Regatta Samui Sawadee.com: Neil Pryde Ji-Fi wins Racing Class ; Ray Roberts Asian Yachting GP Trophy

Sunday, 05 June 2011


After some fierce competition from Johannes Waimer and the crew of Team Premier, it was Neil Pryde’s Hi-Fi that took 1st place in the Racing Class on the final day of racing at the Sawadee.com Regatta Samui. Throughout the weeklong event, the competition was intense in all classes. 

The final day came down to a one-passage race shootout, down South to the Mat Sum mark and back for the Racing and IRC 1 classes. The IRC 2 and Multihull classes set off in 10 knots of breeze on a slightly shorter passage race. Only seconds separated the leaders as they went tack for tack, picking the wind shifts on the long windward beat. As the breeze faded the boats began to struggle into the current. Luckily the breeze returned in time for all 

classes to round the mark and set off downwind. PRO Ross Chisholm called it a day at the Hin Ang Wang gate for all classes. 

It seemed that with each gybe one boat would pull slightly ahead, then with the next another boat looked famous for a while. Eventually Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II crossed the shortened finish line taking line honours with the 52 footers hot soon behind. Twenty seven seconds latter Johannes Waimer's TP52 Team Premier crossed the line with Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi-Fi only four seconds adrift. A further 22 seconds elapsed and Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire came through with Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing trailing them by forty-three seconds. All in all, a little over two minutes elapsed for all the Racing Class boats to finish and the number crunching started. When we left off on Race 4, Neil Pryde's Hi-Fi took over the lead and stayed on the pace to win the last three races and take out the Racing Class title. A couple of bad luck races reduced Team Premier down to second overall and second place today for Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire breaks the tie with Ray Roberts Evolution Racing to end up third and fourth overall respectively. 

Although Neil Pryde won the regatta and Ray Roberts finished in fourth place, under the six regatta's to score system, Ray Roberts still manages to win the 2010-11 AYGP Championship and take home the new 2010-11 Evolution Sails AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year trophy. This regatta is the seventh event they have both contested and becomes the drop event for Roberts, after winning 4 events as opposed to Neil Pryde's 2 wins, Roberts defends the title that he won last year. 

Despite being recalled at the startline, Marcel Liedts Archambault 40 Elektra managed to claw their way back into contention and win the final Race 10 by 33 seconds from Matt Allen's Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichiban and Simon Powell's Archambault 40 Sell Side Dream slipping into 3rd spot. Several protest hearings and redress for the Day 2 accident has resulted in Matt Allen's crew having a challenging time in the protest room and his Beneteau 44.7 Zhik Ichiban being dethroned as top gun in the IRC 1 class down to second overall. As a result of Ichiban scoring average points and collecting a 50% penalty infringement, Marcel Liedts Elektra is elevated to first overall in the points shakeup. With placing's ranging from 2 x 1st to 7th, Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake takes the third podium place, in front of the hungry chasing pack of 40 footers that have scraped for every single place in the point score. 

Greg Coops X 372 Abraxas added another win to their tally making it five wins out of seven races to sew up the IRC 2/Cruising class in fine style. Peter Herning's Baveria 42 Kirafiki turned the tables on Jean Rheault's Johnstone One Tonner Souay 1 in today's race, but in the overall stakes Souay 1 retains second and Kirafiki slots into third overall. 

In the Multihull class, Saad Pangawan's Belize 43 Kindred Spirit are ecstatic at having won a race in their home regatta. Second place for Kirati Assakul (Nim) Bandara Sonic gives them the overall victory on handicap. Despite not being able to convert line honours into handicap victories, Henry Kaye's Firefly 850 Sports Pagatoon ends up in second place on the podium. Second place today for Kunta's (Samui Ocean Sports} bi-plane rigged Radical Bay 8000 Team Zazen has lifted them into third overall after Radab Kanjanavanit's KT-ZMICO Cedar Swan had to retire from the event with hull damage.  

This was the 10th running of this international regatta contested on the beautiful island of Koh Samui in Thailand.  For five days and seven nights, crews, spectators and media have been treated to an uninterrupted schedule of sailing – providing thrills, spills, and some of the closest competition that this event has seen since it first entered a race start sequence back in 2002. Yesterday was the Centara Challenge Race Day in Samui that brought the 2011 running of the regatta to its exciting conclusion. 

Along with the fiercely contested ‘on-water’ action, which also included the 4th running of the ‘Samui Junior Sailing Squadron Challenge’, the schedule has seen some important and fun ‘off-water’ activities – including a support the environment beach clean-up, fashion show, cool parties at Zico’s and Beach Republic and much much more. There’s a reason why these week-long festivities have been tagged as a ‘must attend’ event. 

After a full week of close racing action, it was a tired, yet satisfied and mostly tanned, bunch of sailors that arrived for yesterday’s gala awards evening at the Centara Grand Beach Resort – the home of the regatta for the past decade. As the skippers and crews prepared to leave Samui, many had already confirmed their return to Samui one year from now to contest the 11th running of this event on the pristine ocean waters off Chaweng Beach. Bring it on!    

Excerpts in this press release are re-produced with thanks to ‘Asian Yachting’ (http://asianyachting.com

 Ian Grundy: 

 See Ocean & Coastal images :

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 June 2011 )