Photos: Guy Nowell

Phuket King's Cup groundings

Big overnight breeze causes several competing yachts to run up the beach

Saturday December 11th 2010, Author: Guy Nowell, Location: Thailand

Racing for the final day of the 24th King's Cup Regatta has been cancelled due to the large rescue operation currently underway on Kata Beach.

A strong westerly blowing straight into Kata Beach bay along with sea chop and low tide has caused havoc among the King's Cup fleet with at least 10 boats beached and more heading towards the sand.

All race committee personnel have been instructed to assist in the rescue of the boats that are heading for shore. Unfortunately, those boats already on the beach will now have to wait for the high tide before they can be refloated.

Regatta Director Simon James and his team have been on the beach since 2am and are not likely to see an end to the drama until much later today.

Three King's Cup series winners, Miss Saigon, Ichi Ban and Team Sea Bees, have suffered damage in the early hours of this morning with all of them ending up on Kata Beach, literally, after breaking their moorings. David Liddell believes Miss Saigon's mooring was hit by an out-of-control yacht and the line cut.

Ichi Ban's problems began yesterday as the boat dragged its anchor line and almost ended up on the beach. Quick work from crews on other boats helped saved the yacht from any major damage. But this morning, Ichi Ban may not be so lucky in avoiding damage to its hull and keel.

Other boats grounded since early this morning are Thai Navy 1, Thor, Walwala, Pagatoon, Rapscallion and Silk Purse. The tide is currently out so it will be long wait for the owners and crews before the boats can be floated and safely towed back out to deeper waters.


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