On the fourth and final day of the Bay Regatta, the Coca Cola Haad Thip Race, PRO, and race organizer Simon James continued the regatta’s two-start format as all the multihulls crossed the start line together followed by all the monohulls. The final race saw the participants start off of Krabi’s Railay Beach between the committee boat and Koh Yaman, then pass Koh Dam Hok and Koh Dam Kwan to starboard before hitting the gate at Hin Mu Sang Noi. The multis made it through the gate but the wind died before the other boats could get there, so finishing times were taken from the gate.

After all the boats crossed the finish, they headed back to Phuket, where they celebrated the final prize giving and dinner at Kan Eang 2 restaurant, overlooking Chalong Bay.

It was hoped that the final prize-giving would be a somewhat quieter affair as the evening before the stage collapsed at the Phra Nang Inn while the prize-giving was taking place when the extended crew from the Russian yacht Megazip jumped on stage. Luckily, the only casualties were a few bruised egos and some wet clothes as the temporary stage was constructed on the resort’s swimming pool, but it certainly was a prize-giving ceremony to remember as everyone went scrambling once the stage gave way.

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The six-boat Racing Class saw Scott Bradley’s East Marine Emagine win for the second time in four years. Alexey Mashkin’s Megazip came second, having won the regatta the two previous years. Craig Nichols’ Aquarii was third with Gordon Ketelbey’s Ramrod in fourth followed by Andrew McDermott’s Jessandra II and Vitalii Plaksin’s Uminoko in last.

In the Cruising A class, Paul Merry's Night Train rode three first-place finishes to victory while Brandon Roscoe's Lola, which took first on day three, claimed second overall with 9 points. Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit 6 was third with 12 points followed by Kirill Stashevskly’s Winds of Change (15 pts) Andrew Bruechert’s Sand Grouper (21 pts) and Jack Christensen’s Linda (25 pts).

The six-boat Cruising B class was won by surprise, surprise, Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix. Niels has won the Bay Regatta a number of times in various divisions over the years. This year, he won every race except for day two’s when the Gillows on Poco snuck by him. Poco did end up claiming second in the class while Vladislav Belosheikin’s Sail in Asia Pinocchio was third, Tristram Denyer’s Iseulta was fourth and Sergei Kataev’s Hope was fifth.

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Mig Wehrle’s Aqua came in last but did have the regatta’s cutest entrant-Mig’s young son Lucas on board, along with Lucas’ grandmother so it really was a family affair.

Speaking on families, it’s always tremendous to see the father-daughter team of Kevin and Mia Gillow out on the water. As a child, Mia sailed around the world with her parents, and the family has always been quite close. But a few years back, Kevin suffered a stroke. He made a miraculous recovery and 18 months later was back sailing and winning the Bay Regatta on Poco with Mia.

In the Bareboat Class, Konstantin Nazarenko’s Kinnon almost made a clean sweep of it, but Venture, after finishing second on the first three days, claimed the top spot on the final day. Russell Waddy’s AllSail Tonicola, the only non-Russian boat in the class, was third and Denis Aksenov’s Uhuru was fourth overall in this division.

Fugazi was the star of the show winning regatta line honours in all four races – but when their handicap was applied on the final race it was only good for third overall in the multihull class, so they didn’t sweep their division though they did win it on days one-three. Kudos to owner/skipper Dan Fidock and his crew of Mick Coleman, Rob Meizer, Nick Gutry, Ciaran “Irish” Corrigan and Gaetan Verhegge as they flew their hull(s) masterfully throughout the event. Twin Sharks usually gives them a run for the money when handicap is applied but John Newnham’s tight-knit team of Alfie Rowson, Jason Corall (fly in from New York), Tam Keawwantha (flew in from Ireland), with John as skip, had to pull out early on the first day due to a ripped sail. They had blown out their back-up sail at the Royal International Regatta just a few weeks earlier and hadn’t had time to replace it. Jason did find a home with Phantom 5 for the regatta and Alfie and Tam sailed with Jessandra II.

