11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Race Report No 4 & Summary

AY Photo Gallery here...

The PNB tour concludes on a high note...
The Phi Phi to Phuket leg is a little reminiscent of the early King's Cups and of all days the North Easterly arrived with avengeance and gave the boats a quick ride back home. Roger Kingdon's Firefly 850 catamaran Moto Inzi completed the 30 mile course in 3 hours and 40 minutes to make it 4 wins out of 4 races and win the Firefly One Design title by a country mile. Hans Rahmann's 70ft Yasooda was next to finish but had to yield 20 minutes to the smaller 8.5m (28ft) and extremely quick Firefly cats. By two in the afternoon all boats had finished the regatta which started out slowly and ended with a rip roaring sleigh ride across the Andaman Sea.

John Vause recorded Ruby Tuesday's third win to secure the overall racing class title. Three second places for Mike Downard's Switchblade is not only a sign of consistency but earns them second place over Hans Rahmann's Yasooda finishing in third place overall.

In Cruising A another win for Neils Degenkolw's Phoenix sees them on the top of the podium. Second place today for Fredrick Roswold's Wings and dropping fourth place yesterday has them clinging onto second overall in front of Reinhard Haiber's Pytheas Aura who put up a good showing throughout to end with third overall.

Four wins out of four races not only clinches Roger Kingdon's Firefly 850 Moto Inzi the overall trophy but gives them a confidence boost for the rest of the season. Three second places for Henry Kaye's Mamba sees them through to second overall despite finishing fourth today which becomes their drop race. A close tussle for the third podium position developed between Bill Phelps Twin Sharks and Chris Jongerius on The Frog. A well earned second place today for Bill Phelps on Twin Sharks sealed the deal on third place.

Some confusion exists with the overall Cruising B class results. Although Jim Ellis's classic S&S 42 Remington scored there second win of the series they were awarded second place overall. At the prize presentation Chris Kingsley-Smith's Amandla Star took away first place. By my calculations they should have tied on points with Remington coming out on top by nature of winning the last race. Debate will rage on through the night but on the official score sheets Keith MacKay's Delfina is in third place overall.

After some ups and downs in the Sunsail One Design Class it is Lindsey Lane's Princess Sharda that came out on top. All the boats were chartered by Darwin Sailing Club members who proudly flew the Northern Territory flag from the cross trees. Not to be outdone Brendon Atkins on Princess Isabella finished only one point behind in second and John Mills on Princess Anna had a share of the race wins to end up with third overall.

In the Multihull Class Mark Pescott's Summersalt added another race win onto there already impressive tally to take overall victory. Bob Brindley's Xcatriot was on the pace throughout the event but could not quite match Summersalt's performance and had to settle on second place. Aussie Bill Web's Out of the Bag kept everyone honest to finish up third overall. The first regatta for Matt McGrath's newly launched Typhoon saw them up in second place on the last day which seemed to make there day.

 

Summary
So with all the racing run and done, there was nothing left to do other than to make our way to the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, the regattas main sponsor Purvarana Resort, in Nai Harn Beach to attend the gala closing party. This is the fifth party in a row and I'm not sure if the body can stand up to it but it seems more than willing to give it a go. The Purvarana
representative made some very big announcements on how they expect to improve the event by awarding US$20k prize money to the overall winner next year. Also round the world air tickets for the winner of three events on the same boat. Careful consideration needs to be taken on how to implement these generous prizes. It could turn into a blessing in disguise, if you know what I mean. Presently the cruising nature where crews stay aboard and dinghies plus other cruising toys are carried may change to become more racing oriented with gung ho crews questioning the rules and taking over the prime objective of the fun in the sun event. The diverse fleet comprises of racer cruisers, out and out cruisers plus not so cruising monohull and multihull vessels of different performance which cannot be compared. As there is no way of making an overall winner of the event and not favouring one class, perhaps the best solution is to make a prize pool to be distributed amongst the class winners and podium places if they wish to proceed with cash prizes. Most everyone I have spoken to, have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and would not like to see the relaxed nature of the event disappear overnight with the wind.

Quite a few email comments have been received about Phang Nga not being the second biggest regatta in Asia. Don’t just be a reader, leave your mark here! If you would like to comment on any of the articles published on the AY Website especially about the expansionist policy in the Phang Nga Regatta Summary (above) goto the AY Blogsite and post it for all to see at: http://asian-yachting.blogspot.com/ Come on I dare you, to give us your best shot!

