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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Sail-World Asia at the Phuket King's Cup.

by Guy Nowell 6 Dec 2018 15:41 GMT
Under the watchful eye of the Buddha. Phuket King's Cup 2018 © Guy Nowell / Phuket King's Cup

Of course it’s all about the Phuket King’s Cup at the moment: 32 years after it was started as a tribute to the late King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, the ‘Sailor King’ of Thailand, and two years after his sad demise, the King’s Cup continues albeit with a somewhat reduced entry list. If you want to max out the numbers as much as possible, then 72 keelboats and 97 dinghies make it, once again, far and away the biggest regatta in Asia. Going into the Lay Day after three days of good sailing breeze (even if it was a bit soft on the Tuesday) with all scheduled races completed, and the cream is starting to float to the top of the divisions. Ray Roberts went shopping for yet another TP52 (formerly Provezza 8) in order to beat Kevin Whitcraft’s all-conquering THA72 (formerly Provezza 7), and so far the Team Hollywood programme is bang on target. Mandrake III (Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth) would very much like to follow-on from a win at the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta last month with an IRC 1 win at King’s Cup. Yes, they are leading with seven of the ten-race card completed, but they’ll have to fight for it, with the top three boats scoring presently on 13, 13.5 and 14 points.

Antipodes (Geoff Hill) and Firstlight (Andy Cox) are level on points in the Premier division, while Team Scallywag are being given a good thrashing on corrected time by Dan Fidock’s 40ft tri, Fugazi. The Charter and Bareboat divisions are dominated by Russian (12) and Chinese (7) entries. If you want to grow your regatta fleet around here, we suggest you make friends with a nearby charter operation, and start issuing NORs and SIs in Russian and Chinese!

The China Cup people (Across Four Oceans Sailing Event Management) are spreading their wings. The 2019 Inaugural Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao-Greater Bay Area Regatta & Macao Cup International Regatta is, presumably, a way to better occupy the huge office secretariat that runs CCIR - we have always wondered why it takes so many salaried staff to run one five-day regatta per year. And of course it gives the China Cup fleet of Beneteau 40.7s something to do.

“Organized by the Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government and China Cup International Regatta Organizing Committee, the inaugural Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao-Greater Bay Area Regatta & Macao Cup International Regatta is scheduled to take place 10-13 January 2019,” in the turbid waters off Hac Sa Beach, Coloane. “We hereby sincerely inviting international teams to join and participate in this first ever sailing carnival in Macao,” says the blurb.

One month is rather short notice for most people, and not everyone will be willing to fork out HKD10,000 to charter a boat of highly questionable one-design-ness. The China Cup Beneteau fleet is notorious for being far from ‘One Design’, and the skipper of one of the entries this year described the sails as “the worst-cut sails I have ever seen. I had a sailmaker in the crew, and we were intending to re-cut the No 1 before the event started, but that would have been against the One Design regulations. So I guess they were all just as bad.”

In the current climate of anti-corruption and anti-excess promoted by the central Chinese government, sailing is an aceptable way of spending dollars because it is a sport. And as all boat owners know, you can spend a lot of dollars on a boat - every year. Just saying.

If you are interested in a few days in Macau, all expenses paid (except for the entry fee, of course), please contact Yuna Zhu

Meanwhile, standing by on 72.

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