Strong winds gusting to 22knots delivered an exciting finale to the Phantom 295 Windsurfing event at the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. Three races (7, 8 and 9) were held back-to-back on Kata Beach. The finale shared the same day as His Majesty the King of Thailand’s birthday.
From left to right: Natthaphong Phonoppharat (THA), Gabriel Brettell (HKG), Chun Leung Michael Cheng (HKG)
The Phantom 295 Men Class saw Chun Leung Michael Cheng come first in all three races on the day and as a result became the winner of the Phantom 295 Men Class, with Natthaphong Phonoppharat (THA) the first runner-up and Gabriel Brettell (HKG) the second runner-up.
From left to right: Marina Alabau (ESP), Hei Man Chan (HKG), Siriporn Kaewduang-Ngam (THA)
The Phantom 295 Women Class saw Hei Man Chan (HKG) as the overall winner followed closely by Marina Alabau (ESP) who narrowly led after the sixth race but did not complete the seventh race. Siriporn Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) ended the event in third place. Congratulations to all of the female sailors and Hei Man Chan for some fantastic sailing.
From left to right: Robert York (UK), Marcos Guedez (FRA), Sirichai Phusiri (THA)
The final day saw some exciting races in the Phantom 295 Youth Men Class. Marcos Guedez from Martinique emerged as the overall winner. Thailand’s Sirichai Phusiri came second and Robert York from the UK finished third. The future of Phantom 295 Youth racers looks good. Keep an eye out for these names in the future.
From left to right: Oda Skaug (NOR), Blanca Alabau (ESP), Emma Labourne (UK)
And finally the Phantom 295 Youth Women Class provided plenty of entertainment as Emma Labourne from the UK had an excellent final day, scoring first in all three races. Despite the three wins, Labourne finished third overall with Blanca Alabau (ESP) in first, and Oda Skaug from Norway, second. The Thai Youth Women sailors competed hard, but could not complete all the races in the challenging conditions.
Photo of the Day:
Enjoying the party at the prize giving
Congratulations to all of the riders who came from all around the world to join the Phantom 295 Windsurfing Event here in Phuket. Starboard and the Windsurfing Association of Thailand (WATH) were more than pleased to work together to produce an exceptional few days of racing and activities. We all look forward to the next event already. To see the complete results of the entire event, click here.
Video – Day 4:
Planing in strong winds
This morning’s event started with great planing conditions thanks to strong but gusty winds up to 25 knots. At times, the wind was even a bit too strong for some. With 4 races completed that day and 6 in total, it was the most successful day yet and the Phantom 295 riders got to experience the equipment in all conditions.
Marina Alabau from Spain keeping an eye over her shoulder
Race 3 & 4 seemed to replicate yesterdays results with Hong Kong’s Chun Leung Michael Cheng (HKG) taking centre stage. He came first in the third and fourth races of the event but was closely followed by Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat who came in at second overall in the third race and third overall in the fourth race. Hong Kong’s was present again on top with Gabriel Brettell taking third overall in the third race and second overall in the fourth race. Spain’s Marina Alabau leads the Phantom 295 Women Class after the third and fourth races, closely followed by Hei Man Chan (HKG), with both sailors scoring equally.
The strong wind conditions were particularly challenging for the young sailors who did very well and had lots of fun. In the Phantom 295 Youth Men Class, Marcos Guedez (FRA) was first in the third race, followed by Robert York (UK) and Nattanont Chui who came first in the fourth race with Phattharadanai Chinain second and Robert York in third. Blanca Alabau (SPA) dominated the Phantom 295 Youth Women Class where she won both races today. Its all heating up here at Kata Beach.
Marcos Guedez from Martinique cruising to the finish line
Race 5 & 6 saw the wind drop dramatically to 10 knots. However, this didn’t stop the riders from giving all they had. Chun Leung Michael Cheng (HKG) finished the fifth race first, Natthaphong Phonoppharat (THA) came back to place first in the sixth race of the Series. In the Phantom 295 Men Class, after six races, Chun Leung Michael Cheng (HKG) is first, Natthaphong Phonoppharat (THA) is second and Ek Boonsawad (THA) is in third place.
Racing in the Phantom 295 Women Class was equally exciting in the afternoon, with Hei Man Chan (HKG) first in the fifth race, and second in the sixth race behind Spain’s Marina Alabau. After six races, Marina still narrowly leads the Phantom 295 Women Class with Thailands’ Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) is in third overall.
Rob being followed closely by Daniel
In the Phantom 295 Youth Men after six races, Thailand’s Sirichai Phusiri is first in the standings, with Marcos Guedez from Martinique second and Robert York from the UK in third. Blanca Alabau (ESP) is leading the Phantom 295 Youth Women Class, ahead of Oda Skaug from Norway and Dunangkamon Phongern from Thailand. After a great racing day, sailors returned to the beach to be greeted by another traditional Thai massage with a beautiful sunset in the background. To see the complete overall results as well as the results by class, click here.
