Sailor’s Regatta 2023 – Day 1

posted in: Regattas

Great weather welcomes the PYC’s sixth Sailor’s Regatta

Photography by Scott Murray

Champagne sailing conditions greeted participants on the first day of the sixth annual Sailor’s Regatta, organized by the Phuket Yacht Club. Taking place from Friday March 24th – Sunday March 26th, there are six boats competing in the multihull class & three in the monohull class.

This “no frills” regatta continues to be popular with local sailors. There are no t-shirts, caps or goody bags handed out and the only dinner is given on the final night at the awards presentation. But the cost of entering is much cheaper than other regional regattas giving the sailors more dosh to spend on other things.

Matt McGrath was back as PRO and on the first day he sailed two windward-leewards for both classes on course two, heading out from the middle of Chalong Bay in the direction of Ao Yon and the Cape Panwa channel marker.

Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo, skipped by Ian Coulson, was back to renew their famed friendly Firefly rivalry with John Newnham’s Twin Sharks and they were lightning quick off the start line finishing the first race in 38 minutes. Voodoo’s crew has been sailing Hans’ monohull Yassoda, a JV Custom 70, in the Raja Muda and Bay Regatta, so it was great to see them back in their Mark Pescott-designed and Mark Horwood-built Firefly.

Voodoo did lose race one to Twin Sharks on corrected time but as we have seen so often in this snakes and ladder rivalry over the years, Voodoo roared back to take race two, flip-flopping results with Twin Sharks and seeing the two boats tied in points heading into day two.

Dao Fidock’s Saffron, an Asia Catamaran Stealth, and Dirk Wieblen’s No Fear, a VLVP YG25 MOD, were next up tied for second spot with eight points each. It was great to see Dirk competing again only weeks after having that nasty capsize in the Bay Regatta, where it took three hours for the committee boat to grab hold of No Fear’s inverted hull and tow it to safety.

Rounding out this six-boat class, were the two frailer boats in the class: Andrew McDermott’s Trident and Bill Kane’s The Sting, with the former finishing in fifth and the latter in sixth for both races.

The monohull class is shaping up to be a battle royale with Niels Degenkolw weaving his usual Danish magic on Phoenix, his X ¾, in a nip-and-tuck battle with Aliaksandre Racheuski’s Uminoko, the Russian boat. Uminoko won the first race by less than a second but had to settle for second spot when corrected time was applied. It also finished second in the second race with Thomas Valentin’s Brisk taking third place in both races. Valentin does have a crewmate for his Classe Mini 6.5, which he sailed single-handed in the Bay Regatta.

Action continues throughout the weekend with good wind wind and blue skies predicted (photography by Scott Murray).

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