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13th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2016

AY Pre-Regatta Report

2016/17 AY Grand Prix Event

Bumper year for Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
July 20th: Almost every available sailor based in Phuket, is fronting up for this years regatta. Three IRC classes, Cruising, Multihull, and three One Design Classes - Platu, Firefly and Corsair have bolstered the numbers to a record 47 yachts and over the next four days are prepared for some high-octane racing on Phuket’s South East coast. It's also the first of 12 five star events, that make up the 2016-17 AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and an excellent opportunity for SE Asian based teams, to rack up some AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year points, early in the season.

Since the SW Monsoon arrived, Phuket has experienced some severe weather conditions but has mellowed somewhat over the last week and will favour the yacht crew, that can quickly change gears to suite the wind range. The Multihull classes contested their own regatta last weekend and have weighed up their competition for an excellent run into this event. This regatta is renown for the grand waterside parties and crews are looking forward to the fantastic Cape Panwa Hotel hospitality, beginning with the welcome party.

The quality fleet lining up for the 13th running of Raceweek, includes serious racers and cruiser racers on fun filled courses around nearby islands. Two TP 52's, Peter Ahern's syndicated Oi! is the defending champion and Ray Roberts Millenium Racing I will be adopting match racing tactics, as they go head to head in the IRC Racing 1 class.

Some new boats are joining the nine strong IRC Racing II class. Ben Copley's recently acquired Ker 40 Gust (ex KukuKERchu), Paul Scholten's Soto Acebal Moon Smile, Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine and Rod Mulcahy Beneteau First 44.7 Slipstream are taking on the usual suspects, Gordon Ketelbey's syndicated Beneteau 44.7 Fujin, Keith Garry's X-412 BeauX Esprits and David Dimmock's Swan 42 Loco have all tasted success here before.

Four evenly matched yachts make up the IRC Racing III class. Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix and Ian Lodewyckx/ Keith O’Donnell's Farr 30 Foreign Affair will be pressed hard by two Farr 1104's, Peter Waa's Sailescapes Farrgo Express and with a pedigree as long as their arm Rex Hollyoake/Troy Scott's Krabi Boat Lagoon Piccolo is looking at adding another winners plaque to the bulkhead.

The old and the new are represented in the combined IRC Cruising/Charter Class. Cedric Rimaud's refurbished 6 meter Selma with graceful traditional lines and Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly are up against Jim Oosterweghel's Hanse 400 Venture, Con Macarlino Baveria 33 Fei Jian, Louis Pak Beneteau 40 Alexa and Cape Panwa Hotel's Kantus’ Bride making a return appearance.

After considerable reorganisation, five Platu 25's are returning as a One Design Class. Mike Downward and Kev (The Ferret) Scott are responsible for this move and are skippering rival teams to set a precedence. Liz Schoch, Justin Lean and Clement Lim from Singapore are the other three teams taking up the challenge on boats sponsored by Phuket Boat Lagoon.

The ever increasing number of Multihull's being launched in Phuket, play a big part at local regattas these days. The Racing Multihull, Firefly 850 and Corsair Pulse 600 One Design classes, make up nearly half the boats entered this year. They are fully primed for racing after contesting the Multihull Solutions Regatta last weekend and expect some close quarters encounters from the start of racing.

Henry Kaye returns with another Seacart 30 Thor, that dominated in the early years but the introduction of the Stealth range of catamarans will keep him on his toes. For the past two years Alan Carwadine's Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane has convincingly won the title but faces stiff competition from John Coffin's sister ship Java, Peter Wood's new Stealth 13s Top Cat, Bob McIntyre's Allegro and Kirill Stashevskiy's Stealth 13 Galeforce – RAirlines. Mark Horwood's Formula 40 trimaran Adrenalin needs plenty of wind to come up to scratch and Philip Grove brings the past champion Andaman Cabriolet Davinci back into contention and hopes to bask in her former glory.

Six Firefly 850 One-Design catamarans will be fighting it out and can expect some fast and furious action for the sailors and spectators alike. John Newnham's highly polished crew on Twin Sharks, have won every regatta for the past two years and although they start as favourites, have recently shown that they are beatable. Their biggest opposition are Neil Ayre's Advanced Racing Team (Mamba), Hans Rahmann/Ian Coulson's Voodoo and George Eddings Blue Nose are always on the hunt for silverware. Moto Inzi returns with Jonathan Kingdon on the helm and Japanese Natsuki Motoyoshi is new to the lineup on Mil Grace could inflict some pain on the local racing scene.

Four Corsair Pulse 600’s are making a return appearance as the one-design Corsair Class. Aussie Mick Tilden was the surprise winner at the Multihull Regatta on Pixalux Sudu Blue and aim to repeat the dose this week. Not if the builder Zam Bevan on H30 has anything to do with it. China's Jiamin Qu are making their debut on Phuket Island Radio and all the way from the UK, Charles Robinson on Su Du Yellow are expecting to lay down their mark at this regatta.

The friendly Cape Panwa Hotel staff have been busy preparing the race village for four nights of entertainment and along with free-flow of Mount Gay Rum Golden Mojito's, Finca de Malpica wines and Chang beer are aiming for a regatta party worth remembering.

The Regatta is organised by Media Business Services Co., Ltd. under the auspices of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and is staged under the authority of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sports Authority of Thailand and Sports Association of Phuket.

More news, photos and results at: http://www.phuketraceweek.com

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