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Great sailing conditions greet Jai Dee Regatta

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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