Phoenix & Bonza take top honors in Jai-Dee Regatta


PRO Matt McGrath was able to get in two windward-leeward races for the seven-boat multihull class and eight-boat monohull class on the final day of the Phuket Yacht Club’s second annual Jai-Dee Regatta.

The crafty Dane Niels Degenkolw did it again as the veteran sailor in his mid-70s, added to his trophy case winning his second straight monohull title on Phoenix at the Jai-Dee Regatta. Vitalii Plaksin’s Uminoko followed in second and Andrew McDermott’s Jessandra II was third. Fourth spot saw Paul “Flatty” Baker’s Judy while John Vause’s Ruby Tuesday took fifth, Mike Downard’s Magic was in sixth, seventh went to Martyn Henman’s Second Nature, and Kirsten Durward’s Fox Sails Asia switched Platus in the final day, finishing eighth.

It was great to see Mike Downard’s crew from Sail in Asia enter two boats as they sailed on over from Ao Yon in Magic and Fox Sails Asia to compete in the regatta.

The OMR Multihull division saw Warwick Downes’ Bonza, who flew around the course all regatta repeatedly taking line honors, take the top spot, followed by Alan Carwardine’s Coconuts, Ian Coulson’s Voodoo, and John Newhamn’s Twin Sharks. Dan Fidock’s Fugazi in fifth, Francis Guerre-Genton’s Moto Inzi in sixth, and Bill Kane’s The Sting in seventh, rounded out the fleet.

John Newhamn showed great sportsmanship but pointing out that Voodoo’s final time had been inaccurately reported allowing Voodoo to vault past his boat in the final standings, a great example of what the Jai-Dee Regatta stands for. John has been stuck in Phuket during the lockdown and has been a great supporter of the PYC. Newhamn’s crew won the multihull division of the inaugural Jai-Dee Regatta in 2019.

While the Multihull Performance Handicap System (PHS) final standings saw a switch in positions with Bonza winning again but this time followed by Fugazi, Coconuts, The Sting, Voodoo, Twin Sharks, and Moto Inzi.

Bonza crewmate James Haste did a great job of MCing the final awards ceremony, where the competitors sang the praises of the regatta and were already planning for next year.

Brendan Kealy was a great help on the water, provided his boat Catapult as the start boat and continually assisting PR Matt McGrath, who fought through a lot of pain because of motorcycle mishap to get the multis six races and the monos five during the event. Brendan also provided the camera rib, which Phil Bender so nimbly drove around. And Chandran Nadarajan did his usual great job laying the marks.

It was too bad that PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson was unable to compete due to work commitments but he did a tremendous job of putting the regatta together.

Sunny skies, good wind greet Jai-Dee regatta on second day

Sunny skies

Sunny skies and good wind met competitors on the second day of the Jai-Dee Regatta. Monohull racing saw Andrew McDermott’s Jessandra II squeak by Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix by 0.1 seconds on elapsed time in the day’s only counted race but on corrected time they dropped back to third place behind John Vause’s Ruby Tuesday.

Jessandra II & Ruby Tuesday swap those positions in the overall standings where Phoenix retains the top spot heading into tomorrow’s final day. Vitalii Plaksin’s Uminoko sits in the fourth spot, followed by Paul “Flatty” Baker helming John Coffin’s Judy in fifth, Mike Downard’s Magic in sixth, Kirsten Durward’s Fox Sails Asia in seventh & Martyn Henman’s Second Nature rounds out the class in the final spot.

In the race that counted for the multihulls, Warwick Downes Bonza took line honors as usual but had to settle for second overall today behind Alan Carwardine’s Coconuts, making her racing debut at the regatta (she has only been in the water for ten weeks). Racing on Coconuts is a family affair with the husband-wife team of Alan and June Carwardine on board as well as Anthony Gates and his young son Jay along for the ride as crew.

John Newhamn’s Twin Sharks and Ian Coulson’s Voodoo finished third and fourth, in the multihulls today, moving them into second and third spot overall followed by Bonza, Dan Fidock’s Fugazi in fifth, Francis Guerre-Genton’s Moto Inzi in sixth, and Bill Kane’s The Sting in seventh, heading into the final day.

