The biggest event ON the Gulf of Thailand

AY Race Report 5 and Summary
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

Sometimes you win, Sometimes you loose!
As a event unfolds it is normally possible to predict a winner but after 5 days of racing this years Koh Samui Int. Regatta came down to the final race showdown in most classes. The vagaries of the weather caused early winners to experience late setbacks and others staged a comeback in the dying stages to put themselves in with a chance. Stranger things have happened but one thing is certain that eventually only one winner will emerge in each class.

Despite winning todays final race Troy Yaw's Ulumulu had yesterdays Racing Class 1A provisional race 5 win overturned by the International Jury in favour of Sam Chan's Ffreefire. This decision handed the Russ Parker skippered ULDB sled a narrow victory over Ulumulu skippered by Ray Roberts and left Gerry Daughton's Outrageous trailing in 3rd spot overall.

Racing Class 1B is clearer cut as Marcel Liedts well sailed Hocux Pocux 2 scored 4 wins and two seconds to convincingly take the honours over Peter Churchhouse's Moonblue 2 and Dr Ian Nicolson's Intrigue of Stornaway.

Veerasit Puangnak's Naval Academy 2 four early wins kept their nose in front of a fast finishing Magic Roundabout skippered by Thailand's Saranya Makinson who won yesterday and today's final race. Her late run of wins has displaced Rachit Sanphakaew Naval Academy 1 to third place overall.

In the Sportsboat Class Jonathon Mahony's Mum 30 Happy Endings scored 4 wins to convincingly take the title from David Bell's Pink Pussycat and Mark Horwards Image Asia Attitude 8 consistency finished up in 3rd spot.

Except for the first race Khun Radab's Farrier 9 Cedar Swan almost preformed a clean sweep of wins in the Multihull Class over Kirati Assakul's 13m catamaran Sonic from Ocean Marina in Pattaya. Francesco Brancaccio's Farrier 24 Vivace finished with 18 points and a strangle hold on 3rd place.

As the Koh Samui Regatta is the final 5 star AY Grand Prix event for the 2003/04 Season a 3 way tie between Peter Ahern, Ray Ordovesa and Ray Roberts for Asia's champion skipper has been settled on count back. Peter Ahern's 2 wins at the Asean Regatta and the BMW Royal Langkawi Regatta earns him the title for the 2nd year in succession. Ffreefire's win here at Koh Samui places her firmly at the top of the yacht rankings to become this seasons champion yacht. Had her owner Sam Chan skippered her here he would have convincingly won both the yacht and skipper championships. More on this will appear in the July News and Views and the final AY Grand Prix results can be found at http://asianyachting.com/news/Rankings0304.htm

AY Race Report 4
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

Hurry up and wait!
An amusing article that caught my eye in the Bangkok Airways in flight magazine on the way to Koh Samui was about being an extra on a film set has many similarities to yacht racing. After rushing around getting ready for the early morning start only to find on arrival at Chaweng Beach a distinct lack of wind and glassy seas causing the race officer to postpone for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Getting the fleet to motor off in the direction of the first island mark was the only saving grace from complete boredom before a light zephyr appeared on the horizon and filled in enough to get Race 5 underway. A complete contrast to the earlier windy races.

Course 9 a 38nm passage race was included overnight and selected for today's race. In light of the conditions this decision may have been questionable but provision for shortening was included and had to be carried out during the race be it a bit late in the day for some. Troy Yaw's Ulumulu jumped back into contention with a win today after a mercy dash on the layday, this time to Quantum Sails in Malacca to repair the torn mainsail. Ffreefire took line honours but ended up 2nd on handicap which brings the overall results down to the last race tomorrow. If Ray Roberts steers Ulumulu into 1st place tomorrow he will not only win this regatta but will become the 2003/04 AsianYachting Grand Prix champion. What ever happens Ffreefire will win the Asian yacht of the year as Sam Chan could not be here to score the points toward the overall skipper award. The champagne is on ice and Armani International tailors are busy making the Navy blue blazer as the racing comes down to the wire..

In Class 1B or Premier Cruising Marcel Liedts well sailed Hocux Pocux 2 added another win to their tally to take a commanding lead in this class over Peter Churchhouse's Moonblue 2 and Dr Ian Nicolson's Intrigue of Stornaway who are likely to finish up in this order.

Thailands Saranya Makinson skippering Magic Roundabout pulled a surprise on the boys by taking 1st place over the Royal Thai Naval Academy 2 and 1 that have dominated the class so far. Her previous success has been on Nacra off the beach catamarans and watching a Thai girl calling the shots over a male dominated crew is certainly a change for the books and a pleasant sight to see.

In the Sportsboat class once again it was Jonathon Mahony's Mum 30 Happy Endings that made it to the shortened finish line 1st in front of David Bell's Pink Pussycat and Mark Horwards Image Asia Attitude 8 after a long and frustrating day. Judging by the recent performances this may well be the order that they may finish in the overall standings.

