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Action begins at the starting line on Day 2 of Raceweek sailing

Long and the Short of Phuket Raceweek Action, Day 2

Saturday, July 20, 2013
PHUKET: Day Two of the 10th Anniversary Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek saw winds ranging from eight to fifteen knots giving all boats some long-course racing off Phuket's southern coast.

Despite breakages and damage to six boats, all were fixed and back in action yesterday with a full 37-strong fleet out racing on-the-water.

The Cruising and Classic classes headed off on a scenic island tour of Chalong Bay out to Bon Island and then rounding Lone Island before downwind to the finish.

While the other classes sailed a variation of the same course, taking in Bon Island and Coral Island before being given a second race for the day, a Windward/Leeward in softening breeze.

First off the blocks were IRC Racing I with the TP52 Oi! helmed by Peter Ahern taking the pin end of the line together with Wan Marang who is being helmed by Thai sailor and SEA Games Gold-Medallist, Jaray Tipsuk.

Katsu tacked early to take the other side of the course and when they came back together Oi! had made the best of the wind and took an early lead on-the-water, going on to lead through the finish to take Line Honors by 20 minutes and the win on corrected time by five.

Katsu, skippered by Ben Copley, again played bridesmaid ahead of Wan Marang who despite finishing third was only five minutes off the pace after almost three hours of racing.

In Race 2, things didn't go to script, and the racing was a much closer affair. Oi! continued their winning ways though claiming victory by less than a minute on corrected time from Wan Marang with Katsu falling off the pace and finishing third.

Wan Marang owner Kevin Whitcraft was not on the boat and his arrival yesterday has brought the best out of the crew, as can be seen on the results sheet.

In IRC Racing II consistency was the name of the game, with the top three spots filled by the same boats in both races yesterday. Fujin, helmed by Peter Sorensen and with Steve McConaghy onboard, added two more wins to their two wins the previous day to take a superior lead at the halfway point, while Stuart Williamson's Skandia Endeavour of Whitby will no doubt be happy with two second places.

And while Phoenix, skippered by Neils Degenkolw, scored two third places, less than 10 seconds separated second and third places in both races today, ensuring all is to play for on the final two days.

In IRC Cruising, the erstwhile winner at the end of Thursday's race, Irish entry Peter Wood's Windstar, stayed on top of the class yesterday, with a fine win of more than 10 minutes, ahead of two Aussie contenders, Mike Crisp's Sail in Asia Venture and Rob Azzopardi's Dreamtime, lying second and third, respectively.

In the long-distance race for the Firefly 850 Sport class, three boats were called OCS at the start. Tactics played a big part over the race, with the lead changing hands many times and despite being one of the boats called OCS at the start, it was Twin Sharks, skippered by John Newnham, who emerged the clear winner by seven minutes.

Twin Sharks went on to make it two-from-two with a narrow victory in the second race and sits at the top of the series standings unbeaten.

Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi scored two second places while defending champion Voodoo and Dyer Straits shared the third place spoils in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively.

Elsewhere, in the Multihull Racing class, Aussie Alan Carwadine's Asian Catamarans Hurricane racked up a third and first.

But, John Coffin's Java, with a second and third, leads this hotly contested class from Carwadine and Peter Gallagher's DaVinci who are equal second overall, at the end of four races.

It is only split seconds separating these flying felines across the finishing line.

In the Classic class, those venerable old war-horses of the sea lanes, Thai entry Laurie Piper's Atlanta squeezed in ahead of Captain Bao's Seraph, leaving Thursday's winner, Simon Morris's Sirius, languishing in third place.

All three are tied on four points in the overall standings with two more days of racing to go.

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 continues tomorrow.

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