As the afternoon wore on, and the wind died down, PRO Matt McGrath had hoped to get in two windward-leeward races for the seven-boat multihull class and the eight-boat monohull class.

But as the wind continued to fade, Matt decided to shorten the course to one lap, but unfortunately, that’s where the trouble began as confusion reigned over which mark need to be rounded before crossing the finish and indeed where the finish line was supposed to be and where the “S” mark was supposed to be flown. Protests were called and looking like discussions and arguments would go long into the evening, the Race Committee, in the spirit of the “kind-hearted regatta”, wisely decided to abandon the second race. It was still a good day for all on the water, as everyone got in two races, though only one counted in the standings.

The racing continues Sunday at 1pm with the wrap-up party and awards dinner at the Phuket Yacht Club in the evening.


Jai-Dee Regatta sails successfully through first day

The Phuket Yacht Club (PYC) has proved to be a beacon of light and hope for local sailors during the global pandemic as it is now staging the second annual Jai-Dee Regatta and the third major sailing event since the COVID crackdown last March. Kudos to PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson and the Club committee for pulling these events off while maintaining high-hygiene standards and appropriate social distancing measures.

Day one of the 2020 Jai-Dee (meaning kind-hearted in Thai) Regatta saw PRO Matt McGrath get three windward-leeward races in for the seven-boat Multihull class and two windward-leewards for the eight-boat monohull class. Wind was light when racing started at 1pm, but it picked up considerably as the afternoon wore on.

The multiclass class saw two spirited rivalries rekindled as Ian Coulson’s Voodoo edged out arch-rival Twin Sharks (John Newhamn) by one point and Alan Carwardine spanking brand new Stealth after three races. Warwick Downes Bonza sat in fourth spot one-and-a-points ahead of its long-time competitor Dan Fidock’s Fugazi. Francis Guerre-Genton’s Moto Inzi and Bill Kane’s The Sting then placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

In the racing class, Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix, Vitalii Plaksin’s Uminoko & Andrew McDermott’s Jessandra II sit tied for first place with six points each after day one, but the ever-wily Degenkolw sits atop the leader board due to his victory in race one. Paul Baker’s Judy, John Vause’s Ruby Tuesday, Mike Downard’s Magic, Kirsten Durward’s Fox Sails Asia & Martyn Henman’s Second Nature round out the class in that order.

Hat’s off to PRO Matt McGrath for fighting through the pain of a recent motorcycle mishap to ably guide the boats through their courses today. Regattas Asia’s Simon James also made an appearance onshore to help with the results. Stuck in Wales for months due to COVID-19 restrictions; it was good to see Simon back in his old stomping grounds. Brendan Kealy graciously donated his catamaran Catapult as the committee boat as well as the photography rib which Phil Bender so ably maneuvered throughout the course. Chandran Nadarajan as always did a great job laying the marks.

The idea for this regatta and the Club’s Sailor’s Regatta in March was to hold affordable no frills regattas, no goody bags or T-shirts and just one final party on the last night, making it affordable for all to compete. And it was seen as a feeder race for the Phuket King’s Cup. The racing continues Saturday at 1pm and the racers will be hoping that gusts from the northeast monsoon will help push them through the course.

Fugazi, Voodoo & Sho, Vel win honors at MSR 2020

Fugazi, Voodoo & Sho, Vel won the OMR, Firefly and Cruising Multi divisions respectively at the MSR 2020, but it was Sho,Vel who took home the MSR trophy as they won the division with the most boats, seven.

The seven-boat cruising multi class was the regatta;s largest.

Fourteen boats and 75 sailors competed in the event, which was remarkable as the Club only received the green light to officially hold the regatta on July 1st. Multihull Solutions deserves tremendous credit for remaining as the anchor sponsor throughout the whole COVID crisis. As PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson said, “They never backed down, never wavered in their commitment to us. As long as the government would allow us to stage the regatta, they were going to be there for us.”

PRO Matt McGrath gave all three classes two races each on the final day and then wrapped up the incredibly successful event as another squall seemed ready to hit the course.

