farr 52 Hi Fi was on 16 points, Paul WINKELMANN's TP52 Island Fling was on 17 points and last year's winner, Toby O'CONNELL's DK46 Dhevatara Drumstick, was on 19 points.
The race started in easing conditions, there were windless holes and Frank PONG'S 76 footer Jelik was the first victim. Island Fling was first around the top mark, followed by Hi Fi, then Mandrake and Jelik. At the bottom mark Island Fling went left looking underpowered, while Hi Fi stepped out to the right, finding pressure, and then tacked into a fast lane.

Just one run from the finish of the final race, the Racing division leader, Neil PRYDE had sailed his Farr 52 into a regatta winning position - then the wind stopped. PRYDE watched the fleet sail up to him. Behind him the entire fleet, from the largest Grand Prix racer Frank Pong's 25 metre Jelik, down to the 8 metre sports boats, joined the parking lot.

Behind Hi Fi, Paul WINKELMANN'S Island Fling was caught in the windless zone and drifted into the mark. She completed her 360 in painfully light conditions. Gradually the fleet ghosted round the buoy, with boats heading offshore looking for the sea breeze. Instead it infilled from the land and Hummingbird Konka reached along the inside of the fleet, with her larger rivals still waiting for the breeze. Within a minute Dhevatara Drumstick, the second smallest boat in the Grand Prix fleet was reaching up to the bottom mark, at 17 knots. For PRYDE the regatta was just about over.

Dockside the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club skipper Toby O'CONELL commented, 'We knew we had to win and Hi Fi and Island Fling had to be well down in the places. Two thirds of the way round, Hi Fi was having a great race and Island Fling not so great, but not too far back. When we reached the parking lot at the mark, we edged around the outside of fleet. We were heading down to meet a sea breeze but saw it coming off the land.

'We hooked into it; hit 16-17's, we were sailing deep and that helped us. The breeze stayed to the finish. Those conditions were the reverse of the first day, which was a big boat day. We are very happy boys!'

Konka Hummingbird, with Tiffany KOO at the helm, today won Race 8 for the Racing 1 division on corrected time, from Toby O'CONNELL'S defending champion Dhevatara Drumstick, with Karakoa, helmed by Jamie MACPHAIL third. Frank PONG'S Jelik recorded the fastest time around the course.

Going into today's race Dhevatara Drumstick needed to place three spots above Neil PRYDE'S Hi Fi to maintain her crown. The happy team on Drumstick achieved their goal and will be presented with the King's Cup for the second year in a row. Hi Fi was second and Island Fling (Paul WINKELMANN) finished third.

In the Coutts Premier division Race 7, Frangipani Girl (David ROSS) won by nearly ten seconds on corrected time from Strewth (Geoff HILL) with Australian Maid (Jon WARDILL). Yasooda registered the fastest time.

As a result of today's second place, Strewth takes out the Overall championship from close rival, Moon Blue 11 (Peter CHURCHHOUSE). Strewth and Moon Blue 11 were on even points going into the last race of the regatta. Moon Blue 11 finished second, with Andrew RICHARDS' Moon Blue, third.

Race 7 belonged to Madam Butterfly on corrected time, in the Racing 2. Second today on corrected time was Phoenix (Niels DGENKOLF) and third was Lunch Cutter 11 (Keith DUNN). The fastest time was recorded by Panic. The win ensured Madam Butterfly the Overall top placing, with Phoenix and Happy Endings filling the minor placings.

Risotada (Keisuke NAGAMATSU) scored the corrected time win today in Race 7 for the tightly fought Sports Boat division. Motornet (Kenichi TAKAHASHI) was thirty-eight seconds back followed by Just (Shuji HAGIHARA). G4S Somtam Express registered the fastest time.

Overall, Motornet had already won the regatta and today's sail was just 'icing on the cake'. Scott DUNSANSON'S G4S Somtam Express finished second, with Just (Shuji HAGIHARA) third. In IRC 1, Race 7 Big A, Andy Pape's Swan 55 won on corrected time, from Di Hard (Valdemar BANDOLOWSKI) and Sita (Peter WINTLE). Line honours today belonged to Sita.

The winner of this division, Rhythm Stick, the X442 helmed by Japanese skipper Ryuji NAKATA did not sail today after convincingly winning her division yesterday. Octopussy and Sita filled the minor placings.

In Sports Boats division race 7, Twin Sharks (Bill PHELPS) won on corrected time from Mamba (Henry KAYE) with Moto Inzi (Roger KINGDON) third. Fastest time was recorded by Twin Sharks.

Chi Machine, after becoming the overall winner yesterday, elected not to race today. Instead, they enjoyed the sunshine and atmosphere at the Phuket Kings Cup. Twin Sharks and Moto Inzi completed the podium places.

In Multihull racing, Race 5 The Sting (Philip DAY) won from Seekronghuk (Tim MILNER) with Charro (Mervyn OWEN) third on corrected time. Atmosphere took line honours. The win today secured the Overall Championship for the Sting crew, with Seekronghuk second and Benoit LASSAFFRE'S Atmosphere in third.

In the Performance Multihull division, Race 5, Liam NICHOLS' Gone with the Wind took the honours on corrected time, from Larry POLLOCK'S Running Cloud and Raimon Land Chameleon, helmed by Chris RUNNEGAR. Raimon Land Chemeleon also recorded the fastest time today.

Overall, Running Cloud was triumphant, with Gone with the Wind second and Raimon Land Chameleon finishing in third.

In IRC 2, Royal Thai Navy 1 (Lt. Peera SAGULTEM) won on corrected time from Master Blaster (Andrey NOVODEREZHKIN) and Minx (Rob TAYLOR). Royal Thai Navy 1 clearly won the division overall, with Master Blaster and Minx takings the minor placings.

Princess Christina (Robert YELTES) won the Sunsail One Design division today on corrected time. Princess Anna (Christian ESCHENBERG) was second and Princess Isabella (Keith HARDING) was third. Princess Athena (Antonio ESCRIBANO) yesterday secured the Overall Sunsail trophy. Princess Isabella finished second, with Princess Christina third.

In the Bareboat Charter division, Fidgi (Naoki WADA) was today the corrected time winner, with Intan (Theodore BAKKER) in second and Bintang (MADDERN and BLANKLY) third. Bintang recorded the fastest time. The Overall championship in this division went down to the wire, with Bintang winning on a countback from Intan. Fidgi finished in third.

The principal sponsor of the Regatta is Raimon Land PLC, who are joined by Kata Group, TMB Bank Pcl, Chivas Brothers (UK), Royal Phuket Marina, Thai Beverages PLC, Thai Airways International PLC, Mom Tri's Boathouse, Coutts Bank, Sunsail, Phuket Magazine, The Nation, Phuket Gazette and a host of local businesses which support the event.

Rob KOTHE (As Amended by ISAF), Image: Overall Winner - Drumstick © Rick TOMLINSON
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