Great gusts greet competitors on day one of Phuket Raceweek at Cape Panwa Hotel
You couldn’t have asked for better sailing conditions than we had today to start the 19th Phuket Raceweek as winds picked up to 20 knots allowing PRO Simon James to get in two races for all classes just south of Koh Lan off the southern coast of Phuket.
The IRC Zero class today saw Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On (nee Jessandra II), a Corby 36, and Ray Roberts Team Hollywood flip-flop first and second-place finishes in the four-boat class today with James Bury/Craig Nichols Alright (nee Emagine), a Sydney 40, earning a third in the first race and a DNS in the second. The Douglas/Kettlebey Ramrod, a Farr 40, did not have much luck today posting a DNF & a DNS.
It was great to see Ray Roberts and Team Hollywood back in Thai waters. Ray was one of the elite skippers (Frank Pong, Peter Ahern and Neil Pryde being the others) who formed the top racing class in the halcyon days of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix.
The IRC 1 class saw Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On take the top spot with its two first-place finishes. Alright & Ramrod came second and third, respectively, in that class today.
Stuart Williamson’s APW Endeavour of Whitby had a great day on the water earning two first-place finishes to lead the six-boat Cruising Monohull class on the day. Niels Degenklow’s Phoenix was second with two-thirds, followed by the Russian crew on Kirill Stashevsky’s Agata (two-thirds) and Fred Haes’ Venture (two-fourths). Kampon Sutara’s Kantus Bride was next, earning a fifth in the first race and an OCS in the second. Toshiro Furuta’s Sakura was last, taking a sixth in the first race while it had to retire in the second.
Although four Pulse 600s were supposed to start the regatta, only two did, with Pulse Blue and Pulse Red pulling out at the last minute. Still, two Pulses did compete with Tristan Hamilton skippering Pulse Grey and Paul Flatty Baker skippering Pulse Yellow. Pulse Grey took both races on day one.
The Racing Multiclass class saw Dan Fidock’s Extreme 40 Parabellum do what it does best “ooh and ah”, spectators and competitors alike, cruising to first in today’s two races. Warwick Downes’ Bonza was next claiming second in both sprints while Alan Carwardine’s Saffron (nee Java) took two thirds and former pilot Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 had a fourth in first race and a DNF in the second to complete the four-boat class.
The four-boat Firefly 850 Sport boat class didn’t disappoint as John Newnham’s Twin Sharks got off to a great start winning both races while its long-time friendly rival Voodoo came second, swapping second and third-place finishes with Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol. George Eddings Blue Noze, the other entry in the class, had issues and did not start either race.
We can’t say enough about the positive vibe the regatta has created with all those involved in it espousing a “can do and will do” motto: a breath of fresh air after so many restrictions, frustrations and complications caused by the pandemic over the last two-and-a-half years.
Action-packed racing continues tomorrow through Sunday, with the sailors coming ashore for a sumptuous banquet and prize giving in the evenings at the host venue Cape Panwa Hotel.