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Plenty of wind on Day One and the rest of the week is shaping up well in the wind department.

Race Day One kicked off with some of the best conditions seen at the PKCR in recent years, winds around 19 knots and more of the same anticipated tomorrow. A total of 83 keelboats and multihulls took to the waves, which at times bordered on straight-up rough ‘n’ tumble with a few collisions.

Making hay while the sun shines, every class put in as many runs as possible. Many teams also put their faith in fast running today, and it was a gamble that paid off. Kevin Whitcraft’s THA72 Thai team won the opening three races in IRC0. In IRC1, Japanese team Karasu and Singapore-sailed Loco shared a win each, before Yasuo Nanamori’s team took the third race. IRC2, this year incorporating Open Charter, saw Peter Dyer’s Kata Rocks (Madam Butterfly) winning all three races. Full classified results are available here.

Jaray Tipsuk, Helmsman of Thai boat THA72, was still beaming after an exhausting day, saying, “Winds were very good, conditions were extremely fast all day. We’ve just bought a new jib so we’re set up for very high speed, but we never tested it before! It’s obviously performing well for us. Our team is very ready following an exhaustive practice schedule at similar speeds. We’re fast reaching downwind, not so much when running.”

Ithinai Yingsiri, Skipper of Pine Pacific, which finished second in Premier Class behind rivals Antipodes, said, “This is the sixth year that Pine-Pacific, an X-Yachts X-55, has raced in the PKCR. However, most team members raced with ‘Lawana’, another famous Thai team boat for many years. We’ve won 1st in Premier Class for the last 4 years but were expecting a competitive year this year as we are racing against many good teams”.

Kevin Whitcraft, speaking in his role as President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee, said, “The opening of the 31st Anniversary will be remembered for its gusting wind conditions which lasted throughout the day. In fact, you could say that today’s opening day wind conditions were the stuff of dreams for sailors and spectators alike. On behalf of our officiating and organising teams, it’s massively rewarding to be able to see such a large fleet made up of some of the biggest racing sailboats giving it their all in these challenging conditions”.

Today’s racing followed festivities last night wherein the flag was hoisted and the bell was rung marked the beginning of an epic week of King’s Cup racing. Over 83 keelboats and multihulls from 20 countries split via 11 classes (and 71 dinghies) have joined the 31st Anniversary race, with more than 700 sailors and support crews joining the opening evening event following the ceremony.

In the Dinghy fleet competition, Jedtavee Yongyuennarn was quickest in the Optimist Boys, with Patcharee Sringam fastest of the girls. Keerati Bualong was victorious in Laser Standard, with Patteera Meeyousamen taking the 4.7 Class. Manat Photong achieved success in the Laser Radial while Adisak Kingkaew and Kanchai Wongpaduang won out in the 420’s.

- Tanutam Thawan