A turbulent day was had by the three competitors who were brave enough to take a chance on the weather. One way or the other they were not let down: that’s if you consider broken gear, retirements, the need to dive below to free ropes tangled in propellers, battling 30 – 40 knot winds, sizable waves and being rained on as being not let down!
Race Officer Scott Duncanson set the course starting at the Chalong inner port channel marker and longtail, rounded Koh Lon and the Ao Makham safe water mark, back to the start and a around the Ban Nit safe water mark and to the finish. From a rather easy going start controlled by starter David Rucker from the longtail – everyone was late! Grenville Fordham’s Niña lead the way, followed by Jack Christensen’s Linda with Bill Sax’s Astraeus leading up the rear after not being able to clear the start mark. Niña enjoyed the building conditions with the monohulls struggling to stay in touch. Gaps widened with only Niña flying a spinnaker in the boisterous conditions.
Due to the extreme conditions the course was shortened leaving out the Ban Nit mark. The only one in the group to finish was Niña battling to the finish under headsail only to windward into a 40 knot wind. Linda suffered main traveler track damage due to an accidental gybe whilst attempting to reef sails. Astraeus suffered much the same fate with a broken lower mainsheet block. That problem was further exasperated when a headsail sheet managed to fall overboard fouling the propeller. Swimmers had to go overboard to free it otherwise they would have been in Phi Phi compliments of the wind direction.
Back at the club the presentation was delayed so the Astraeus (The Greek God of Dusk) crew could participate – they got back just before dusk. Astraeus’s skipper along with the skipper of Linda were presented a bottle of wine each for braving the conditions. Niña’s skipper was awarded a bottle of Australia Brut for his efforts and their win and being the only participant to finish the course. The club was bustling with those that decided to stay safe ashore – fine weather sailors the lot of them holding up the bar!