into 15th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
The weather forecast is bucking the trend of previous years and kicks off with 20+ knots from the South West, then gradually reduces to the mid teens over the four days of racing. With stronger gusts in the forecast and sea swell building between the islands, crew will be kept busy reefing mainsails and reducing head sails to suit the conditions, on high-octane courses, around nearby islands on Phuket’s South East coast.
We are also honoured to kick off the first of the 12 five star events, that make up the 2018-19 AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) and poses an excellent opportunity for SE Asian based teams, to rack up some AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year points, early in the season.
Twenty monohulls are split into IRC and Cruising classes based on their IRC ratings and boat design. Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood, Niels Degenkolw's X3/4 Ton MK2 Phoenix and Chris Mitchell's Naut 40 Lady Bubbly are returning to defend their titles. Serious challenges will come from Gordon Ketelbeys Farr 40 Ramrod, David Dimmock's top performing Swan 42 Loco and with new mast and rigging Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 East Marine Emagine, expect to be in the mix by the end of the regatta.
Aussie Lyn Evans on the all girl crew Sailescapes Farrgo Ladies and Keith Garry's X-412 BeauX Esprit's were runner ups last year and planning on going one better this year. The stronger breeze will help heavier displacement yachts like Ian Kennedy's Swan Who Dares Wins, Max Palleschi's IOR Farr 40 Prime Factor and Cape Panwa Hotel's very own Kantus’ Bride skippered by Kampon Sutara make their way onto the podium.
Eighteen Multihull's are divided into Racing, Cruising, Firefly and Corsair one-design classes, had an excellent warm up last weekend and weighed up the opposition at the Multihull Solutions Regatta. Dan Fidock’s Moore 36 trimaran Fugazi made a fist of it, taking line honours on all 8 races and claimed 6 handicap wins in the process, must start as favourite in the Racing class. Two Stealth designs, Peter Wilcox Cosmo and Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 would like to keep up the tradition of past Stealth victories, but have their work cut out for them.
Six highly competitive Firefly 850 One-Design catamarans will be fighting it out, but will have to overcome John Newnham's defending champion Twin Sharks, that have won every regatta in the past four years. Although they start as favourites, Ian Coulson's Voodoo, George Eddings Blue Nose and Ray Waldron's Surf Patrol have put up a good fight and shared the placing's, but they will have to be on the pace from the beginning. If the weather forecast stays true, they will also have to be careful, as Firefly's are prone to nose diving and ending their run at the title in tears.
Five Pulse 600’s are contesting the one design class. Mick Tilden Pixalux Blue defeated Andrew de Bruin's Multihull Solutions H30 in seven of the eight races last weekend, in a two boat shootout, but will have to stay on the pace, as three fellow Aussie teams, Brian Wood's Yellow, Peter Carmody's Gray and Simon Oliver's Red have entered and increased the degree of difficulty.
Past winner, the Andaman Cabriolet Davinci, this time under Garry Slattery's charge will be taking on the vintage and yet unnamed Wharram 46 in the Cruising class.
This regatta is renown for its grand waterside parties at the purpose built race village. Crews are looking forward to the fantastic Cape Panwa Hotel hospitality, with free-flow of Mount Gay Rum Golden Mojito's, Chang beer and superb cuisine beginning with the welcome party.
The Regatta is organised by Media Business Services Co., Ltd. under the auspices of the Phuket 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.
Photo Credit: AsianYachting / SEA Yachting
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