AY Photo Gallery at: http://asianyachting.com/photos/photo.htm?PNBR08

To find out more about the regatta and results goto http://www.bayregatta.com, or contact the organisers with any suggestions or comments at: info@bayregatta.com.


11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Race Report No 3

Krabi to Phi Phi in record time, for some...
After spending the last two days ghosting around Phang Nga Bay a welcome relief in the form of wind was received by the sailors at the start of day three. The bigger and heavier yachts finally had a chance to stretch there legs on a long downwind leg to Phi Phi. That is of course if they could finish by 11:00am.

As the Sunsail one designs and slower back markers approached the finish line, the wind had been gradually dropping decided to stop all together. Lindsey Lane's Princess Sharda got to within 10 feet of the line but as the current was stronger than the wind, had to turn away to avoid the finish boat and got washed away down stream. So close yet so far. Several others within close reach of the finish saw their fortunes disappear with the current and sensibly retired. After nearly two hours of patiently waiting in the hot sun a couple of zephyrs of breeze was enough for Princess Anna and Arieta to breast the finish line for first and second respectively.

Despite blowing out the 1/2 ounce spinnaker Hans Rahmann's 70ft Yasooda came to the fore and held its time on the rest of the racing fleet to secure first place by 48 seconds from John Vause's Ruby Tuesday, who with two wins in earlier races is leading overall. Mike Downard's Switchblade trailed by a further 40 seconds to take third place.

A change for the books in Cruising A and B saw the bigger boats prevail. Viroj Nualkair's all Thai crewed Ma Du Zi scored first place in a nick of time. Reinhard Haiber's Pytheas Aura fresh from a lengthy refit secured second spot. Third place on this occasion for Neils Degenkolw's Phoenix will not deter them as two first places keeps them on the top spot of the podium.

 

Three new faces make an appearance in Cruising B. Gavin Wellman's Rascal took the honours from Bill Crump's Fistral and Chris Kingsley-Smith's Amandla Star completing the triumvirate.

With that little bit extra boatspeed Roger Kingdon's Firefly 850 catamaran Moto Inzi made it three in a row. Henry Kaye's Mamba has played bridesmaid on all three occasions to hold onto second overall. After withdrawing on day two Bill Phelps and Twin Sharks rebounded with third place to stay in the race for the third podium place.

 

Mark Pescott Summersalt added a race three win onto there race one victory to take the overall lead in the multihull class. Three second places in a row keeps Bob Brindley's Xcatriot in the running for the title. Aussie Bill Web's Out of the Bag completed the podium places for race 3 and hopes to cement his position in the overall title places.


11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Race Report No 2

The land were time stands proud...
As the yachts weave there way between the steep karst outcrops one should take a little time to look up and admire these magnificent works of nature. Imagine millions of years ago when these islands actually formed the seabed. Layers upon layers of shells and crustaceans are now imbedded into the limestone cliffs that were pushed up as the earth's tectonic plates worked against each other. It actually makes any small problems that one maybe experiencing at the time, temporarily pale into insignificance.

After receiving a warm welcoming reception from the local Laem Sak community and seafood dinner the sailors made there way back to the boats to sleep and prepare for day 2 of racing. The prevailing North Easterly breeze seems to have deserted us, so the sailors had to wait for a couple of hours for some wind to materialize and get racing underway. As they progressed along the course the easterly breeze swung around to the west and eventually settled from the south east. All the cruising classes were shortened at Koh Hong and only the Racing and Firefly classes went on to complete the full course. Hans Rahmann's magnificent 70ft Yasooda had a chance to stretch her legs and finished when the other racing class yachts were still blips on the horizon. Roger Kingdon's Firefly 850 catamaran Moto Inzi made it two wins out of two races and was closely followed across the line by Henry Kaye's Mamba and Chris Jongerius on The Frog in quick succession.

After handicaps have been applied John Vause's Ruby Tuesday makes it two wins out of two races in the racing class. Mike Downard's Switchblade managed to wedge into second place, relegating Hans Rahmann's Yasooda down to third despite the big lead they had on the others.

In Cruising A, Neils Degenkolw's X 3/4 tonner Phoenix managed to stay on top in the light conditions recording there second win. Fredrick Roswold's classic IOR racer Wings took second place and Reinhard Haiber's evergreen Pytheas Aura still can manage third place to be amongst the leaders.