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John Newnham summed up Twin Sharks recent woes, thus, “It started at the Phuket King's Cup where our new main developed a problem halfway through the regatta, we continued with the sail but there were performance issues. Quantum asked us to return the sail for analysis and repair or replacement, at that stage we were committed to Langkawi so decided to carry on but with one of our two older sails. Halfway through Langkawi the main blew and we did a repair but it was obvious that sail was for the bin.

“The replacement/repair sail was not yet available for the Bay Regatta, so we dug out another older sail, sadly it was just too old and tired — Sharks does do a lot of sailing! So, in a nutshell. we had a problem with a new sail, which we were anxious to investigate, in the meantime, we used some old well used sails which unfortunately did not cope.”

George Eddings crew (John Claxon, Peter Taylor & Mark Pescott) on Blue Noze filled the gap left by Twin Sharks and sailed marvelously finishing only two points behind Fugazi in the final standings. Alan Carwardine’s Asia Catamarans Phantom 5 also turned in a valiant effort, coming third with 12 points. Alan sailed with many of his crew from Hurricane, since sold to a sailor based out of San Diego. Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 was fourth with 14 points and Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol was fifth with 23 points. Ray’s was the only boat able to fix a damaged sail during the regatta, because after registering a DNF on day three, crewmate and sailmaker Ket Mangklaseranee was able to match things up and have them ready to go for day four.

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Elaborating on the sail trouble, Ray said, “On day three, a glued seam on the main gave way one minute into the first upwind leg causing the main to part from luff to leech. Given it was blowing a constant 18 knots with gusts to 25 we had little choice but to nurse the main & boat home to Ao Nang and commence repairs so we could compete on day four. Having Ket (Ket Sails) on board was a great help and he had the main patched up within an hour.

“On day four, we knew we still had to nurse the main home but given the final race was all downwind we were moderately confident it would hold. We started well and managed to stay “almost” in touch gybe for gybe with Fugazi for approx 8 miles but unfortunately, the take line on the prodder blew. In our efforts to recover the kite as quick as possible we lost our mast man overboard slowing us down a touch. Worst of all one of our crew was injured with a suspected broken or cracked rib, so we had to nurse John home (along with the main). That’s racing, it can suck sometimes.”

Scott Galle’s Blade Runner IX also had trouble in the regatta and ended with 2 DNFs on the first two days, ripping its sail near the end of the second day, forcing it out of the regatta. Gallant effort in tough winds for the small trimaran though.

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Simon James did a tremendous job as PRO setting the courses, manning the starts and keeping things in order. Kae Wattana and her Regattas Asia team made everyone happy on shore, providing plenty of good food and drink and good entertainment. Vacation Village stepped up and provided Seraph as the committee boat Captain Brent McInnes did great work steering the photographer’s rib. Brendon Kealy helped out by providing his catamaran, Catapult for photography services on the last day. And Bob Mott was also a tremendous help, providing the mark boat and the Rainman waterproof bags for all the skippers. A big shot out to Simon’s team on the water—Susie, Hughie, Chandran, Jane, Cookie & Eddie—who as always, made sure all the starts and finishes were correctly posted and recorded.

For more information, visit www.bayregatta.com or www.facebook.com/bayregatta.

About Regattas Asia
Regattas Asia is a brand name of Phuket and More Co. Ltd., established in 2001 with over 18 years’ involvement in the organization of leading marine events in Asia. Regattas Asia has become a prominent player in Asia's regattas industry, with an innovative approach to the management of major sailing events in the region, and provides services to the following events: Phuket King's Cup Regatta, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, the Sabang International Regatta (Indonesia), Royal Langkawi International Regatta (Malaysia), Hainan Around the Island Regatta (China), & the China Cup International Regatta.

Regattas Asia is the sole organizers of The Bay Regatta and Samui Regatta (www.regattas.asia).

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