The Firefly division lived up to its hype and was a dogfight throughout.

The OMR battle saw Dan Fidock’s Fugazi take six of the eight races over Mark Thornburrow’s Bonza, but it was Bonza, helmed by Warwick Downes, who won the “awe factor” due to its flying hull wizardry.

Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo won the five-boat Firefly 850 Sports class by one point over John Newnham’s Twin Sharks. Oddsmakers had Twin Sharks winning the division if a third race had taken place, but it was an exceptional performance by Ian Coulson and his Filipino crew on Voodoo, absent owner Hans Rahmann (back in Germany), who sailed very well in the rough weather. Over the last five years, John Newnham’s crew has consistently been on the top of the podium in this class, but not this time around as Voodoo beat its fierce rival for the second time in seven months having upstaged them at the last King’s Cup as well. 

Kudos to Andrew DeBruin and Multihull Solutions for their support throughout the regatta.

Mamba, helmed by John Priestley, finished third overall in the division with Peter Taylor’s Ballerina in fourth-place, and Marc Chapus’ Moto Inzi brought up the rear.

Another close finish saw Zam Bevan’s Sho,vel edged out Paul “Flatty” Baker’s Blue Pulse (owned by John Coffin) by one point for the Cruising Multi title. Peter Dyer’s DaVinci was actually tied with the Blue Pulse but dropped to third on countback. Regatta sponsor Andrew DeBruin’s MHS Neel 51 came fourth, followed by The Sting, Klook Star Trek, and finally, Rendezvous who had to exit the regatta on the second day after hitting a channel marker.

Marc Chapus’ Moto Inzi was as competitive as ever.

A huge round of applause must go out to the PYC staff and kitchen crew led by Khun Jib for keeping everyone fed. And not only did Matt McGrath do a super job as PRO but it also lent the committee the photography boat as well, which Phil Bender did an exceptional job of navigating throughout the regatta. Coach Garfield deserves a lot of credit for helping with the logistics of the regatta. And Chandran, that super marksman, did a bang-up of laying and collecting the marks throughout the event as he always does.

Thanks again to regatta race-day sponsors Phuket Boat Lagoon, East Marine Asia, and Octopus Electrical.

Great regatta, enjoyed by all – congratulations to PCYC Commodore Scott Duncanson for a great effort.

Great start to MSR 2020

The Multihull Solutions 2020 Regatta got underway today with PRO Matt McGrath starting the three competing classes, Racing Multis, Fireflies, and Cruising Multis, in sequence just past midday.

Light winds and grey skies greeted the start of the regatta but by mid-afternoon, the sun pierced through and the wind gusted to twelve knots.
It was the first time that any of the sailors had seen any competition since the club’s Sailor’s Regatta in mid-March and everyone was delighted to get back on the water and push the worries of the pandemic aside for a few hours.

OMR was a battle royale between Dan Fidock’s Fugazi and Dan’s old boat Bonza, helmed by Warwick Downes. Bonza did beat Fugazi across the line in race one but lost on corrected time and then Fugazi roared home to win both the second and third races, so the day belonged to Fugazi.

Warwick Downes’ flew some mighty fine hulls but had a hard time matching Fugazi on this day

The five-boat Firefly-class saw Mick Coleman’s Mamba fly off the start line and the boat maintained the momentum throughout capturing the first race, followed by Peter Taylor’s Ballerina in second and John Newnham’s Twin Sharks in third.

The second Firefly race saw Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo and Twin Sharks battle it out it the way we have been so accustomed to seeing in the last few years with Voodoo beating Twin Sharks by 21 seconds and Ballerina coming in third a couple minutes later.

Twin Sharks stood second in the Firefly-class after day one.

Voodoo and Twin Sharks repeated those placings in race three with Mamba grabbing the third spot, so after day one Voodoo was atop the class with six points, Twin Sharks was in second with seven and Mamba stood third with eight points.

The seven-boat Cruising Class only got in one race today, but it was super to see The Sting helmed by Bill Kane take line honors and win the race. Regatta regulars had to think back to the days of the late great Henry Kaye to remember a similar performance by the trimaran. Zam Bevan’s Sho,vel, and Peter Dyer’s DaVinci placed second and third followed by Andre Lee’s Klook Star Trek and title sponsor Andrew DeBruin’s MHS Neel 51.

