The Bay Regatta sails smoothly through its 15th year
9 February, 2012
Colourful spinnakers against the scenic backdrop of Phang Nga Bay. Photo by rolienphotography.com.
Forty-three boats sailed through the stunning karst topography of southern Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay last week celebrating the 15th year of one of the most enjoyable sailing events in the region: The Bay Regatta – Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.
The regatta was relatively mishap free, despite enjoying unheard of strong breezes throughout most of the races. The biggest drama was a drunken sailor trying to return to his boat after the opening night party. He couldn’t find his boat, he couldn’t even remember its name, and so after exhausting his fellow longtail passengers’ patience, he was eventually taken back to shore and left to contemplate life on the beach.
The Russians turned out in unprecedented strength and put in a very impressive performance at this year’s regatta, with Arbuzov Andrev’s Ruby Tuesday capturing the five-boat Racing Class. Fellow countryman Nikiforov Evgenii’s Gastion placed second and Scott Duncanson’s Quantum Fusion came third. Duncanson’s boat was the fastest through the water for three of the races, but on corrected time was consistently placed behind the Russian boats.
In the nine-boat Cruising A class, Neils Degenkolw’s Phoenix took top honours on the strength of three first-place finishes, while frequent regatta winner, Jim Ellis’ Remington had to settle for second place. Richard Macfarlane’s Aida placed third.
The 13-boat Multihull Class was won by Andrew Stransky’s Fantasia with David Roberts’ DaVinci coming second and Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo placing third.
Two classes saw two boats tied with the same number of points at the end of four days of racing. Gavin Welman’s Rascal and Kevin Perran’s Rusalka tied with eleven points each in the eight-boat Cruising B class, but Rascal took class honours on countback having finished first on the third day. Charlie Preen’s Seventh Heaven came third in the division.
The seven-boat Bareboat Charter division also saw Kochnev Petr’s Tonicola 2 and Kozub Sergey’s Creme Brulee (aka Venture) tie with six points each, both having two first and two second-place finishes, but Tonicola 2’s victory on the final day saw it claim the overall prize. Paul Kendall’s Anchali was third.
The Ao Chalong Yacht Club, let by Commodore Grenville Fordham, deserves tremendous credit for a putting on a great regatta. All members of the organizing committee have multiple other responsibilities but they managed to pull together and stage a great event. Principal Race Officer Simon James and his team of on-water volunteers once again did a terrific job, while Kae Wattana and her regatta management team made the logistics look easy. Rolien Beute highlighted the region’s stunning karst topography snapping away as the regatta’s official photographer, while Captain Shane Granger graciously lent his historical vessel Vega as the regatta’s media support boat.
The “Fun Regatta” did indeed live up to its reputation with five nights of revelry and prize presentations, each night in a different tropical venue. The main sponsor of the event was DaVinci Yacht Charters, with Thai Sri Insurance and Neil Pryde also putting cash in the regatta pot, while a whole host of other official suppliers, local sponsors and supporters enable this regatta to keep going – and growing.
For more information, including detailed results, on The Bay Regatta – Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, see www.acyc-phuket.com/bayregatta.htm.