Cruising B sees Cruising Jim Ellis's classic S&S 42 Remington take charge in the light conditions to lead the class. Keith MacKay's Delfina is level pegging with Remington and Rob Azzopardi's Cunning Plan is still on track with a third place.

The sailors from Darwin are engaged in a close battle on the Sunsail 35 one design class. They also live up to there big reputation of being "Bloody good drinkers" at the nightly prize giving parties. Lindsey Lane's team on Princess Sharda have got the best of the rest on two occasions. Brendon Atkins on Princess Isabella finished second and John Mills on Princess Anna third.

Mark Pescott skippering his own multihull Summersalt on this occasion slipped through the fleet to score first on race two. After handicaps have been applied Bob Brindley's Xcatriot got relegated to second place and Floretta Simpson's Farrier 28 Dingo scored third place to stay in the overall running.

Selected photos courtesy of John Everingham.


11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Race Report No 1

Let the fun begin...
07 Feb 08: In Phuket they like to get the racing underway early, before the North Easterly breeze fades away. PRO Simon James fired away the 50 boat fleet into a light north easterly. The incoming tide helped propel the yachts up to the top mark laid off Koh Yai. Hans Rahmann's magnificent 70ft Judel/Vrolijk Yasooda led the fleet around by a proverbial mile or two. The steep cliffed islands provided a perfect backdrop for photography buffs. Unfortunately the light breeze faded away and the sea glassed up with only a few whispers of wind to be found. The five Sunsail One Design class mainly made up of Aussie sailors from Darwin were spared the difficulty when the committee decided to shorten there course at the first mark. Those that persisted with the painstaking slow progress were rewarded with race one finishes.

Meanwhile for lunch on the finishing boat Escape Artist a seafood platter was served up by the Thai crew after purchasing some delicacies from the local long tail fisherman. Oh Gee! We are really doing it tough up here. I notice still painted ships on a glassy sea outside. As its quite a motor to the nights anchorage some skippers elected to retire from the race in favour of moving on to the picturesque stopover.

At the finish line, boats approached from all directions but spinnakers hung bedraggled waiting for the next zephyr of wind to fill them. Eventually is was Roger Kingdon's Firefly catamaran Moto Inzi that ghosted across the line slightly in front of Henry Kaye's sistership Mamba. In the monohull classes John Vause's Ruby Tuesday pulled of a remarkable line honours win over Hans Rahmann's 70ft Yasooda with Neils Degenkolw's X 3/4 tonner Phoenix close on there tails. At the end it really came down to who was better positioned to take advantage of the next puff of wind. Handicaps have yet to be applied but that fades into insignificance, like the wind did as the next party beckons.

Sponsors this year include Puravarna, Raimon Land and QBE Insurance, as well as a host of local sponsors from Phuket who continue to support the event each year. The regatta is organised and supported by SEA Yachting magazine, with racing and on-the-water support from the Ao Chalong Yacht Club. To find out more about the regatta and results goto http://www.bayregatta.com, or contact the organisers at: info@bayregatta.com.


11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Race Report No 1

Were all going on a summer holiday...
06 Feb 08: Take a mid-day taxi from PD to KLIA - Low Cost Carrier Terminal, then catch 1520 AirAsia flight to Phuket, became top priority on the eve of Chinese New Year. A little extra time was needed to patiently navigate through the last minute rush of people returning to their hometowns for family celebrations. The directions after arriving in Phuket were to take a metered taxi to the exclusive, five star Chandara Resort & Spa, near Phuket's North East tip. The nearby Ao Por Pier is also well known as its the closest stepping off point for visitors to explore the off lying Pang Nga islands.

As regions in Northern Asia especially China have experienced extreme cold weather conditions lately, down here in Southern and South East Asian waters we have the added benefit of being summer most the time and thus able to support an all year round, coast to coast sailing season.

Vicki Gregory the PNBR 08 event manager, Duncan Worthington and other familiar faces were there to greet me, with there lovely Thai assistants and as the opening beach party was already in full swing, I had no other option than to stroll down and join in the festivities. All the boats were on anchor out front and a good breeze was blowing throughout the evening it looked promising for the racing to come. Afterwards we were quickly whisked away to Sean Getchell's Schonning 44 Power Cat from Epic Charters aptly named Escape Artist which serves as media accommodation during the night and performs race committee duties during the day. Vicki's team dished out some good advice plus promised to come to our able assistance if we needed anything. Sure beats being curled up in front of nicotine stained computer for 10 to 12 hours a day!

