The total course length was only nine nautical miles – to the Ao Makham safe watermark and back, with two short loops around the Ban Nit safe watermark and the starboard outer channel marker.
With calm winds expected, the teams embarked a little earlier than usual, hoping to catch some early breezes.
David Liddell from Miss Saigon had spent several hours on Saturday practicing his starts, and it paid off, with Miss Saigon first across the start line, as well as being the only boat to complete the full course length and earn line honours as well.
The rest of the fleet were shortened to a single loop, and Mark Horwood’s Iruvai’s course shortened further by removing both loops.
Peter Wood from Windstar also got a tremendous start, up weather with a tight line, getting a good lift from the off.
But it wasn’t long until Adam Tepper on board Linda had picked up the pace and passed Windstar.
Towards SWM Ao Makham, Linda – trailing Miss Saigon – was pulling away from Windstar upwind, but after rounding the mark, Linda didn’t have a spinnaker and was quickly passed by the ever-competitive Peter Wood.
Windstar finished the day in third place overall.
Miss Saigon beat Windstar by 12 minutes on adjusted time, coming second place overall, and Bill Sax on Astraeus took the glory and the wine for the day, having the largest performance increase over the previous race.
Rob Azzopardi’s crew failed to show up, leaving poor Rob all alone at the ACYC. Nonetheless, Rob set out by himself and although a little late to the start line, sailed the course single-handedly, for which he was awarded a bottle of wine for his efforts.
Bill Sax has taken the initiative to organise another Koh Racha cruise/race on March 24-25. Already confirmed is his boat Astraeus as well as Windstar, Linda, Miss Saigon and Dreamtime. Several other boats are tentative. All are invited to join.
James Irvine Allan/The Phuket News