July 11th: Under an overcast sky and the watchful eyes of the big Buddha statue, racing got underway in 15 to 25 knots from the South West. Yesterday John Newnham's Twin Sharks nose dived and capsized during practice, sending a message to other skippers to beware. A pressure system in the Bay of Bengal has generated a strong South Westerly flow for the last week and is predicted to increase for the weekend. As the crews made their way out to the start line, the mainsails were being reefed and all precautions were being taken. The radio crackled and Henry Kaye's Seacart 26 Sweet Chariot became the first casualty when the rotating mast unstepped itself and the spreader speared through the mainsail.
The 10 Racing Multi's (OMR) were first off the rank, on a three lap windward/leeward race. Mark Horwood's Formula 40 trimaran Adrenalin became the second casualty when the main beam broke loose and Werner Amstutz's Corsair 28 Flying High joined the retirement list. The Stealth catamarans took off in a cloud of spray, with Mick Coleman's 11.8m Java leading the way and closely being stalked by Alan Carwardine's sister ship Hurricane. Only 30 seconds separated them at the end and stayed in the same order after handicaps were applied. The strong wind helped Grenville Fordham / Bob Mott's Andaman Cabriolet Nina to lift their game and closed with third place.
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|Firefly 850 Voodoo powered up, photo courtesy Asian Yachting Multimedia|