4th EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK 2007
AY Race Report 4 & Summary

Sheer persistence pays off in the end...
Several attempts at getting racing underway were disrupted when the wind continually changed direction and varied in speed. Closing in on the 2:00pm cut off time on the final day of racing, PRO Simon James frustrated with trying to set a windward/leeward course decided to send the fleet on Course 21, the three island passage race. After setting a brisk pace around Koh Bon and on the downwind run to Koh Lon, it all came down to selecting the right path (inshore or offshore) through the patchy conditions in the lee of the islands that would determine the final race results.

IRC 1
After close to 4 hours of hanging around on the water for the wind to settle, the crews were still all very keen to race which resulted in the closest start of the regatta. Peter Ahern's Farr 40 Yo!2 as usual took an early lead but when they reached the minefield behind the islands they found a parking lot inshore with their name on it. Scott Duncanson decided to take his Phuket 8 (26ft) Som Tam Express a little further offshore and staged a classic come from behind overtaking maneuver that was to leave YO!2 wallowing in their wake. Not only did Scott Duncanson and his Som Tam Express crew collect the daily double but also wrapped up the overall series with a resounding win over the more fancied and much bigger Farr 40 class yacht.

IRC 2
The overall placing's hinged on today's final race. A close three way tussle has developed between Peter Dyer's 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly, Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix with the Malaysian crew from the RSYC Sailing Academy showing their racing prowess and Mike Downard's nippy Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek. Peter Dyer and the crew on Madam Butterfly came out with all guns firing, established an early lead and kept a close cover on his rivals to win the race and the overall series. Mike Downard edged his nippy Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek onto the tail of Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix to claim second place today and lift them to second overall. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix stayed on the pace to finish third and missed out by less than a minute on second place overall.

Multihull Class
Bob Mott's Chameleon took the wide outside path around the islands staying in the wind to score a brilliant victory. Bob Brindley's X Catriot and Tim Milner's Seekronghuk chose the inside line and could only watch on as Chameleon disappeared into the distance. By recording three earlier wins Tim Milner's crew on Seekronghuk already had the overall prize in the bag.

Firefly One Design
Roger Kingdon has sailed Moto Inzi exceptionally fast around the courses this week to add another win to his tally making it five wins out of six races. This blistering pace has well and truly earned Roger and the crew a race six win, overall PRW 07 class victory and also Champion of the inaugural Raimon Land sponsored series. Bill Phelps on Twin Sharks has consistently been up with the leaders and today's second place keeps them in second overall. The boats have been neck and neck all week and everyone has shared the lead at some time or other to make this class one of the most exciting things that has happened in SE Asian waters for a long time. Class Captain, fleet motivator and Far East veteran Henry Kaye must be happy sailing Mamba into third place but also congratulated for bringing all this into reality. It is a very difficult task to set up a one design class anywhere in the world let alone in SE Asia.

A separate course for the Classic Class was set within the bay and a wonderful parade of sail could be viewed from the Evason Resort. Gunther Nutt's Norwegian classic Kerida made it three wins in a row and a run away victory in the overall standings. Mark Myking's second place on Idiom was a gallant effort but they had to settle on third overall when the points were tallied. Tom Howard's 101 year old Danish schooner Seraph dipped to third today but their earlier Race 1 win keeps Seraph in second place overall.

Summary
Once again Image Asia Events must be congratulated for taking the initiative and running the 4th Phuket Raceweek in the middle of the year. This regatta may not attract the big name teams in the racing class but it serves the purpose of honing the local sailors skills up to international standards throughout the year and before the big events in December. Unfortunately the strong SW Monsoon winds are not always guaranteed, as they come in cycles but inevitably some breeze appears and with a little bit of perseverance the full program of races has been completed. It is good to see the newly formed Selangor Youth Team garnering some International exposure and hold their own against the more experienced and older sailors within their class. Event organisers and the racers alike are very optimistic that the ever-increasing number of boats visiting Phuket each year will contribute to the regatta's continued growth and success.

Full PRW 07 results at: http://www.phuketraceweek.com/results.htm


4th EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK 2007

AY Race Report 3

Grinding out the results...
It may have been wishful thinking yesterday to predict that the SW Monsoon had returned, as the familiar millpond conditions greeted the sailors as they arrived at the start area. It took nearly two hours for the line of breeze on the horizon to fill in across the course and become stable enough for PRO Simon James to get the racing underway. Allot of rig tweaking and discussions on improving crew drills has gone on overnight in a all out effort to improve boat speed and ultimately the finishing position. Only one race was held for most the classes with IRC 2 having two races to catch up with the program.

The battle at the top of the IRC 1 leaderboard continues with Peter Ahern's Farr 40 Yo!2 taking line honours on his much preferred windward/leeward course. Had they done enough to regain their standing? A short wait for Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 Som Tam Express to cross the line revealed that Yo!2 had missed out by 44 seconds and had to settle on second place. After a good start David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra redeemed themselves after mixed performances to score third place although a protest was being lodged against them for a top mark incident. With only one race to go, mathematically speaking and after securing three wins Scott Duncanson's Phuket 8 Som Tam Express has won the class.

After the results of today's two races the IRC 2 class has been reduced to a three horse race. Peter Dyer's 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly scored 1st and 2nd to elevate them to the top of the leaderboard. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix crewed by the RSYC Sailing Academy from Malaysia have been very quick out of the starting box and scored a 3rd and resounding 1st place to climb into 2nd overall trailing the leader by a mere point. Overnight leader Mike Downard on Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek 2nd and 4th placing drops him down to third overall but still within striking distance on the final race tomorrow. Mick Kealy's X-342 Minx was on the comeback trail but a 4th and 3rd place has made it almost impossible for them to recover.

In the Multihull class it was Bob Brindley's turn on X Catriot to pick up the daily double. Thereby breaking Tim Milner's three race winning streak on Seekronghuk. Bob Mott's heavier displacement Chameleon never recovered for being slow of the start line and had to settle on third place.

A half inch adjustment on the forestay to alter the rake of the mast is all it took for Henry Kaye's Mamba to get back on the pace and break Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi dominance of the regatta. Chris Jongerius on The Frog chose the favourable side on the final run to the finish to come from behind and claim a narrow second place. After leading at the top mark Bill Phelps on Twin Sharks tussled closely throughout only to be piped at the finish to end up third. A forth place for Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi will do him no harm as four earlier wins has built them an insurmountable lead at the top of the leaderboard.

In the Classic Class Gunther Nutt's Norwegian classic Kerida made it two wins in a row and goto the top of the leaderboard. Mark Myking's Idiom hung on in with the pack to score second place. Tom Howard's 101 year old Danish schooner Seraph dropped of the pace for a third place and will have to pull out all stops tomorrow to get back on the top of the leaderboard.

Full PRW 07 results at: http://www.phuketraceweek.com/results.htm


4th EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK 2007
AY Race Report 2

A day of many contrasts...
The dawn of Race Day 2 saw the now familiar flat seas and light winds, but the big question was "How would the threatening black clouds on the horizon play its part over the course of the day?" After a short delay for the breeze to settle, PRO Simon James sent the fleet on a coastal course into Ao Chalong Bay and back. As the boats rounded in the lee of Koh Lon they entered a period known as "The lull before the storm" - areas of dead calm with the occasional gust giving an advantage to boats lucky enough to receive them. Eventually the wind from the rainstorm over Phuket extended out to sea and descended upon the fleet. Several strong gusts saw some boats over powered and others covered in a spray of water with full asymmetric spinnakers straining the sheets and rigging. After the initial outburst, things then settled down, allowing crews to make quick work of the remainder of the race.

With the rest of the afternoon to look forward to, PRO James known for his sheer tenacity, set up for another start and this time sent the boats on a three island passage race with another storm brewing further out to sea. Once again a light start as the breeze filled in from the South West to propel the boats around Koh Bon. As they ran under spinnaker down the long back strait behind the islands, the gusts arrived from the building storm which generated some excitement and gave crews plenty to think about as they quickly went about controlling the boat and sails in strong winds.

The older IOR boats had their hands full with the odd broach as they were never known for their downwind stability in heavy winds. Hopefully with all the storm activity it might be a sign that the SW Monsoon is returning for the rest of the week.

 

The two Phuket 8's made a day of it and seemed to be in the right place at the right time when the wind gusts came through. Scott Duncanson's Som Tam Express often seen in planning mode to take out Race 3 and 2nd place in Race 4 with Jim Poulsen's Vino close on his tail, filling 2nd and 3rd spots respectively. John Vause on Ruby Tuesday came to the fore in Race 4 with a resounding victory to warn the leaders he is still there and knocking on the door. Despite claiming Line Honours, Peter Ahern's Farr 40 Yo!2 shared the overall lead but with a 3rd and 4th today sees them being toppled for the time being by Scott Duncanson's Som Tam Express.

A four way battle has erupted in the IRC 2 Class. Peter Dyer's 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly claimed 1st place in race 2 but an almighty broach in race 3 saw them drop back to 4th at the finish. Mike Downard having the advantage of knowing where all the rocks are, hugged the shore on his Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek to came out on top in race 3. Stuart Crowe's Beneteau First 285 Cinders rebounded from a bad start to score 2nd place in race 2 but finished down in 5th on race 3 to help juggle the overall point score. Mick Kealy's X-342 Minx threw their hat into the ring with a well sailed 3rd and 2nd place to announce their arrival on the overall standings. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix crewed by the RSYC Sailing Academy from Malaysia found exiting the parking lot difficult in race 2 but came back with a third place in race 3 to stay within reach of the leaders. Only 2 points separate the top four places so the series still remains very open for the taking.

In the Multihull class Tim Milner's lighter displacement Seekronghuk added two more wins to their tally. When the wind came in Bob Mott's heavier aluminum Chameleon and Bob Brindley's X Catriot showed a turn of speed and closed the gap on the leader to exchange 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

After being slightly of the pace at earlier regattas Roger Kingdon is having the time of his life here on Moto Inzi by collecting four bullets in a row. Bill Phelps Twin Sharks helmed by class designer Mark Pescott has consistently scored three 2nd places to be in second overall. Third place rotated between Henry Kaye's Mamba on race 3 and Chris Jongerius The Frog with a top notch Solent crew aboard in race 4. All boats experienced the wonderful downwind surfing conditions around the back of the islands.

Earlier on Gunther Nutt's Norwegian classic Kerida took the best path through the minefield of parking lots to lead the grand old classics across the line and magnanimous in handicap victory. Not to be outdone Tom Howard's 101 year old Danish schooner Seraph followed his race 1 win with second place today to share the overall lead with Kerida. Mark Myking's Idiom only arrived today and put in a spectacular performance to take out third place.

Full PRW 07 results at: http://www.phuketraceweek.com/results.htm

 


4th EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK 2007
AY Race Report 1

Up and runnung but don't mention the wind...
Last week the coconuts were being blown off the palm trees. This week for the regatta billed as 'Asia's windiest regatta' on Day 1 of racing the light breeze that eventually materialized was lucky to reach five knots and the course was full of parking lots. After a lengthy delay PRO Simon James managed to get the five starts away in the fluctuating breeze. That is why you so often hear 'You should of been here last week'. Never the less, Asian sailors have developed a strong degree in patience and used to waiting around for things to eventually happen.

 

These conditions tend to favour the light weight boats over the fully fiitted furniture boats and require a highly skilled and lucky tactician to stay in the wind lanes and keep the boat moving all the time. Peter Ahern's Farr 40 Yo!2 led off the starting blocks, with the two Phuket 8's of Scott Duncanson's Som Tam Express and the Pattaya Team on Vino in hot pursuit. After a cat and mouse game around the course it was Scott Duncanson's Som Tam Express that crossed the finish line first, a little over a minute ahead of Peter Ahern's Yo!2 with Jim Poulsen's Vino coming in third. That's how they finished up on handicap. The fading conditions saw a lengthy delay but the sheer determination of PRO James had the IRC 1 and Firefly One Design Class completing a second race when the breeze picked up again before the time limit expired. This time Peter Ahern's Yo!2 turned the tables on Som Tam Express to claim the daily double for race 2. Jim Poulsen's Vino finished up with two third places.

Mike Downard's light weight Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek also benefited from the conditions and managed to ghost around the course to claim the IRC 1 daily double by over one hour on some of the heavier boats. Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix crewed by the RSYC Sailing Academy from Malaysia put in a credible performance to score 2nd place by a mere twenty six seconds in front of Peter Dyer's stripped out 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly in third place. Only one race was held today.

In the Multihull class Tim Milner's Seekronghuk scored a convincing win but a close encounter between Bob Brindley's X Catriot and Bob Mott's Chameleon saw only fifty seconds separate them at the finish, to end up second and third respectively on the only race today.

The Firefly 850 One Design class promised that every start and mark rounding will be hotly contested. Despite the light wind they never fail to deliver and watching five boats traveling in close company, exchanging positions along the way, is a bit like ballet on the water. In a come from behind move with broader and faster downwind angles Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi claimed two first places. After being quick off the start line and sharing the lead on several occasions Andrew Marshall's Pink Lady and Bill Phelps Twin Sharks helmed by class designer Mark Pescott were eventually run down and had to settle on a mixture of second and third places on the two races. After a bad start on race two Henry Kaye's Mamba weaved his way through the pack and seemed to pick up an extra burst of speed approaching the finish and claim third spot.

The grand old ladies in the Classic Class were given the added benefit of getting racing underway this year by starting their coastal race first. As graceful as they maybe they are very slow in these conditions, so PRO James took the opportunity to get them out of the way of the racers to come. A long windward beat on a glassy sea tested the crews patience but they probably made up for it with ample liquid refreshments. Eventually a line of breeze appeared on the horizon and as it filled in Tom Howard's 101 year old Danish schooner Seraph got it first which propelled them to the finish line to claim the daily double. Gunther Nutt's Norwegian classic Kerida had every sail in the book flying but had to settle on second place. Graham Chuck's ketch rigged Anjuna was caught out on the wrong side of the course when the breeze filled in to finish almost an hour after the leader and take third place.

Full results at: http://www.phuketraceweek.com/results.htm


4th EVASON PHUKET RACEWEEK 2007

AY Pre-Regatta Report

On our marks and ready to go...
The 2007-08 Season gets underway tomorrow with the 4th Evason Phuket Race Week. Four days of close racing is expected during the south west monsoon 'Green' season, around off lying islands and on windward/leeward courses laid in front of the Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa Resort. A record 31 yachts have entered in five classes (IRC 1, IRC 2, Multihull, Firefly One-Design, Classic) and to top it off with five nights of fun parties, it just does not get much better than that anywhere in the world. Event organisers Image Asia Events are optimistic that the ever-increasing number of boats visiting Phuket each year will contribute to the regatta's continued growth and success.

The 19 yachts entered in the IRC Class will be divided into two classes based on their IRC handicaps to have boats of similar performance racing each other. Peter Ahern's Farr 40 Yo!2 tops the list in racing performance but will have their hands full taking on Bob Yapp's Custom Simonis 56 Yo Mo and the Phuket 8's of Scott Duncanson's Som Tam Express and the Pattaya Team on Vino. The IRC handicap rules take into account the type and style of boat, so providing the crew race the boat up to its rating they could all be in with a chance. Ben Copely's Beneteau First 40.7 Asia Spirit, David Lindahl's Swan 42 La Samudra and John Vause's Ruby Tuesday have all won races before and have consistently picked up class victories at other major events held in Thailand last season.

In the smaller IRC 2 class Mick Kealy's X-342 Minx is expected to face off again with Stuart Crowe's Beneteau First 285 Cinders that in past years have fought it out to the very bitter end. Peter Dyer's 3/4 tonner Madam Butterfly got the best of Niels Dgenkolf's Phoenix at the Kings Cup last year and are expected to be back in the hunt again this week. Mike Downard's Platu 25 Evason Phuket Tua Lek and George Foose's Free Wind could be in with a chance if the conditions suite them. Having the IRC cut off at 1.010 seems to have divided the boats quite evenly in size and speed so we can expect to have some extremely close match ups across both IRC classes.

 

The Multihull class sees three cruising catamarans contesting this years title. Bob Mott's Tim Mumby designed Chameleon has won here before, Tim Milner's new Pescott designed Seekronghuk and Bob Brindley's X Catriot are all pretty evenly matched and dependant on who gets the first break.

The hotly contested Firefly 850 One Design class has five fired up catamaran skippers and crew ready to do battle in the final regatta of the Raimon Land sponsored series. Class Captain, fleet motivator and Far East veteran Henry Kaye's Mamba is tied on points with Roger Kingdon's Moto Inzi coming into this final event. Henry Kaye will surely like to make up for being piped in the final race in Koh Samui last month. The favourite on this occasion could well be Twin Sharks owned by Bill Phelps, as it is helmed by Mark Pescott, the well known multi hull designer and skipper that has pocketed all of the multi trophies on offer over the last few years. Not to be outdone Chris Jongerius on The Frog has allegedly a top notch Solent crew aboard and Andrew Marshall has recruited a very experienced crew for Pink Lady from Queensland - the home of Multihull sailing in Australia. Expect every start and mark rounding to be hotly contested. This is class racing at it’s best, all owners sharing tips on sail handling, tuning, trimming and helping each other with crew, launching, and generally being extremely helpful to each other but still very competitive and no quarter will be given on the water.

Four grand old ladies are lining up in the Classic Class and hoping to take home the second Seraph Perpetual Trophy. Tom Howard's hundred year old Danish schooner Seraph and Gunther Nutt's Norwegian classic Kerida will be taking on Graham Chuck's ketch rigged Anjuna and Mark Myking's more modern Idiom round out the golden oldies.

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