Tricky Winds On Day Two Of Samui Regatta
Published: Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Early on the second day of the Samui Regatta the signs were ominous. With WindGuru predicting 2-3 knots throughout the morning, the sailors were waiting for some action onshore from the Principal Race Officer. Approximately one hour before the official start time, there it was, the AP was hoisted and the waiting game was on.
The wait, as it happened, wasn't too long as within the hour the AP was down and Race Management were heading out to lay a start line.
Although a little shifty, the start sequence got underway in a moderate-to-light breeze for all classes.
First up was IRC Zero. Having picked the wind shifts and pressure lines well in yesterday's second race, Frank Pong's Jelik was caught out today and had to settle his 75-foot sled into fifth place.
Improving on their 5,4 score line on Day 1 was the Ahern/ Bailey/Wilmer Oi! The TP52 read the conditions best and sailed the daily double, with a six minute winning margin on corrected time.
Hong Kong's Sam Chan and his crew on Freefire, another TP52, continued their steady progress (fourth and third yesterday) and today placed second, two minutes ahead of the smallest in the class, Ben Copley's Reichel Pugh Aquila 45, Katsu. With a new grinder and a few tweaks here and there, Katsu is racing consistently well and remains in the hunt for an overall podium place in IRC Zero.
New to the Regatta, but with the familiar face of Michael Spies onboard, is the Corby 36 Jessandra II (ex Rockall III, ex Rosie) racing in IRC One. Skippered by Roland Dane, principal of Red Bull Racing Australia, the team won the Audi Australian IRC Championship in 2012 and remained unbeaten in competition. After resting the boat last season, in January this year they finished second overall to Black Jack 2 (ex Telefonica V70) in Surf to City and have now shipped to Asia to compete on the Asian circuit.
Jessandra II found their rhythm today and in the light conditions climbed the standings to finish third in the race.
Despite valiant efforts by the Principal Race Officer Ross Chisholm to defy nature, the wind had other ideas and “conspicuous by its absence” Chisholm closed out IRC Race One with just one race finished on a shortened course.
Windsikher, skippered by Sarab Singh from Singapore, made the best of the winds to take Line Honours, however, on corrected time Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady VI won by a minute to extend their lead in the series.
At the end of Day 2 Singapore’s Bremner has three straight wins from three races and heads the IRC One leader board on three points, with Hong Kong’s Elektra, skippered by Marcel Liedts, on nine points, and Singh's Windsikher on 12 points.
A disappointing day today for the IRC Two fleet, who after starting saw the wind die out, forcing the PRO's hand who had no choice but to call the racing off.
By early afternoon, and with the wind gone not likely to return, the PRO called it a day and sent the fleet ashore.
The onshore clouds and squalls that keep passing through are sucking all the wind, making life for the Race Management tricky, to say the least. But after two tough days, three races completed for IRC Zero and IRC One, and two for IRC Two, is a great effort all considered.