There was nothing gentle about the racing or the conditions on the 23rd Phuket King’s Cup courses today as the international fleet fought for podium finishes across the 11 divisions.
Hiked out hard on the rail the racing divisions completed two windward/leeward races while the cruiser/racers completed one triangle course.
The stars of the day were the skippers and crews who were all worthy winners – Neil Pryde’s H-Fi (Racing), Anthony Hastings’s Baby Tonga Hideaways Club (Premier), Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban (IRC1), CPO Wiwat Poonpat’s Royal Thai Navy 1 (IRC2), Anthony Hasting’s Princess Sharda (Bareboat Charter), Peter Wood’s Windstar (Modern Classic), Rod Heikell’s Skylax (Cruising), Brent Gribble’s Twin Sharks (Firefly 850), Henry Kaye and Fergus Wilmer’s Thor (Multihull Racing), Timothy Robins’s Nipper (Multihull Cruising) and Rene Tiemessen’s Alondra (Classic).
‘Today there was no question. We killed them,’ Hi-Fi owner Neil Pryde announced as his crew joined him in on enjoying the fruits of their hard-fought Racing division victory. The last two King’s Cup Pryde has lost first place on a count back. This time he takes hold of the trophy with no doubts as to the ability of his boat, his crew and himself.
‘This is a great result. We won by a pretty good margin in the end. It wasn’t as hard as we expected although it was a tough regatta from a nerves point of view. It was a tough regatta with difficult conditions.’ Even with stronger winds kicking in earlier in the regatta Pryde said he would have been confident of Hi-Fi still being in there. ‘Ray and Evolution Racing looked pretty good today. We were obviously sailing conservatively today. We didn’t push it too hard and we used a smaller jib, a number four. I think if we had really been going for it we would have been with them,’ Pryde said.
The fleet headed out today motoring past the Royal Navy flagship shouting three cheers for the King and long live the King in response to the formal salute, all in celebration of the King of Thailand’s birthday. On the course they were met with similar conditions to yesterday of lumpy sea conditions and 17 plus knots breeze gusting to over 21 knots.