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Heavy weather fails to dampen spirits as Phuket Raceweek returns

Heavy weather fails to dampen spirits as Phuket Raceweek returns

SAILING: Despite inclement weather forcing the final day to be cancelled, the 19th Phuket Raceweek held last week (June 29 - July 3) was declared a resounding success by all involved, with 200 sailors from 20 countries sailing in 20 boats, divided over six classes.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 9 July 2022, 10:00AM

After perfect conditions for the first three days of the regatta, the weather gods were not so kind on Sunday (July 3) when heavy storms forced racing to be curtailed.

However, Principal Race Officer Simon James was still able to schedule six races for every class, two on each day, so the skippers were allowed to drop their worst performance on the water.

Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood landed back in Thailand with a bang, capturing the four-boat IRC Zero class with some nifty sailing and manoeuvring on the water. James Bury and Craig Nicholls’ Alright came 2nd in the class, with Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On placed 3rd and the Douglas/Kettlebey Ramrod settling for 4th. All four boats were crewed by sailors from Australia who flew up specifically for the occasion.

Alright then took top prize in the IRC 1 class. Garry Holt, who bought Jessandra II just before the regatta and renamed it Let’s Get it On, sailed to a 2nd place finish. Ramrod had trouble with its sails and never really got on track, taking 3rd overall in the three-boat class.

The OMR MR Racing Multiclass saw Joel Berg helm Dan Fidock’s Extreme 40 Parabellum to win each race, drawing the admiration of everyone involved. Warwick Downes’ Bonza placed 2nd in the class, followed by Alan Carwardine’s Saffron and Glywn Rowlands Twister 2. Alan and Asia Catamarans were also very kind enough to sponsor the third day’s racing and prize-giving.

John Newnham’s Twin Sharks captured the four-boat Firefly 850 Sport boat class, edging out rival Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo with Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol and George Eddings’ Blue Nose coming in 3rd and 4th place respectively.

Tight battle

The IRC Cruising division was the tightest battle in the regatta as APW Endeavour of Whitby and Phoenix finished tied atop the leader board with seven points each. The tiebreaking formula is thus: first, it’s the highest number of wins, then it’s the highest number of second-place finishes, followed by the highest number of third-place showings. If they are still even after that - and they were - it boils down to who had the highest placing in the last race, and APW Endeavour of Whitby did.

QSI International School Phuket

Toshiro Furuta’s Japanese crew on Sakura came 3rd in the class, followed by Kirill Stashevsky’s Agata. Fred Haes’ Venture finished 5th, and Kantus Bride, the only all-Thai entry in the regatta, helmed by Kampon Sutara, was 6th.

Tristan Hamilton’s Pulse Grey swept every race (six in a row) to take the Pulse 600 class, with Paul “Flatty” Baker skippering Pulse Yellow, close behind.

The founders of Phuket Raceweek, Andy Dowden and Grenville Fordham, presented digital and printed versions of their chart book Southeast Asia Pilot to the class winners on day three. They established the regatta in July 2004 as there was no other regional sailing during the summer to take advantage of the good winds brought on by the prevailing southwest monsoon.

The closing party was staged at the host Cape Panwa Hotel with guest of honour Navy 3 Area Command Vice Admiral Sompong Nakthong on hand to present the final series awards.

A big thank you must go out to Master of Ceremonies Wicky Sundrum for oversseing the opening and closing night festivities, while James Haste did the honours on race days one and three.

Finally, tremendous credit goes to organisers Byron and Rung Jones and the Cape Panwa Hotel staff for executing the regatta so well, especially as approval for the event was only granted at the start of May.

With the luxury of much more notice, Byron has set June 28 - July 2, 2023 as the dates for the 20th Phuket Raceweek Regatta.

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