Tuesday was spectacular but Wednesday was less so: it was an undeniably slow start on the water this morning. If there is atmospheric action going on in the Bay of Bengal, then Phuket is not on the party line.
Having rushed breakfast, and having rushed out to the boats, there wasn’t much more rushing to do. At 0900 mark boat Alpha were reporting “less than two knots from 120… 140… 100.” The skipper of the camera boat took advantage of the down time to scrape his bottom.
After some three hours’ sunbathing, Russian swimsuit parades and giant inflatable pink flamingos, gentle breeze started some movement on the water at midday, and racing began on both course areas. The Racing classes on Area A completed two windward leewards in 6-8 knots of breeze, and the Cruisers on Area B raced once on a short (and shortened) course before the wind died. Inshore, the dinghy classes – Optimists, 420s and Lasers – were all racing on the same course, making for some interesting traffic!
The IRC 0 division of just two boats has become a test of how far THA72 can finish ahead of Team Hollywood. One bad gybe in the opening race today put Hollywood behind by 3m 32s on the water at the first leeward mark, but the second race was a more even-handed affair with THA72 winning by just 5 seconds on corrected time. “Actually, we are not all that disappointed,” said a spokesman for Team Hollywood. “TP52s are all about optimisation, and we haven’t even started to tweak this one yet. This time next year the story will be different, so watch this space.”
The start of the Premier Cruising division sounded like opening time at the Sai Kung Fish Market, with four big boats stacked up in not enough space. At the pin end, King’s Legend managed to stay on the race course – just – but it was Yingsiri Ithinai’s Pine-Pacific that took the honours in the only race of the day.
The IRC 1 division is where the action is. Nine boats, the top three just two points apart, and division leaders Karasu and Mandrake III carrying the same number of first, second and third places on the score card.
John Newnham’s Firefly, Twin Sharks, recovered from an OCS in the first race of the day to work her way through the fleet to the front and preserve a clean results sheet for the series so far. Hans Rahmann (Voodoo) continues to harry from behind with an unbroken string of second places.
And the sun was shining, so here are the pics.
Standing by on 72.
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia