Phoenix & Twin Sharks capture top spots in Jai Dee Regatta


PRO Matt McGrath, overseeing his second PYC regatta, contemplated sending the participants on a round-the-island course on the final day of the inaugural Jai Dee Regatta but weather forecasts had the wind dying down as the afternoon dragged on. Fearing the sailors would be stuck under the hot sun for hours, he elected to go with three windward-leeward courses instead.

And when it was all sailed and done, Niels Degenklow, the wise and wily Dane, captured top honours in the regatta’s monohull division.

But only just, as his boat, Phoenix, hung on to edge Vitaly Plaskin’s Uminoko by one point after seven races. Mini Me had a great final day with two victories enabling the spice-orange Shaw 650, helmed by Paul Burke, to clinch third overall. Jessandra II, Over Here and Magic followed in that order.

Twin Sharks won all three races on the final day thereby distancing itself from arch-rival Voodoo. This enabled John Newhnam’s crew to edge Hans Rahmann’s by three points to capture the regatta’s eight-race multihull division. Commentating on Twin Sharks performance, veteran sailing commentator Paul “Flatty” Baker said, “Ten metres after they rounded the top mark their jib was down and their kite was up – that’s how you win races.”

Tom taking a rest on “Twin Sharks”

Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol claimed three third-place spots on the final day to clinch third overall in the four-boat class with Marc Chapus’ Moto Inzi settling for last spot.

And speaking of Surf Patrol, it was skipper Ray Waldron’s idea to stage this regatta as this time of year as a feeder regatta to the world-renowned Phuket King’s Cup, which sails in two weeks. And it really worked out well, with almost all participants praising the event and vowing to return next year.

Commodore Scott Duncanson said that as a result of the shifting wind conditions he had never seen so many different boats reach the top mark first. Yet the challenging racing and challenging conditions were met head-on by all competitors.

A big shout-out to the PYC’s restaurant and kitchen staff, particularly Khun Jeab and Khun Om, who did a great job of keeping the participants fed and refreshed during the regatta.

And although the regatta was designed for Phuket-based sailors, participants came from far and wide for the event including John Newhnam from the UK, Alfie Rowson from Indonesia, two of Ray Waldron’s crew from Downunder and Morten Jakobsen from Pattaya.

And a big thank to Tim Milner for supplying his catamaran Charro as the committee boat for the regatta.

Twin Sharks and Voodoo continue Battle Royale

Twin Sharks and Voodoo.

The Hatfields and McCoys would be envious of the rivalry between John Newnam’s Twin Sharks and Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo, except the competitive drive ends on the water and is replaced with the camaraderie and the sharing of suds shore side.

After two days of racing Twin Sharks sits ahead of its arch-rival by one point as it flipped first-place finishes with Voodoo from yesterday and Voodoo slipped to second overall by finishing third in race two today.

Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol sits in third spot with 19 points while Marc Chapus’ Moto Inzi sits behind him by three points.

Monohull racing saw the Russians on Vitaly Plaskin’s Uminoko grab two first-place finishes and first overall going into the final day. Niels Deganklow’s Phoenix sits a point back in second after five races, followed by Jessandra II, Over Here and Mini Me.

Mike Downard’s Sail in Asia crew, sailing David Bell’s old Jeanneau Magic, decided to go home halfway through the third race cementing their hold on the final spot in the monohull division.

Describing the day’s racing,Twin Sharks crewmate Alfie Rowson said, “There was lots of snakes and ladders with the wind shifts and pressure changes. As a result, both classes saw tight racing with positioning and tactics playing a huge role in the final results.”

Comic moment of the day went to Ray Waldron’s crew as with the wind waxing and waning, Surf Patrol’s rudder snagged the starting buoy as it crossed the start line for the first race. After a sufficient amount of cussing and cursing, they did return it to its proper place.

PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson was particularly pleased with the constantly changing positions during the days racing as shifting wind conditions enabled different boats to seize the lead at different times throughout the day. Scott was crewing on MiniMe a Shaw 650, recently purchased and refitted by Paul Burke. Its copper-brown coloring teamed with the crew’s red shirts really stood out in the glare of the midday sun. Scott described the day’s racing as “brochure-like and he was bang on. Two good days of sailing have greeted the inaugural Jai Dee Regatta and the final day on Sunday promises plenty of action with both division titles still up for grabs.

Great sailing conditions greet Jai Dee Regatta

Great sailing

The first annual Jai Dee Regatta sailed off the waters off Ao Chalong on Friday, November 15th. Organized by the Phuket Yacht Club (PYC), “Jai Dee” means good-hearted in Thai and is an apt name for this regatta, which is run by volunteers. It’s also the first regatta for big boats in Thailand that has ever had a Thai name.

Ten boats participated; six in the Monohull class, four in the Multihull (Firefly) class. PRO Matt McGrath did a super job on the day getting in three races for the Fireflys and two races for the Mulithulls before the wind died down. Matt was ably assisted on the committee boat by Tim Willis, Mark Horwood, and Kathy de Cruz. Chandran Nadarajan, as always, did a terrific job laying the marks and Mick Kealy gracefully donated and drove the photographer’s rib.

After day one, Voodoo held down top spot in the Multihull division with four points while Twin Sharks was in second spot with 5 points followed by Moto Inzi with two points in third spot and Surf Patrol in fourth with 11 points.

The Multihull division looks like it will play out in two tiers with John Newhnam’s Twin Sharks and Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo carrying on their historic and heated rivalry in the top tier – the two boats seem tied at the hip at times and always seem to be only a few boat lengths apart at every finish line or mark rounding.

Moto Inzi and Surf Patrol will fight it out for third spot with Marc Chapus’ crew still getting used to their fairly recent acquisition and Ray Waldron’s crew still feeling out the teething pains of the latest version of Surf Patrol.

In the Monohull division, Niels Degenklow’s Phoenix four-point total had it in first place at the end of the day; followed by three boats with six points each (Jessandra 2, the Russian boat Uminoko, and Morten Jacobsen’s Over Here). MiniMe, a refurbished Shaw 650, was next with eight points and Mike Downard’s Magic last with 12 points.

It was great to see Niels Degenklow’s Phoenix back competing in a smaller regatta. A long-time participant in the big regattas and winner of many Bay Regattas, he and other local sailors are starting to rethink their participation in the no-frills regattas. The idea for this regatta and the PYC’s Sailor’s Regatta in March is that they are designed for local sailors and focus on racing. There is a final night party, but that’s it, no frills or daily parties (flat rate of Bt4,00 per boat) though all participants are more than welcome to sample the sumptuous morsels on offer at the PYC.

Also nice to see Mike Downard bring a crew of his young sailors over from his Sail in Asia school in Ao Yon. Though they definitely had problems handling their sails at times, their “never say die” and stick-em attitude won over their fellow sailors.

PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson said the regatta was staged at this time because there is a large gap between Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek and the King’s Cup. The sailing weather is also good and the event is a good lead-up to the King’s Cup and high season.

Making the racing interesting today was the wind shifts; the southwesterly monsoon hasn’t left and the northeasterly hasn’t totally arrived so the tacticians’ navigational skills were tested as the winds swirled from one side of the course to the other. Racing continues tomorrow at 11am.