Khun Radab's Farrier 9 Cedar Swan was the only multihull to have finished at the time of going to press and as the time limit was running out may be the only finisher in the class.

The final day of racing is tomorrow and the overall placing's will be determined in most classes. As the final of the 2003/04 AsianYachting Grand Prix for this season comes to its natural conclusion watch this space for the overall summary and who will be popping the champagne corks tomorrow night.

AY Race Report 3
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

You'll never sleep alone!
Is fast becoming the girls catch cry around the cluster beer bars in the wake of the Thai Prime Ministers offer to buy a 30% stake in Liverpool football club. There should not be any problem with providing enough personal masseuses for the coming season either. Meanwhile back on the water several early morning rain storms dampened the spirits earlier on but by start time a 10 to 15 knot South Westerly sprung up which saw the yachts quickly away on a 34nm passage race to Koh Rap and back.

Gerry Daughton's Outrageous was recalled at the start then suffered some sort of glitch with the forestay that put an end to their chances on the day but the most unluckiest yacht must be awarded to Troy Yaw's Ulumulu. Having torn the mainsail yesterday and a crew member dispatched overnight for emergency repairs to Phuket and returning in the early hours of the morning only to suffer from a similar fate on the long outward beat today. Despite all this they carried on with the damaged sail and completed the course to finish up in second place only 1 minute and 27 seconds behind Russ Parkers Ffreefire who took line and handicap honours for race 4.

Marcel Liedts Hocux Pocux 2 added another win to their tally despite Peter Churchhouse's Moonblue 2 being right on their tail and Dr Ian Nicolson's Intrigue of Stornaway followed close behind to finish up in the same order on handicap as they crossed the line.

The hotly contested Class 2 which has been dominated by the Royal Thai Naval Academy 1 and 2 yachts has been interrupted by David Lindahl's La Samudra which split them by securing 2nd spot. A protest lodged against Navy 1 by La Samudra was dismissed by the committee as it was lodged 4 minutes after the time limit which just shows how they can be sticklers for the rules.

In the Sportsboat class Jonathon Mahony's Mum 30 Happy Endings made the most of the long windward beat to convincingly topple David Bell's winning streak on Pink Pussycat leaving Mark Horwards Image Asia Attitude 8 trailing in third place.

Khun Radab's Farrier 9 Cedar Swan just kept his nose in front of Kirati Assakul's 13m catamaran Sonic for the second day in succession and Francesco Brancaccio's Farrier 24 Vivace has a strangle hold on 3rd place.

Tomorrow is a scheduled lay-day and the media has been invited to try out the local Thai massage and spa while some competitors will be having a golf competition at one of the finest resorts on the island.

Results and more news will be available from http://www.samuiregatta.com
All photos by the lovely Shu Fen can be obtained by emailing pr@rsyc.org.sg

AY Race Report 2
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

A good 12 to 18 knot SW breeze stirred up by a unprecedented number of low pressure systems extending across Indonesia up to China and as far west as India. This certainly tested the crews sail handling skills and a number of torn sails, damaged equipment and yachts overshooting the downwind mark affected their final placings during 2 very trying trapezoid courses.

Ray Roberts skippering his former stead Ulumulu bounced back into contention with a 1st place in Race 2 today but a ripped mainsail forced them to sail with a tri-sail in race 3 and ended up with a creditable 3rd in race 3. The parting of the No 2 headsail on Sam Chan's Ffreefire left the way open for Gerry Daughton's Outrageous to fill 2nd spot in Race 2 but turned the table in Race 3 and returned to their winning ways.

Marcel Liedts crew on Hocux Pocux 2 sailed a almost flawless race to lead the fleet around every mark leaving Peter Churchhouse's Moonblue 2 trailing in his wake and Dr Ian Nicolson's 60ft Intrigue of Stornaway in 3rd. The positions where reversed in Race 3 with Moonblue 2 edging out Hocux Pocux 2 at the top of the podium and yesterdays winner Lawana embarrassingly catching all the headsails on the mast mounted radar bracket and requiring a emergency dash to Phuket for sail repairs.

The Thai Naval Academy finished up completing a 1, 2 in both races with Veerasit Puangnak's crew getting the better of Rachit Sanphakaew by a mere 25 seconds. Saranya Makinson's Magic Roundabout took 2 third places but will have to do much better to catch the well sailed Farr 34 MRX's who are looking at a run away win in this class.

In the colorfully named Sportsboat class Jonathon Mahony's Mum 30 Happy Endings easily beat David Bell's Pink Pussycat and Mark Horwards Image Asia Attitude 8 in race 2. Early retirements in race 3 for Happy Endings and Image Asia Attitude 8 left the way open for Pink Pussycat to complete the race alone and add another win to her tally.

