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Thailand’s THA72 going great guns in Langkawi

LANGKAWI: Thailand’s THA72 team (pic) are starting to look like runaway leaders after winning Races 3 and 4 of the Racing class at the 15th Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR).

Although the wind was only at five knots at the start of Race 3, the Thai yacht – skippered by 21-year-old Don Whitcraft – breezed to victory in 55:39 yesterday.

Emagine was second in 59:08. Hong Kong’s Black Bazza third in 59:41.

With the wind speed rising to eight knots in the afternoon’s Race 4, THA72 continued to dominate and clocked 1’21:04 to finish ahead of the chasing pack.

Black Bazza, skippered by Steve Manning, continued to impress as they came in second in 1’23:10. Two-time winners Oi!, who struggled in the early stages, were third in 1’24:44.

THA72, who also won Race 2 on Tuesday, hold the overall lead with five points, followed by Emagine (10pts), Black Bazza (12pts), Oi! (15pts) and the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Uranus (18pts).

“It was quite tricky for us because the wind was blowing in all directions,” said Whitcraft.

“This is our first regatta in Langkawi. We came straight here after competing in the King’s Cup in Phuket last month because my crew wanted the extra practice.

“It’s really going good for us ... we’re quite confident of winning the remaining races.”

In the IRC1 class, the Vincent Chan-skippered Mata Hari again won both races to make it four in a row.

In the IRC2 class, Danish team Phoenix continued to make good progress after taking both Race 3 and Race 4.