Phuket’s Multihull Solutions Regatta got off to a great start on Saturday as PRO Simon James, back from a hiatus in the Welsh hinterlands, was able to fit in three races for all classes between squalls and pounding rain.
Fourteen boats were entered in the regatta, but the crew on The Sting woke up, took one look at the weather and went back to bed. Charles Robinson’s Star Trek was dealing with problems in another galaxy and then warming up for the first race, Richard Delaney’s Pulse Red broke its rudder, so there were 11 boats raring to go for the 10:30 start time. Tide tables being what they are it was imperative that PRO James get the boats off early so that the crews could be back at the host Phuket Yacht Club by mid-afternoon when the tide recedes.
The skies really opened up near the end of the third race and everyone received a thorough soaking but spirits were high. This is the fifth regatta the Club has staged since the onset of COVID, and for many it is just such a relief and respite to be out doing something and competing against the backdrop of all the restrictions brought on by the pandemic.
This is the eighth regatta where Multihull Solutions has been the title sponsor since they started their sponsorship of the event back in 2014. The winners of the previous regattas are as follows:
2020 – Fugazi; 2019 – Phantom; 2018 – Fugazi; 2017 – Thor; 2016 – Hurricane; 2015 – Hurricane; 2014 – Java
Paul Stamp has now taken over as the Southeast Asian Manager for Multihull Solutions and was graciously on hand to officially start the regatta, Andrew deBruin has moved back to the company’s new office in Brisbane where he will oversee the company’s operations in Asia.
It was great to see PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson on the water again as is steering Fugazi in this regatta. Scott has done a wonderful promoting and organizing the club’s junior sailing program.
Dan Fidock’s Fugazi took top honours in the multihull racing OMR class on the day with two firsts and a third. Team Philippines on Voodoo was second as they made history being the first all Filipino-crew to compete in the MSR and winning the second race. They did a superb job on the water, even if they did lose one of their crew overboard near the end of the first race (quickly recovered and pulled back on board). Warwick Downes’ Bonza, flying its hull as only it can, was third followed by John Newnham’s Twin Sharks with Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 rounding out the class. Rowlands had Alan Carwardine and Roger Diggelmann on board as crew; the fellas who built the boat. Twin Sharks and Voodoo continued their epic Firefly sailing joust throughout all three races.
Multihull Cruising (PHC class) was down three boats (The Sting, Star Trek & Pulse Red) so the remaining three vessels duked it out for win, place, and show with Rick Fielding’s Pulse Yellow taking the top prize as it won all three races. Simon Boyd’s Pulse Grey took the second spot in all three races and the legend himself Paul “Flatty” Baker with Pulse Blue took third in every race. The Pulses also score points in a separate class devoted just to them, the Pulse 600 Division Class.
The three-boat Racing Monohull class saw the skilled Dane Niels Degenkolw win two races on Phoenix to win the class. Jessandra II, the predominately female team was second and Martyn Henman’s Second Nature was out there but hampered by bad weather as it has two DNFs and one FPA (photos by Scott Murray).