Breezy Day 4 sets up final day showdown at 2018 Samui Regatta

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What a difference a Lay Day makes. Sometimes the windiest day of the regatta, yesterday’s day off for the keelboats and multihulls was greeted with glorious sunshine, zero breeze and finished in the afternoon with a refreshing storm. Nothing lost from a sailing perspective and following the storm Samui Regatta was re-booted with 10-15 knots of fresh breeze today and some great sailing around the Northern tip of Samui.

A 32nm passage race for the IRC racers and 22nm for the Performance Cruising and Multihull classes allowed the sailors to mix it up.

Keen to get going, the IRC Zero class were recalled after a number were OCS and at the second attempt, Alive (AUS) used their superior waterline length to power up and lead the class around the course claiming their sixth line honours of the series. After almost three hours of racing they corrected out in second place – their best result so far – and with that move up into third in the overall standings.

The win, however, went to THA72 who’s fourth place blip on Day 3 seems a distant memory as they corrected out more than 10 minutes clear of the rest of the pack, with Freefire (HKG) finishing third. The top three had a clear lead over the rest of the class but fourth, fifth and sixth were separated by just 60 seconds – Zannekin, Ark 323, WindSikher respectively – showing how close the racing can be.

THA72 leads the TP52 Division comfortably while second and third places look set to go down to the wire tomorrow. Currently Freefire (HKG) has the edge over AKR 323 (CHN) with Team Ulumulu (MAS) five points further back in fourth.

In IRC One, Fujin’s (AUS) second place today has a big impact on the overall series results. A first for Mandrake III (HKG) and third for Loco (SIN) ensures Mandrake III has a two point lead going into the final day. If the wind’s up and the Race Officer sets multiple races, expect some high pressure racing in this class.

Souay 1 (CAN) had the better of the rest in Performance Cruising today adding another win to their scorecard which reads five wins from five races, while SailQuest Hi Jinks (THA) had to settle for second ahead of Moon Shadow (THA) in third.

Andy Pape’s Sudu Red (GER) suffered daggerboard damage in racing today, forcing him to retire. Sudu Grey (THA), skippered by Thai sailor Nut Thongtoam, saw the opening and sailed an excellent race to score the daily line honours/ handicap double. Mick Tilden’s Pixalux (AUS) had to settle for second ahead of Paul Baker’s Sudu Yellow (AUS) in third – their best performance of the series.

Hydrofoil Kites started their series in earnest today. While the keelboats and multihulls enjoyed a day off racing yesterday (Thursday) the kiteboards were prepping for the first day of their series. The weather, however, had different ideas – no wind, followed by storms and lightening, meant their Day 1 was called off. Today, however, the conditions were ideal and it was spectacular to see the 11 kiteboarders from seven countries enjoying the first round of the newly established Asia – Oceanic Hydrofoil Kiteboard Tour.

Racing off Maenam Beach in a fresh breeze reaching 15 knots, the four kiteboard classes were off on time. Two quick windward/ leewards were followed by a 12.8 nm long race during which the lead riders reported speeds in excess of 22 knots. After a brief stint back on the beach, the riders were off for a second salvo – three more windward/ leewards.

Despite a DNF in the last race of the day, Teerarat Sudpumkaew (THA) has a two point lead in the Men’s class while Benyapa Jantawn leads the Women’s class.

n the Masters Class the racing is close as five riders have placed in the top three so far. Daniel Leow (MAS) is the stand; never out of the top three his consistency places him top of the standings ahead of Rachan Taktin (THA) who’s retirement in Race 2 has hurt is pointscore. Kazumasa Sugihara (JPN) sits third overall.

With a focus to develop the grassroots, the Asia – Oceanic Hydrofoil Kiteboard Tour has a Boys class and it’s Singapore rider Maximillian Maeder leading from Huang Qibin (CHN) in second.

Racing for all the classes finishes tomorrow with prizes presented at the Gala Dinner hosted by Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.