Wow! With so much anxiety, frustration and misery ashore due to all the ongoing problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic it was exhilarating and therapeutic to get in two good days of sailing in near-perfect sailing conditions. With the sun out and the wind hovering around 12 knots competitors were yelling for more as they crossed the finish line on the last race of the day at Phuket Raceweek 2021.

A Pursuit that got everyone chasing.

And there was no simple race around the cans windward-leeward racing today but an intriguing and challenging pursuit course. The first-ever for Phuket Raceweek and possibly Thailand.  This was followed by a coastal course that kept the sailors focused and happy.        

PRO Simon James got the racing underway in Ao Chalong at 11 am, sending the ten-boat fleet off with a handicap pursuit race, where boats started at different times according to their handicap (slowest boat first) and raced to the finish line on the far side of Koh Lon. The second race saw the boats start in their usual classes for a coastal course retracing much of their first course, but starting and finishing on the far side of Koh Lon.   

Fugazi, helmed by Mark Pescott, continued to perform well today, reaching speeds of up to 20 knots.

Fugazi Racing crossing Chalong Bay with Phuket in the background

Along with Bonza, as the boats sped through the course.

Bonza flying a hull

Fugazi took first and second place finishes giving it a three-point advantage over Jason Corall’s Twin Sharks, after a drop race, heading into the final day of racing tomorrow. Warwick Downes’ Bonza sits in third spot in the OMR Sports Multiclass Division a point behind Twin Sharks while Jojo Tayong’s all-Filipino-crew on Voodoo sit fourth in the four-boat class, five points behind Bonza.

Alan Carwardine continued to spin his magic today skippering Saffron to first and second-place finishes, keeping it in the top spot with four points, counting the drop. Fez, skipped by Mick Coleman, took the first race of the day from Saffron and sit three points behind the leader while Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 secured a second-place finish in race two and sits four points back of Fez.

The monohull class saw Nils Degenklow’s Phoenix continue to do what it does best, win. Capturing two races today Phoenix has now won all five races in its class and heads into the final day with a commanding four-point lead.

Mas Alegre Phuket Raceweek 2021

Java Yachting’s Mas Alegre placed second in both races today while Paul Merry’s Night Train claimed the third spot in both races and sits three points behind Mas Alegre heading into the final day.

Results for the Pursuit Race, a separate prize-giving event saw Fugazi, Saffron and Bonza go 1-2-3 in the Multihull division followed by Fez, Voodoo, Twister 2 & Bonza. Monohull results in the Pursuit Race were as follows: Phoenix, Mas Algre and Night Train.    

The post-race feedback was a welcome change to normal, organised well by PRW Simon James and many competing around the course as the faster boats caught up.

A big shout out to the father-and-son team of Anthony and Jay Gates who are crewing on Twisted 2 during the regatta. That boat is one big family affair as the husband and wife team of Glywn and Karen Rowlands own, skipper and crew on the boat.    

The final day of sailing action continues on the water tomorrow in Ao Chalong starting at noon.

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