The Securicor Somtum Cowboys skippered by Scott Duncanson (Ao Chalong YC Phuket) snatched victory from the hands of champion helmsman Jaray Thipsuk (Satin) by one point on the final day of the 2002 Coronation Cup held in Pranburi last weekend
The Coronation Cup, an annual fleet race regatta for the Farr Platu 25 ft, one design racing keelboat, was scheduled to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej of Thailand. This international yachting event, this year attracted 9 teams from Thailand, Malaysia, The Philippines and Singapore.
The seven race event was spread over three days with a selection of triangular courses, windward / leeward legs and offshore races.
Competition kicked off on Friday with two windward returns. Conditions were described as "light, lumpy and wet" by Muzza Nordstrand, current Thailand National Match Racing Champion and mainsheet trimmer/tactician for Securicor. Five to seven knot black squalls were blowing across the Gulf for the morning race in which Jaray Thipsuk (Satin) and his crew comprised of Australian Mark D'Emilio and the staff from DK Yachts in Malacca, took the line honors ahead of Mark Haswell (Subic Bay YC) in second and Securicor (ACYC) third. Khun Jaray incidentally is the new skipper of DK Yachts latest Farr 40, which was launched two weeks ago in Port Dickson.
Race two saw the breeze pick up to around 12 knots. An early tack to the right side of the course and some very experienced spinnaker work by the Securicor team gave them a first place finish followed by Khun Jaray second and Mark Haswell third.
The second day of racing saw the team's head offshore in a dash from Pranburi to Hua Hin for race three. The day started with very squally 18-20 knot winds for the 12 nautical mile downwind race to the south. The race committee decided to forgo spinnakers for this leg due to the unpredictable conditions. This decision had no effect on Mark Haswell's lightweight crew from Subic who tallied their first win of the regatta. Second place were Securicor who were followed in third by Richard Killip representing the Changi Sailing Club (Singapore).
After a brief lunch, race four took the fleet back up to Pranburi. The consistent 18-20 knot southerly breeze and excellent up-wind boatspeed helped Securicor to establish an early lead that was never going to be threatened measuring the most convincing win of the regatta. Second place went to Mark Haswell with Richard Killip again taking third.
The fifth race, and the third for the day, was a triangular course around the buoys in front of the Phatra Marina. Spinnakers were again forgone for the start of the race but the race committee reversed this decision for the second rounding. Aggressive covering by Jaray and the DK team over Securicor ended in a port starboard incident with Pote Suyasinto (Phatra Yacht Club), just after the start. Securicor managed to duck beneath Pote's boat but Khun Jaray did not leave himself any room to maneuver and found himself being protested by Securicor. Mark Haswell went on to win the race with Khun Jaray edging his boat back into 2nd place with Securicor third.
After some very spirited celebrations on Saturday night at the Platu Night Party, the crews were back on board Sunday for the final two races of the regatta. Mark Haswell and Securicor, engaging in some pre-start match racing tactics, found themselves over the start line early in race six. Securicor hesitantly turned and crossed back over the line but Mark Haswell and team decided to keep on sailing and were later disqualified. Securicor regained vital positions quickly after the dissapointing start but were unable to catch Khun Jaray who won the race with Securicor second and Richard Killip third.
In the last race of the weekend Khun Jaray again took line honors with local Phatra Yacht Club sailor Pote Suyasinto taking second place and Securicor in third which confirmed their Champions title. Skipper Scott Duncanson and crew consisting of Muzza Nordstrand, Rob Taylor, Brian Ritchie & Andrew DeBruin were all smiles when accepting the Coronation Cup Perpetual Trophy from Lieutenant Winai Wongthip of the Royal Thai Navy.
Teams were allowed one discard to determine their final points score which had the more consistent Securicor (ACYC) finishing at the top of the leader board with 12 points, Jaray Thipsuk (Satin) 13 points, Mark Haswell (Subic Bay YC) 15 points, Pote Suyasinto (Phatra YC) 22 points, Richard Killip (Changi SC) 23 points, Gordon Williams (ACYC) 35 points, Ithinai Yingsiri (Phatra YC) 39 points, David Wheeler (Tall Lake YC - Philippines) 47 points, Mongkol (Phatra) 54 points.