Photo of the Day:
Svein & Scotty having fun with the Tiki Gangnam poster
Video – Day 3:
Together at the start line waiting for the horn
With demanding and shifty conditions from 6 knots gusting to 12, the organizers managed to run two races before the wind died out in the afternoon. Hong Kong sailor Michael Cheng Chun Leung (HKG) is currently leading with an impressive 1-3 combo, but he had to make a run for his money to stay ahead of Chang Hei Man (HKG) 4-1 and Marina Alabbau Niera (ESP) 2-4, separating the top three by only 3 points. For a full read up of race Day 3, click here.
The race for the finish line
Here is what Michael had to say about the competition so far; “The Phantom is an excellent board in light wind conditions, which makes it stand out compared to other One Design classes I have been competing in. I feel good and will try my best to stay on top of the competition, although I know it will be difficult.”
With good wind forecast for the next two days in the early morning the officials have moved the start time back one hour to accomodate this. All eyes are on the water.
The WindSUPS out on Kata Beach
With the race being called off for the afternoon the riders got a chance to kick back with the Starboard team on the beach. Events such as S.U.P relay races and board balancing competitions were on the agenda. The WindSUPS and SuperSails were also given a test ride out on the water. At the end of the day the riders were treated with a traditional Thai massage right on the beach.
Photo of the Day:
The Tiki overlooking the Thai massage
Video – Day 2:
The guys sharing a nice wave at Kata beach
The morning here in Phuket started out with very heavy rain and a possible start looked doubtful as there was little to no wind. Luckily, there was a large swell which gave some hope for the days events. The riders and company arrived on location looking a bit wetter than usual. However, beach volley-ball and an intro to stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) kept everyone in high spirits. It was a very eventful morning despite the rain:
Rob taking a dramatic exit
After a quick bite Rémi Vila, head of racing development at Starboard, hosted a masterclass on the Phantom 295 equipment. He concentrated on the reasoning behind the Phantom 295 design of the board and rig. Daniel Blinnikka from Finland also talked about tuning the gear and his latest experience during competition. For a full read up on the Phantom 295 and its history, click here.
Marcos happily falling off
The afternoon saw all the riders take a little break from pre-racing preparation as the race was officially canceled for the day. With the changing tide the surf looked perfect for a first go at stand up paddle boarding in the waves. After a quick lesson from the Starboard team the guys were tearing up the waves that were breaking on Kata Beach. With a promising wind forecast, everyone is prepared to hit the water first thing in the morning. Stay tuned…!
Photo of the Day:
Svein and the Tiki catch a wave together
Video – Day 1:
And they’re off…
Saturday delivered a nice constant breeze of about 15 knots which gave the Phantom 295 riders a chance to get out on the water all day with the occasional chance of planing. After registration and a quick gear presentation by Rémi Vila the guys and girls stickered up their sails and got familiar with the course, wind conditions and the location. Later in the day a skipper meeting held by the King’s Cup’s officials detailed the course layout to the riders. Everyone is now set for the days ahead and hoping for wind.
The First Supper
As the day came to end the riders got together to enjoy some traditional Thai food in a local restaurant just off Karon. There was a great atmosphere in the room as all the riders discussed their day on the Phantom 295′s. The Starboard team and members of the Windsurfing Association of Thailand (WATH) were delighted to have representatives from the 20 countries around the table to enjoy the local Tom Gha Gai, Somtum, and delicious Yam Nuea. Luckily enough everyone made it home just in time before a typical Phuket tropical storm rained down…..phew!
Photo of the Day:
Marina Alabau and her sister Blanca having fun.
Preparation Day 2:
Getting familiar with the kit
Today saw many of the riders arriving early to test out the Phantom kit before the official race day tomorrow. Riders from Thailand, Burma, Spain, USA, Finland, and the UK all made an appearance. After receiving their race number everyone braved the scorching sun, rigged up and hit the water. Light winds prevented any serious action but it blew just enough for everyone to get familiar with their kit. Many kata beach goers stopped to take a look at the bright green sails cruising out on the ocean.
View from Kata Beach
So tomorrow marks the opening of the King’s Cup Regatta 2012 and also the start to the Phantom 295 event. After registration at the Kata Beach Resort & Spa Hotel in the morning, Rémi Vila will give a short presentation of the equipment for the Phantom kit to all the riders. With the wind looking to gradually pick up, everyone is eager to get to the start line. All (windsurfing) eyes are on Phuket this weekend, stay tuned!
Daniel Blinnikka from Finland showing his multi-tasking skills
The trucks have arrived! After driving a staggering 12 hours from the Starboard headquarters in Bangkok, we were pleased to see our 2 trucks and the drivers make a safe journey to Kata Beach. I’m sure they were pleased to see us too. After lunch the team riders from Myanmar (Burma) arrived, which gave them a chance to set up their booms for racing. It was a hot and busy day but we look forward to tomorrow and meeting more of the riders. Bye for now!