Bill Kane’s The Sting sailed very well today capturing the Cruising Multi class.

A mix-up in communication saw Paul “Flatty” Baker’s Pulse Blue and Rendezvous continue on around Koh Lan after rounding Koh Bon relegating the boats to sixth and seventh spot, respectively. The rest of the class turned into Ao Chalong after making the turn at Koh Bon.

While the regatta was going on the Club’s youth sailing program was also on the water with eight boats being filled for both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Title sponsor Multihull Solutions’ Neel 51 was in the fifth spot in the Cruising Multis after day one.

They’re Back!!

It’s only been four months since the Phuket Yacht Club staged the Sailor’s Regatta, one of Thailand’s last regattas before strict COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. Yet it seems like years ago since yachts raced around Phuket’s scenic shores and the sailors who have been biding their time waiting to unfurl their jibs and let out their mains are rarin’ to go.

Entries for the 2020 Multihull Solutions Regatta (MSR) are surprisingly high given the pandemic says Phuket Yacht Club Commodore, Scott Duncanson, “This is the eleventh running of the event and on the back of a surge in multihull popularity globally, the MSR has grown to become Asia’s largest multihull-only regatta,” Held from the 10th to the 13th of July in Chalong Bay on Phuket’s protected east coast, this regatta has become many a sailor’s “green season” favourite due to the more consistent southwesterly monsoon winds and rain, which make for cooler racing temperatures.

Three classes will compete in the regatta, Multihull Racing, Multihull Cruising and the Firefly 850 Sports One Design Class. Rivalries of note include John Newnham’s Twin Sharks and Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo in the Firefly class, while Warwick Downes’ Bonza and Dan Fidock’s Fugazi will battle it out in the Multihull Racing class. A very pleasant surprise in 2020 is the increase of entrants in the cruising fleet, at the time of writing six entries have been received with the potential for another in the coming days. Title sponsor Multihull Solutions will be entering a Neel 51 trimaran in that cruising division. Alternative courses are planned for the cruisers enabling them to soak up the tropical serenity of the many local East Coast Islands.

Phuket’s best sailors are known to participate in this regatta and it’s their skill and tactical sense that makes a difference in navigating the short windward-leeward courses that tend to make up most of the regatta’s races.

Matt McGrath will be the regatta’s Principal Race Officer (PRO) having served in that capacity for the Club’s Jai-Dee and Sailor’s Regattas.
Kudos go out to Andrew DeBruin and Multihull Solutions for remaining the regatta’s anchor sponsor and standing beside the PYC in these troubled times ensuring the regatta thrives and runs smoothly.

The club will maintain strict social distancing rules while the sailors are on shore as it has done throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The increasing popularity of multihull sailing is evident by the many local and offshore supporters including race day one sponsor Phuket Boat Lagoon; race day two sponsor East Marine Asia; and race day three sponsor Octopus Electrical. SEA Yachting magazine returns as the regatta’s media partner.

Banque images Neel51 navigation

Multihull Solutions Regatta 2020

Multihull Solutions Regatta 2020
It is with great pleasure we can finally confirm the Multihull Solutions Regatta 2020 will proceed as scheduled next month.
At the time of writing the Covid 19 pandemic restrictions are still being eased but we confidently foresee that yacht racing will be possible in July albeit with social distancing measures likely still in place.
With this in mind the 2020 event will operate in a simplified format, still with plenty of sailing but a tuned-down social program is planned to meet the expected crowd gathering restrictions.
As international travel will likely still not be possible in July, we expect and welcome an increase in local participation.
We also recognize that many boat owners and crew members have fallen on difficult economic times. In respect of this and the simpler social program we are pleased to announce the 2,000 baht crew fee has been eased for 2020 and only the boat entry fee will apply.
May we take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, competitors and regatta volunteers for their patience while the Covid pandemic and subsequent restrictions have panned out.
It’s been a long time between regattas and we look forward to greeting everyone at the club in July.
Scott Duncanson
“After all the recent Covid restrictions sailors all over Thailand can’t wait to get back on the water for the upcoming Multihull Solutions Regatta at the Phuket Yacht Club. Save the dates and enter while there is still room. Lots of great charter options in every class.
See you on the water in July!”
Andrew deBruin, Multihull Solutions

