'Hat-Trick for Ray Roberts and Evolution Racing at the
Sawadee.com Regatta in Koh Samui'
Ray Roberts/Evolution Racing win the Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, AYGP Championship and Skipper and Yacht of the Year Award, as The ‘Tropical Island Regatta’ draws to an end
Koh Samui, Thailand. 6 June, 2010 – The Sawadee.com Regatta 2010 drew to a close yesterday with a glorious Gala Dinner and Awards evening, following a week of great wind, fantastic racing and exotic evening events.
The Racing Class was as competitive as anyone could have hoped for. Ray Roberts and his crew were strong all week and in the end Neil Pryde and the crew aboard Hi-Fi had to succumb to the challenge from Evolution Racing. They then made it a night to remember by also winning the 2009-10 ‘Asian Yachting Champion Skipper and Yacht of the Year’, which goes back with them to Sydney, Australia.
Despite almost colliding with the startboat in the prestart maneuvers and coming close to ending their challenge for the title, Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing went on to finish both races, a mere boat length in front of arch rival Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi, to claim the coveted title. Having that little edge going upwind makes all the difference and despite Neil Pryde employing close covering tactics and splitting to either side, when the boats came back together again, it was Evolution Racing that prevailed over Hi Fi.
However they did not have it all their own way as Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II jumped up to claim a win in Race 9 and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Mills 51 EFG Mandrake slotted into second place. This result had a few heads turning and some pointscore recalculations to see what could happen on the last race of the regatta. Racing this close is why the crews return to Samui year after year. All bets were off when Frank Pong steered Jelik II down the wrong side of the finish boat and failed to correct the mistake. The dueling duo carried on gybe for gybe in close quarters right down to the finish line, when Roberts took the advantage and crossed a few seconds in front. What a race and the spectators gave a sigh of relief as they were held in suspense throughout the thrilling final.
By winning Race 6, David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu have posted four wins and went on to clean up the IRC class with one race left to run. Ben Copley's Club Swan NY 42OD Katsu had been fighting it out for line honours all week but just could not overcome Kukukerchu's advances to end up in second place overall. Robert van Paridon's Beneteau 44.7 Tantrum finally broke through to win Race 7 and secure the third spot on the podium.
Buoyed up with a win on Friday, Peter Forsythe and Jing Lee's X55 Xena went out more than ever determined to capitalise on the situation and that's just what they did. Adding two wins to their tally, took them directly to the top of the podium and brushed aside any other claims to the Premier Cruising title. After leading coming into yesterday’s final races, two second row starts did not help Jon Wardill's Cassidy 55 Australian Maid cause and saw them drop to second place overall. Gary Baguley's Holman & Pye 52 El Coyote were always pushing for a good result but after a good battle had to settle on third spot on the podium.
The Bareboat/Cruising class tuned into a two boat race coming on the final day. Nigel Hopkins Oyster Lightwave 48 Celere came on strong to take the fight to Scott Finisten's defending champion Andrew Short - Constanza for the last two years. A prestart dog-fight resulted in both boats being over the start line and recalled by the race officer. In the ensuing melee Andrew Short - Constanza managed to come out on top and by winning both races went on to win the title in honour of their departed skipper. Nigel Hopkins and Celere ended up in second overall. The Singapore Management University (SMU) Team on the Sunsail 39 Bussakorn, skippered by Shaun Toh, finally prevailed over John Stall's Atkins 34 Smooth to finish up in third and fourth respectively.
After scoring four wins in a row, Kirati Assakul's Crowther 42 Sonic had all but secured victory in the Multihull Class. Despite scoring second and third places yesterday they are still standing proud on top of the podium. Living up to the occasion and with two wins today Kim Thomas' bi-plane rigged catamaran Storm steps up to second spot on the podium and best off the locally built boats. Kunta's (Samui Ocean Sports} Radical Bay Team Zazen put on a good show in the early stages but dipped a little towards the end to finish up with third overall.
This was the 9th running of this international regatta contested on the stunningly beautiful island of Koh Samui. Every day of racing has seen the regatta fleet take to the waters in fabulous sunny conditions – conditions that support the event’s nickname as the ‘Tropical Island Regatta’. For six days and seven nights, crews, spectators and international media have been treated to a perfect week of some of the closest racing that the regatta has ever seen. Combine the great sailing with the party and festival feel and it’s no wonder that so many skippers and crews will be returning for the 10th running of the Sawadee.com Regatta when it sets sail on 30th May through to 4th June 2011.
(This is the final Sawadee.com Regatta 2010 Race Report)
For additional Sawadee.com Media Updates, please see: www.samuiregatta.com
High-resolution images from the Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui, are
available at: www.flickr.com/photos/sawadee-com-regatta-2009-samui
Twitter Updates at: http://twitter.com/SamuiRegatta
Excerpts in this press release are re-produced with thanks to ‘Asian
Citrus Public Relations:
Tel: +65 67364119
Tel: +65 67364119
About the Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui
The Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui, is an annual event that takes place on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui. Now in its ninth year, this ‘Tropical Island Regatta’ has become one of the main events on the Asian sailing circuit and attracts an international fleet.
New events such as the Sawadee.com Regatta Open, a golf tournament held at the Santiburi Samui Country Club and Asia’s Biggest Bootcamp, a three-day nutrition and fitness workshop; will be held in conjunction with the regatta this year.
Web Sawadee PLC is the title sponsor with Centara Grand and Singha as copartners. Event partners are Hertz Rent-a-Car, Prana Resorts & Spa, B1 Villa & Spa, Beach Republic, Travel + Leisure, Samui Villa & Home, Dhevatara, Kandaburi Resort & Spa, Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa, Mont Clair, The Wall Street Journal, Virgin Radio Thailand and Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa.
For further details see www.samuiregatta.com