The 2015 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta came to a close recently (Saturday 12th December) and with five days of good breeze there was some close racing all around.
IRC Two class saw some of the closest, with the top three trading places throughout. Representing Japan was Karasu skippered by Yasuo Nanamori, a past Phuket King’s Cup winner and winner of most IRC trophies in Japan, they were one to watch from the off and secured their first win in Race one.
With a strong contingent of Australians onboard and lead by Roland Dane, Principal of Red Bull Racing Australia, was the Royal Phuket Marina sponsored Jessandra II. On the back of two Thai regatta wins earlier this year, they were keen to make amends for fourth-place performance at last year’s Phuket King’s Cup.
Another Australian-dominated crew on the Beneteau First 44.7 Fujin, were looking to claim the bragging rights an d skippered by Mick Tilden were not going to make it easy.
A consistent string of third places early on saw Fujin loose some ground to Karasu and Jessandra II who were swapping first and second places almost every race. After six races, by Lay Day, the regatta’s ‘mid-way’ point, all was even between the two and it was time for the crews to rest and regroup.
They say preparation is key and with a number of breakages before and during the regatta to key boats, that message was never truer.
Jessandra II chose to base themselves at Royal Phuket Marina and on the hardstand they worked on and prepared the Corby 36 for their Phuket King’s Cup campaign. Having based themselves at the marina for the last year they have launched Jessandra II to two Thailand regatta successes at Samui Regatta (May 2015) and Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek (July 2015) they now call Royal Phuket Marina “home”.
Just along the hardstand at Royal Phuket Marina was their foe in battle, Karasu. Also basing themselves at Royal Phuket Marina for the last year, the Karasu team flew in early to prepare the Beneteau First 40.7 and having not been racing in Thai waters since the 2014 Top of the Gulf Regatta the crew were keep to get her ready for Phuket King’s Cup action and that they did.
Surprises on the penultimate day saw Karasu ad another win with Fujin secured their first win in the second race of the day and with it push Jessandra II down to third and allow Karasu to open up a gap.
Mixed results on the last day and with the drop race now in play, going into the last race of the series Jessandra II needed to beat Karasu by a clear three points to claim the series on countback. A steep order which proved to be too steep. Having to settle for a third in the final race, Karasu sealed victory with a final race win and the class title three points ahead of Jessandra II in second and Fujin in third.
It pays to be prepared as the success of Karasu and Jessandra II showed.