Twenty-one boats and 104 sailors take to the water


Scott Duncanson

The third annual Sailor’s Regatta organized by the Phuket Yacht Club took sail on Friday March 12th with competitors coming from around the region to race in four different classes (Racing Monos & Multis, Fireflies, & Platus).

This was the third Sailor’s Regatta to be held and while many other regional regatta have seen their numbers dwindle this “no frills” regatta has seen its numbers grow from five to nine to twenty-one boats this year. The regatta numbers were a bit of good news for a Club that has had its share of sadness lately. Phuket sailing legend Henry Kaye passed away last weekend. The Club also lost Tomas Andersson, known as “Swedish Tom” recently, and PYC stalwart Mark Horwood is still in ICU at Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, convalescing from cancer surgery. Top all this off with the fear and paranoia caused by the coronavirus and the Sailor’s Regatta with a few days of fun on the water was a much-needed respite and boost of confidence for club members.

PRO Matt McGrath sailed two windward-leewards today and could have gotten in a third race but many of the sailors wanted to pay their respects to Heny Kaye and needed to make their way to the top of the island to attend a service for Henry to do so.

Niels Degenkolw weaved his usual magic today taking Phoenix to top spot in the Racing Monohull division with two first-place finishes followed by Andrew McDermott Jessandra with had two-second place showings. Gary Smith’s Endeavour of Whitby, Paul Baker’s Farrgo Express, Uminoko helmed by Vitaly Plaksin and Second Nature skipped by Martyn Henman followed in that order.

John Newnham’s Twin Sharks led the Firefly class after day one based on its first- and second-place finishes. Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol, with a good day on the water, was in second with four points on a third and first-place finish. Peter Taylor’s Ballerina was third in the pack of five, which was rounded out by Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo in fourth and Mick Coleman’s Mamba in the fifth spot as it finished last in both races.
It was strange to see Moto Inzi not sail with the Fireflies for the first time, but owner Marc Chapus modified the boat with a Bimini, forcing it into the four-boat OMR Multihull Class, where it finished third today followed by The Sting helmed by Bill Kane. This class saw all entries repeat their placings in both races, so Dan Fidock’s Fugazi came first twice, Dirk Weiblen’s No Fear twice, and so on.

It was great to see cooperation from Mike Downard’s Sail in Asia as six of his Platus made their way over from Ao Yon to sail in their own One Design class. And in that class, Dragon was the top boat today winning both races followed by Beaver and Tiger, who flip-flopped second-and third-place spots, ending up with five points each. After that, The Fox, Wolf, and Cheetah repeated their placings in both races at fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Congratulations to Commodore Scott Duncanson and the PYC for going ahead with this regatta as sporting events, leagues and tournaments have been canceled across the globe including Ocean Marina’s Top of the Gulf Regatta, which was to be held in early May.

Twenty-one boats and 104 sailors take to the water