Off and running with a vengeance. Racing got underway on Bass Harbour with a brisk 15 knot North Easterly driving the yachts along.
PRO Mark Pryke selected harbour courses for all classes that took them upwind to a turning mark, then on a swift downwind ride almost the length of Bass Harbour before returning for a long upwind slog and short run to the finish. Mast head symmetrical spinnakers, asymmetrical chutes, bow sprits, inner reaching sails and conventional spinnaker poles became the order of the day. In fact anything that flies downwind was hoisted to get the boats up and planning that produced a spectacular sight and profusion of colour for any spectators on the shore.
Frank Pong’s 75ft R/P Jelik showed the racing fleet a clean pair heels by claiming first and fastest bullets on the two races held today. Despite a spinnaker wrap which lead to further damage and eventual replacement Ray Roberts DK 46 Quantum Racing stayed on the pace to secure two second places in front of a hungry chasing pack. Third places were shared between Chris Meads Corby 43 Full Metal Jacket only 26 seconds behind Quantum and Peter Ahern’s Farr 40 YO!2 by a little over a minute in race two. The first race served as a good opening warm up and the second race got that little bit more serious with only 5 minutes separating the first 6 boats and only 14 minutes separating the first and last boat on corrected time. Usually a good sign of things to come.
The combined classes saw Vincent Chan’s Titan 36 Matahari take race one from Neils Degenkolw’s Phoenix and Keith Dunn’s Mount Gay 30 Lunchcutter II. Race two saw a shuffle of the order with Neils Degenkolw’s Phoenix top of the table, Keith Dunn’s Lunchcutter II in second and Vincent Chan’s Matahari relegated to third spot. These results put Lunchcutter II and Matahari tied on top of the Premier Cruising Class and Phoenix taking a handy lead in the IRC 1 Class.
In the fresh breeze the Sportsboats made the most out of it. Planning in the gusts Scott Duncanson’s Phuket Sports 8 Raimon Land shot to the front and increased his margin to take out first and fastest in race one. Fresh from the SEA Games Mohd Razali’s Platu 25 Navy 1 filled second spot. China Teams America’s Cup skipper Pierre Mas helming the 6.8m Longtze-Premier slotted into third and showed some big bursts of speed downwind. As the breeze lightened up towards the end of race 2 Mohd Razali’s Platu 25 Navy 1 came to the fore with a handy win over Scott Duncanson’s Phuket Sports 8 Raimon Land. Selected members of the Malaysian Yachting Association and Kedah Sailing Association are crewing on the Chinese Longtze boats and in Race 2 it was Longtze Langkawi that held a slight lead on her sistership for third and fourth places.
Racing multihull (Firefly)
Bill Phelps crew on Twin Sharks made a big day out of it by scoring the daily double on both races held today. Roger Kingdon’s Moto Inzi followed close behind with two second places. Henry Kaye’s Mamba suffered from a few tactical mistakes but in keeping with consistency finished with two third places.
The battle of the cruising multi’s saw Bernd Nordemann’s 41ft Twin Magic claim handicap honours from Bob Brindley’s 39ft Xcatriot that took Line Honours in both races and made amends by reversing the order with Twin Magic in race two. Greenville Fordham’s chartered 32ft IMAGE asia Ceberus is a model of consistency with two third places.
Club Cruising Class
Wulf-Henning Lenz once described his fun loving Roberts 34 My Toy as a yacht built for comfort not speed to get them to the parties on time. He must have tweaked her up a bit as they won both Club Cruising Class races today from John Ramsden’s more favoured Elan 44 Sofa So Good that finished miles ahead in each race. Labbadi Gilles modest 36ft Eloise finished the race in between the handicap winners but ended up third in both races.
Racing continues tomorrow with two more races scheduled in Bass Harbour or known by the locals as Kuah Harbour after the main town situated at the top of the bay.