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Fujin (right) on her way to two more wins on Day Three

Grounded Off Phuket as One Raceweek Contestant Comes Unstuck

Saturday, July 20, 2013
PHUKET: Light airs beckoned on Day Three of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, but by start time a solid 10 knots was blowing and PRO Simon James got the fleet underway on time.

A single race was in order for IRC Cruising and the Classic classes, while the rest enjoyed the solid breeze to complete two races. The the wind held throughout the schedule, but the shifts combined with lumpy seas made for challenging racing conditions.

A grounding off Lon Island for the crew on Sail in Asia Venture, who were subsequently pulled off by the media corps, didn't distract from the day's racing with a number of boats cementing their superiority and extending their undefeated runs, while in other classes mere seconds separated the podium places.

The TP52 Oi!, formerly Team Premier, being raced for the first time by new owner Peter Ahern, has sailed a solid regatta so far with crew work improving race-by-race.

Six wins from seven races leaves them in a strong position at the top of the standings, four points clear of the Reichel-Pugh 45 Katsu, skippered by Ben Copley, who scored two more second places today.

The modified GP42 Wan Ma Rang, despite again placing third, are pushing Katsu all the way and today were just seconds behind on corrected time.

IRC Racing II went to script with Australian Peter Sorensen extending his lead on Fujin with two more wins today.

They sit on five points, eight clear of the second placed boat. While Fujin is dominating the front, second to fourth are separated by just five points and the racing is close.

Stuart Williamson's Skandia Endeavour of Whitby have put in some good performances so far with a string of second places, but today suffered from an OCS in the first race and fell off the pace finishing 6,3 on the day.

They hold onto second overall ahead of Phoenix, skippered by Neils Degenkolw, whose 2,4 keeps them in contention in third place, just one point behind.

Ireland's entry, Peter Wood on Windstar, racing out of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, has consolidated his hold on the IRC Cruising class, with another win today making it three straight wins in the Series so far.

They sit four points clear of Aussie Rob Azzapardi's Dreamtime, also out of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club. Third place, to make it the top three from the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, was Tia's Sansiri Ooh La La.

Despite being the smallest in the fleet at 23-foot, and racing in the largest class of 11 boats, a third today for Sansiri Ooh La La gives them a six point lead over their nearest rival and a cushion going into the final day.

Brit John Newnham, racing Twin Sharks, has schooled the Firefly 850 class this year adding two more wins today to bring his tally to six from six. Defending champion Voodoo, skippered by Hans Rahmann, scored 3,2 today to hold onto third place overall, and sits two points behind Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi who had a disappointing last race today placing fifth.

Twin Sharks leading the Fireflys off the start line on Day 3 of the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek.

In the Multihull Racing class, the pattern was much closer, with erstwhile leader Aussie Alan Carwadine maintaining his lead on eight points with a 2,1 today.

They sit one point ahead of Mark Pescott's DaVinci who seem to favour the longer courses and 10-12 knot wind range, scoring 2,1 today and bringing them up the rankings to sit in second overall.

You can't rule out John Coffin's Java, however, who despite leading early in the Series struggled today with a 4,3, but are placed just two points back and are in a position to still make a push for the top of the podium on the final day.

In the Classic Class, Thai skippers maintained control, with Simon Morris's Sirius (five points), Laurie Piper's Atlanta (7) and Captain Bao's perennial contender, Seraph, (8), holding first to third placings, respectively.

The giant of these stately old ladies, Capt. Berndt Gundel's 90-foot Letizia, forced to carry an early penalty, nevertheless had something to celebrate today placing second.

Four days of world-class yacht racing in Phuket, Thailand, combined with four nights of magical, beachside parties at the 5-star Cape Panwa Hotel, the 10th Anniversary Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek takes place July 17-22, 2013. Racing finishes on Sunday.

About Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
Coming into its tenth year, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek comprises four days of world-class yacht racing and four nights of beachside parties.

Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, run over six or seven classes including Racing, Multihull, Cruising and Bareboat Charter, has gained a reputation for its competitive racing for the serious boats and fun courses around the islands for the less serious racers. It is also the first event of the prestigious 2013/2014 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship.

Phuket Raceweek enjoys the support of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sports Authority of Thailand, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and Ao Chalong Yacht Club.


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