Phoenix, Fugazi, Twin Sharks & Dragon take top honors

Sailor's Regatta 2020

Twelve knots of wind greeted PRO Matt McGrath on the final day of the Sailor’s Regatta 2020, and he ran two races for each class in Ao Chalong using the same sequence he had all regatta: monohulls (IRC) followed by OMR Multis then the Fireflies & Platus.

Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix won top honors in the Monohulls-IRC class followed by Andrew McDermott Jessandra who edged Vitaly Plaksin’s Uminoko by one point for second spot in the final standings. Paul Baker’s Farrgo Express was fourth with Gary Smith’s Endeavour of Whitby fifth and Martyn Henman Second Nature, who sailed up from Langkawi for the event, finished out the class.

Dan Fidock’s Fugazi team had a great regatta and won the OMR Multihull division edging out Dirk Weiblen’s No Fear for top spot by two points. Dirk was sailing with the Jakobsens, down from Pattaya for the event, and must now try and get home to Shanghai. Marc Chapus’ Moto Inzi was third in the class, which was rounded out by Bill Kane’s The Sting.

The surprise of the Firefly class was Peter Taylor’s Ballerina who ended up finishing second overall with a six-man crew. Usually, this class is a two-horse battle between John Newnham’s Twin Sharks and Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo with Twin Sharks usually prevailing. But Taylor as he deftly displayed agility steering out of the packed Ao Chalong anchorage in the morning – engine up – made a number of shrewd tactical moves throughout the regatta to finish six points behind Twin Sharks’ all-star crew. Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol followed in third with Voodoo, less Hans Rahmann, in fourth and Mick Coleman’s Mamba in last spot, honoring Henry Kaye by flying his spinnaker.

PYC stalwarts Alan and June Cawardine sailed on different boast for the first time in a while as Alan was crew on Ballerina and June crewed on Mamba.
Nathan Masopust and his crew on Dragon won the Platu class after recently winning the Transworlds in Pattaya followed by Beaver, Tiger, The Fox, Wolf and Cheetah in that order as very little separated the boats in this One Design class all regatta.

Following the lead of Mick Coleman the PYC sold raffle tickets and raised Bt100,000 to help alleviate Mark Horwood’s hospital bills. Horwood, who was the PYC Commodore from 1998 – 2002 is recovering from mouth cancer and in the ICU of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital.

Brent McInnes of the Phuket Cruising Yacht Club provided the photography boat for the regatta and Brendan Kealy kindly supported the start boat with Kathy De Cruz handling the start flags.

And a big shout to John Newnham and all he’s done for the club as his latest donations allowed for the purchase of new racing buoys and lifejackets for the junior sailing program.

The full results are here

Nothing but blue skies

Sailor's Regatta 2020

Good sailing weather greeted all competitors as they bolted from the start line just past midday on day two of the third annual Sailor’s Regatta. PRO Matt McGrath had the Monohulls (IRC) & OMR Multis do one race — a round-the-island course — while he set three races each for the Fireflies & Platus in Ao Chalong Bay.

blue skies

Vitaly Plaksin’s Uminoko took honours on the day in the racing monohulls with Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix coming second followed seven seconds later on elapsed time by Andrew McDermott Jessandra who shadowed Phoenix on the last leg on the course. Paul Baker’s Farrgo Express was fourth while Gary Smith’s Endeavour of Whitby and Martyn Henman Second Nature both didn’t finish as the wind didn’t hold for them as they tried to turn Koh Larn. Going into the final day tomorrow Phoenix leads the class with four points trailed by Jessandra at seven and Uminoko with ten.

Dan Fidock’s Fugazi had line honours in the round-the-island-race (01:42:00) finishing almost an hour ahead of Moto Inzi who earned second spot on corrected time in the OMR Multihull Class. Dirk Weiblen’s No Fear was third followed by Bill Kane’s The Sting in the four-boat class. Heading into the final day’s racing, Fugazi has a good lead with three points while No Fear and Moto Inzi trail with seven and eight points respectively.

