Uminoko & Twin Sharks triumph at Sailor’s Regatta
Photography by Scott Murray
There were three tight starts in the IRC class on the final day of the Phuket Yacht Club’s Sailor’s Regatta, held from March 8-10 in Ao Chalong. Alexy Mashkin’s Megazip and Vitaili Plaskin’s Uminoko pushing each other to achieve an advantage at the startline. Uminoko’s spinnaker handling was much better and as a result their downwind performance improved greatly.
Uminoko won all three races on day three and finished tied with fellow-Russian sailing team Megazip at 12 points each, but Uminoko won the class on countback as they won the last race.
There were no discards in this regatta, so all positions were in play going into the final day of racing.
Paul Baker’s Farrgo Express, the other boat in the IRC class continued to display interesting spinnaker techniques on the final day of racing and pulled out of the final race, taking third spot in the seven races they did compete in.
In the Firefly/OMCclass, Twin Sharks strong team (Scott Duncanson, Alfie Rowson, Tom Cracknell, Ciaran Corrigan and skipper John Newhamn) scored three bullets on the last day, winning the class by the end of the second race.
Ballerina (the only Firefly not built by Latitude 8 in the regatta), took three second-place finishes on day three and with crew such as Andy Pape Mick Kealy, and Liz Schoch helping out skipper Peter Taylor you just knew they were going to surprise and do well.
Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol, Mick Coleman’s Mamba, Marc Chapus’s Moto Inzi and Dirk Weiblen’s This rounded out the class, although This did not compete in the final race of the day. This was the only non-Firefly in the OMR division; Originally a KL25 catamaran, designed by VLPP, with racks and trapezes, Weiblen bought it calling it Offline, he had then had a rethink and increased the width of the boat by 60cm, got rid the of the trapezes and tracks, and reduced the rocker making a flatter hull, more suitable for Phuket waters. At the same time that the Sailors Regatta was going on, the PYC’s Junior Sailing Programme was taking place so it was interesting to see the young sailors juxtaposed against their more senior comrades all having fun in the Ao Chalong waters.
A huge thanks must go out to Kim Mitchell and his crew at the PYC bar/kitchen for keeping all sailors fed and topped up with libations. Kim also supplied a water fountain free of charge where sailors could fill up their water bottles as the PYC is phasing out plastic bottles.
On day two, a spectator boat full of beautiful female Russian sailing enthusiasts, celebrating International Women’s Day cruised through the fleet creating a number of “oohs” and “aahs”.
Praise much go to race director Tom Cracknell for organizing the classes and results with the able assistance from PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson and PYS Sailing School Director Alfie Rowson, And before the regatta started, John Newhamn made a generous donation to the club and the PYC junior sailing programme.
Mick Kealy donated his rib as the photography boat, and Tim Willis did an excellent job driving it. Matt McGrath skillfully repeated his performance from last year as PRO, and Chandran as always turned in brilliant work as the assistant race officer. Member Colin Wright kindly donated his catamaran SWIFT (sailburma.com) as the start boat and Mick Coleman also was active in ensuring all the boats were compliant with OMR/Firefly boats regulations.
Ten boats competed in the event, although Aqua only sailed on day two. That was up from the inaugural Sailor’s Regatta in 2018, when seven boats competed. All eight races were windward-leewards in Ao Chalong Bay and PYC Commodore Scott Duncanson stressed that the regatta’s focus was on the sailors themselves—in short, protests were discouraged and fun was emphasised.