The four day courses seem quite straight forward and takes me back to some old favourite stomping grounds, back in the early nineties.
* Day 1 (7 Feb) Ao Po to Chong Lat (top NE corner Phang Nga Bay)
* Day 2 (8 Feb) Chong Lat to Krabi

* Day 3 (9 Feb) Krabi to Phi Phi
* Day 4 (10 Feb) Phi Phi to Nai Harn, Phuket

Sorting out the monohull and mutihull classes plus their handicaps will be a difficult task and certainly not one for the feint hearted. Were is Dave the Brave when ya need him?

Quite a few email comments have been received about Phang Nga not being the second biggest regatta in Asia. Don’t just be a reader, leave your mark here! If you would like to comment on any of the articles published on the AY Website especially about the Phang Nga Regatta goto the AY Blogsite and post it for all to see at: http://asian-yachting.blogspot.com/ Come on I dare you, to give us your best shot!


11th Puravarna Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2008
AY Pre-Regatta Report

All aboard for the fun in the sun regatta...
Thailands
rapidly growing sailing season gets underway in spectacular fashion this week, when a fleet of 50 boats set sail on the annual Phang Nga Bay Regatta in picturesque southern Thailand. This regatta, now in its 11th year, is as famous for its parties as it is for its sailing and this year promises to be no different. Four days of racing takes the fleet from Phuket to Phang Nga and Krabi provinces from February 6-10 with a prize-giving party held each evening at different venues along the way. Quite frankly, I don't know why its taken me 10 years to come and cover this event. What else is there for foreigners to do over the Chinese New Year break other than go out and enjoy sailing around southern Thailand's most stunning cruising grounds.

The organisers were taken by surprise when the regatta grew so quickly, expanding from an average of 30 boats in the early years, to 46 yachts in 2006 and 50 boats lined up in 2007. Making the Phang Nga Bay Regatta, Asia's second biggest sailing event, after the King's Cup. Unlike other annual regattas held in Thailand which are run from one location the organisers have a good reason to limit the number of entrants. The regatta moves onto a new anchorage each day and with little or no accomodation ashore makes the logistics just that bit more difficult to manage. This year most of the crews will have to sleep onboard their boats during the stopovers or on a big power boat which they have hired to follow them around the course.

Over the years the regatta has become many things to many people. Some people call it 'the regatta among the mountains' because it passes through all those little islands or limestone Kra's with sheer cliffs rising up from the seabed. Others call it the 'fun regatta' as they enjoy the more leisurely pace of the event while taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. John Everingham, vice-president of the organising committee and one of the three original founders of the regatta said "We try to make some changes every year as is tradition with the regatta. Mixing hotel parties with beach parties and this year we plan to return to the Chong Lat anchorage at the very north of Phang Nga Bay for a party on the mainland. This was a feature of the earlier regattas and after a few years away, we are excited to return. It's a very special place."

Most of the entries are local keelboats divided into IRC Racing, Cruising A & B and Multihull classes. The Phuket designed and built Firefly catamarans are well represented as is a growing number of Cosair trimarans arriving on the Asian racing scene. Sunsail, the biggest yacht charter company in the world, has also rented out seven yachts to competitors in this year's regatta, which is shaping up as one of the most competitive on record.

Registration and the opening party takes place on February 6 at the Chandara Resort & Spa on Phuket's east coast. The regatta will sail from Phuket into Phang Nga Bay, then to Krabi and Phi Phi before finishing at The Royal Phuket Yacht Club, a Purvarana Resort, on Nai Harn Beach in Phuket on February 10, where the closing party will be held.

Sponsors this year include Puravarna, Raimon Land and QBE Insurance, as well as a host of local sponsors from Phuket who continue to support the event each year. The regatta is organised and supported by SEA Yachting magazine, with racing and on-the-water support from the Ao Chalong Yacht Club. To find out more about the regatta and results goto http://www.bayregatta.com, or contact the organisers at: info@bayregatta.com. An image gallery will be available for viewing shortly after the regatta finishes.

AsianYachting Ventures Sdn. Bhd. (Co. No. 627106-T)
A 308 PD Perdana Condo Resort, Jln Pantai, 71050, Pt Dickson, Malaysia
Tel: 6 06 6477701 Email: info@asianyachting.com

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