John Newnham’s Twin Sharks led the Firefly class on day two with a first-place finishes and two seconds. It’s as it John’s crew has a direct line to Poseidon when it comes to navigating the waters around the Phuket Yacht Club. Peter Taylor’s Ballerina has been the surprise of the class so far and moved into second overall while Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol and Voodoo (missing Hans Rahmann, who is back in Hamburg as his mother passed recently) follow in third and fourth with Mick Coleman’s Mamba bringing up the rear.

Dragon continued to lead the Platu class followed by Beaver, Tiger, The Fox, Wolf and Cheetah in that order but there was very little space in the One Design class with much jockeying for position and all still in play on the final day.

Organizers took precautions before the regatta making sure all participants signed a “Coronvirus COVID-19 Self-Declaration form”, which included a clause which said they must withdraw from the regatta and self-quarantine if they came down with any symptoms related to the virus.
Everyone involved in the regatta has had their spirits buoyed by the competition. With so much fear and paranoia being spread around it is refreshing to know that while precautions do need to be taken events like these can still be held.

Racing continues on Sunday. Full Race day 2 Results are here.

Twenty-one boats and 104 sailors take to the water

The third annual Sailor’s Regatta organized by the Phuket Yacht Club took sail on Friday March 12th with competitors coming from around the region to race in four different classes (Racing Monos & Multis, Fireflies, & Platus).

This was the third Sailor’s Regatta to be held and while many other regional regatta have seen their numbers dwindle this “no frills” regatta has seen its numbers grow from five to nine to twenty-one boats this year.

The regatta numbers were a bit of good news for a Club that has had its share of sadness lately. Phuket sailing legend Henry Kaye passed away last weekend. The Club also lost Tomas Andersson, known as “Swedish Tom” recently, and PYC stalwart Mark Horwood is still in ICU at Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, convalescing from cancer surgery. Top all this off with the fear and paranoia caused by the coronavirus and the Sailor’s Regatta with a few days of fun on the water was a much-needed respite and boost of confidence for club members.

PRO Matt McGrath sailed two windward-leewards today and could have gotten in a third race but many of the sailors wanted to pay their respects to Heny Kaye and needed to make their way to the top of the island to attend a service for Henry to do so.

Niels Degenkolw weaved his usual magic today taking Phoenix to top spot in the Racing Monohull division with two first-place finishes followed by Andrew McDermott Jessandra with had two-second place showings. Gary Smith’s Endeavour of Whitby, Paul Baker’s Farrgo Express, Uminoko helmed by Vitaly Plaksin and Second Nature skipped by Martyn Henman followed in that order.

John Newnham’s Twin Sharks led the Firefly class after day one based on its first- and second-place finishes. Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol, with a good day on the water, was in second with four points on a third and first-place finish. Peter Taylor’s Ballerina was third in the pack of five, which was rounded out by Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo in fourth and Mick Coleman’s Mamba in the fifth spot as it finished last in both races.

It was strange to see Moto Inzi not sail with the Fireflies for the first time, but owner Marc Chapus modified the boat with a Bimini, forcing it into the four-boat OMR Multihull Class, where it finished third today followed by The Sting helmed by Bill Kane. This class saw all entries repeat their placings in both races, so Dan Fidock’s Fugazi came first twice, Dirk Weiblen’s No Fear twice, and so on.

It was great to see cooperation from Mike Downard’s Sail in Asia as six of his Platus made their way over from Ao Yon to sail in their own One Design class. And in that class, Dragon was the top boat today winning both races followed by Beaver and Tiger, who flip-flopped second-and third-place spots, ending up with five points each. After that, The Fox, Wolf, and Cheetah repeated their placings in both races at fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Congratulations to Commodore Scott Duncanson and the PYC for going ahead with this regatta as sporting events, leagues and tournaments have been canceled across the globe including Ocean Marina’s Top of the Gulf Regatta, which was to be held in early May.

Racing continues on Saturday. Full Race day 1 Results are here.