Despite the multiple challenges that COVID-19 brings to organizing any event, Media Business Service (MBS), the organizers and rights holders of Phuket Raceweek, have pushed ahead with the regatta this year after unfortunately having to cancel it in 2020.
Restrictions caused MBS to reschedule their normal mid-July date to the end of August, and though many of those restrictions are still in place including limits on the number of people allowed at gatherings and an alcohol ban, Phuket Raceweek #18 is a go. And many of the island’s sailing community are delighted and rarin’ to go.
Welcome to Phuket’s best sailors.
Phuket’s best sailors have signed up for the regatta, most ecstatic for the chance to escape the drudgery of the pandemic for a few days of fun and racing on the water.
The seven-boat Multihull Racing Class has a couple of classes within classes as three of Alan Carwardine’s Stealths are entered (Twister 2, Saffron & Fez) and two Fireflys (Twin Sharks & Voodoo) are also set to compete against each other.
Bonza, the trimaran owned by Mark Thornburrow and skippered by Warwick Downes, former Commodore of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, will no doubt draw oohs and awes throughout the regatta with its ability to claim line finishes and fly hulls as it whizzes by other competitors.
Dan Fidock’s Sportsboat Fugazi, helmed by Nick Gutry, is another boat to watch as its highly-skilled crew are always competing for top honours in any regatta they enter.
Glywn & Karen Rowlands Stealth 12 Twister 2 will be competing against Dow Fidock’s Stealth 11.8 Saffron (builder Alan Carwardine skippering) and John Coffin’s Fez with Mick Coleman helming. The Stealths were built close to the start-line at the nearby Asia Catamaran boatyard in Ao Chalong.
Also in the Multihull Racing class, John Newnham’s Twin Sharks and Jojo Tayong’s all-Filipino-crew on Voodoo will continue their friendly rivalry as the two boats have dominated the Firefly-class for the last few years and are never more than a few boat lengths apart when it matters most.
The monohull class has three entrees including Nils Degenklow’s X ¾ ton MK 2 yacht Phoenix. Nils has probably won more races in Phuket waters than almost any other sailor so is the favourite heading in this class heading into the regatta. Paul Merry’s Night Train, a Hanse 415, and Java Yachting’s Mas Alegre, a Steadfast 40, are the other two boats in this class. Andrew McDermott had hoped to join the regatta with his boat Jessandra II and its predominately female crew but Covid restrictions prevented him from making it down from Hua Hin.
MBS Managing Director Byron Jones says,
“We discussed holding the event with key members of the local sailing community, and they were all keen to go ahead, so we made the decision to operate a toned-down PRW 21 and ‘Go Sailing’.
“Our thanks go out to all local sponsors and supporters, who have stepped up to help us get the event organised.
Without the support we would not have been able to get the event away. Our gratitude is extended to the Phuket Cruising Yacht Club for providing our registration venue.”
The Racing Programme
Phuket Raceweek 2021 starts with registration on Thursday 26th August followed by three days of sailing Friday through Sunday the 27th-29th in and around Chalong Bay with the multitalented Simon James as the Principal Race Officer.
Saturday’s racing will include for the first time in Phuket waters, a handicap pursuit race, where boats will start at different times according to their handicap (slowest boat first) and race to the finish line. It is hoped that most boats will come to the finish line together thus making a different style of race.
PCYC The Chalong Bay Classic
In addition, Saturday is expected to have a number of non-racing boats join the event for a PCYC The Chalong Bay Classic a pursuit sail consisting of two one-hour sails across the bay.
The day involves everyone starting together and sails down the bay for half an hour then turn 180 degrees and head back to the start line for the finish, a short break and we will do the same race again then back to the PCYC for a gourmet BBQ that’s included in your 200 baht per head entry fee, all forms of sailing crafts are welcome to join in.
Instructions for the event can be heard on VHF radio channel 73 Any questions or to confirm your entry call Brent on 0862697138
Kiteboarders and Wing foilers are also expected to join in.
Awards Ceremony in November
Due to current restrictions, there will not be any onshore awards and parties this year with the exception of a re-scheduled awards ceremony to be held at The Nai Harn Hotel on Saturday, November 13th. (subject to any further restrictions).
We would hope by then that the Phuket Sandbox will be well and truly established and everything turning back to some sort of normal.
Raceday on Friday 27th August report is here