Khun Radab displayed a show of speed around the course on his Farrier 9 Cedar Swan trimaran in both races to eclipse Kirati Assakul's 13m Lock Crowther catamaran Sonic and Francesco Brancaccio's Farrier 24 Vivace. Race 3 saw the retirement of most of the front runners leaving the way clear for Martin Peter's Wharram Tiki 30 Nok Talay to surprisingly take 2nd place in race 3.

Racing continues in the fresh breezes with a passage race tomorrow leading into a layday on Thursday when emergency repairs can be conducted.

Results and more news will be available from http://www.samuiregatta.com
All photos by the lovely Shu Fen can be obtained by emailing pr@rsyc.org.sg

AY Race Report 1
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

Results and more news will be available from http://www.samuiregatta.com

Despite suffering a similar fate to yesterdays Monaco GP which saw several mechanical breakdowns considerably deplete the fleet numbers the remaining entrants had an exciting days racing. Course 7, a 19 nm race to Ko Phangan rounding Koh Kong Rin and back was chosen for the first day that favored the big boats with long waterlines as it turned into 2 x 9 mile reaching legs in 10 to 15 knots of westerly tradewinds. Sam Chan's 21m Ffreefire this time skippered by Russ Parker streaked away after the start leaving the fleet in their wake to score a resounding line and handicap honours victory. Troy Yaw's Ulumulu skippered by Aussie Ray Roberts managed to fill 2nd spot with Gerry Daughton's Outrageous following closely in 3rd place.

The large heavy weight racer/cruiser class saw a close tussle develop between 2 Warwick designs and two X-Yachts. Eventually it was Suwan Poopoksakul's 15m Lawana by less than a minute to Marcel Liedts 18m Hocux Pocux 2 and Dr Ian Nicolson's 60ft Intrigue of Stornaway.

The Thai Navy came to the fore again taking 1st and 3rd place in the biggest class competing here. David Liedts La Samudra ended up filling 2nd place splitting the Naval Academies Veerasit Puangnak and Rachit Sanphakaew.

In the Sportsboat class David Bell's Pink Pussycat slipped into 1st place by a little over a minute from Jonathon Mahony's Happy Endings and Mark Horward's Phuket 8 Image Asia Attitude 8 finished up a distant 3rd.

Kirati Assakul's 13m Lock Crowther catamaran Sonic from Ocean Marina in Pattaya made the most of the fresh conditions to score her first win over Radab Kanjanavanit's Cedar Swan and Francesco Brancaccio's Farrier 24 Vivace.

Racing continues tomorrow around 2 trapezoid courses to be laid around 3 miles offshore which should favour some of the unplaced yachts from today's first race.

AY Pre Regatta Report
By Capt. Marty Rijkuris

The week preceding the regatta has seen a number of factors affecting the initial entry list. Typhoon 'Dindo' over the Philippines and a Tropical Storm over Vietnam has hampered the delivery of Hong Kong yachts. Mechanical problems with Neil Pryde's Hi Fidelity and Frank Pong's Jelik sees them returning to Subic Bay for urgent repairs. Despite some withdrawals a extremely competitive fleet is lining up in the racing class and a showdown is expected in the ever increasing Sportsboat and multihull classes.

Still up for grabs is the prestigious 2003/04 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship trophy and tailored Blue Blazer from Armani. Present leaders Peter Ahern and Ray Ordovesa on 7 points can be overhauled by Sam Chan and Neil Pryde on 6 points and Ray Roberts on 5 points depending on who makes it around to Koh Samui and their final placings. In event of a tie a count back based on the number of wins, 2nd and 3rd places throughout the season will determine the overall winner. This regatta is the 9th selected - 5 star AY Grand Prix and final event for the 2003/04 Season. Current rankings can be browsed at: http://asianyachting.com/news/Rankings0304.htm

Making her debut is Robert Knight's new DK 46 - Drumstick which is one to watch out for as she is considered a serious contender for first place on corrected time. The Royal Thai Navy have turned up in force with 2 Farr MRX's that have shown excellent form at the Phuket King's Cup over the last couple of years. Troy Yaw's Ulumulu is the only Malaysian entry coming from Sarawak and may see the return of her former owner Ray Roberts on the helm who will have to score a win here to have any chance of popping the champagne and taking home the coveted blue blazer.

Two Phuket 8 sportsboats will be joined by Pink Pussycat from Pattaya and Happy Endings from Singapore that have the convenience of being trailored overland and becoming very popular amongst the regions top racing sailors that are looking for close racing and more fun for their dollar.

The region is experiencing a revival of large multihull racing as many are now being locally designed and built. Six in all will face the starters gun with Coco Blues being the latest launching in Koh Samui will be measuring up against the successful Cedar Swan and Treasure Trove.

Results and more news will be available from http://www.samuiregatta.com

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