Phuket has two monsoonal effected seasons: The South West Monsoon and the North East Monsoon. The North East Monsoon begins early November and ends late April. It features calmer seas and wind conditions along with clearer days with excellent visibility. The coolest weather is in December through to early January. The South West Monsoon begins around the beginning of May and ends early November bringing stronger conditions to the west coast with rougher sea conditions, more wind and rain along with hazier skies. Basically it is our wet season or as it has been recently better known our green season.
14th Royal Langkawi International RegattaStory BOB MOTT, images BOB MOTT
You could say Niña had a rocky trip to Langkawi this year – at the aptly named Koh Rok Nok with scrapes on the hulls and two rudders well and truly mulched
up and split at the bottom. Fortunately the rudders were designed to be sacrificial at the bottom which effectively save the rudder stocks and the rest of the rudders. The
problem occurred due to a change of wind direction, an ebbing tide and some poorly placed government moorings. Niña ended up on a rocky shelf and was lucky to struggle
loose on an outgoing tide. Of course it all happened in the dark early morning and the worst possible hour.
I was spared all this grief as I planned to drive down to southern Thailand and catch the fast ferry across from Satun some days later to save valuable time for my new cat build project. My planned sail down had to be shelved due to launch commitments with the new cat. Good old Niña took a licking but she kept on ticking and in a good sailing and motoring condition to continue on her merry way to Langkawi with a pit stop in Telaga Harbour Marina on the way for a fuel top up before she headed for her free berth at Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Marina which is included in the regatta entry fee. There was no way Niña was going to miss out on competing. On arrival the crew busied themselves removing the rudders and getting then off to Brendan Wright at Northern Marine where the grizzly bits were cut off and what remained was glassed over and sealed. Around 16cm ended up being lopped off. Fortunately, for a change, conditions for the regatta this year were predicted to be light to medium so the smaller rudder area didn’t present an issue. As well Grenville Fordham the co-owner was a media partner of the regatta as IMAGE Asia – publishers of the South East Asia Pilot.
The fifth edition of guide is due out around July this year keep an eye out as it has expanded considerably. Nina’s chartering gear was removed, Dacron sails swapped for the UK Halsey carbon square head main and carbon headsail six years old but still hanging in here – Gary Saxby builds a good sail. The dock was a mixture of sails, pots and pans, crockery, cutlery, anchor chain and anchor all under a protective tarp. Niña’s waterline changed dramatically but actually not as much as it should have – more on that later. The Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2016 is organised by the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), sanctioned by ISAF – World Sailing and the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), and supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia. For the past two years, Langkawi Regatta has been the windiest regatta on the Asian circuit and sailors enjoyed, 25-30kts, pressing them to the limit. This year conditions settled down to produce a good sailing breeze on most days.
Race Day one
The first race day kicked off with a clear blue sky and light breeze that picked up as the day wore on. Multihulls had two races, PRO Simon James decided not to have a third race and sent everyone back to the
comfort of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Two comfortable wins for David Liddell’s 14m WOW secured them into first place in the Multihull Racing Class. Two second places for Bob McIntyre’s recently aunched 13m Allegro is a great result on their first outing in anger. Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet IMAGE Asia Niña followed suit with two third places, to maintain status quo in the order. Tunku oraya Dakhlah entered their flagship Manta Blu, a Prout 58, to help make the numbers up to four entries.
Race Day two
A light north easterly arrived on time and built up to 14kts before fading away and by early afternoon putting an end to racing. No change in the Multihull Class. Another two more wins for David Liddell’s 14m WOW gives them a clear lead, over Bob McIntyre’s 13m Allegro, scoring two second places. Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet IMAGE Asia Niña continues to follow suit with two third places and maintain an orderly fashion. Rear Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Tunku Soraya Dakhlah continues to circulate on their flagship
Race Day three
Racing was held in the open waters, to the east of Langkawi in 15kts, with a choppy seaway. Still no change in the Multihull Class. Although the times are very close on adjusted handicap, David Liddell’s 14m WOW posted two more wins, to keep a clean sheet. Bob McIntyre’s 13m Allegro, is getting more game, scoring all second places. Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet IMAGE Asia Niña with third places and Rear Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Tunku Soraya Dakhlah flagship Manta Blu skippered by Gerhard Pils with fourth places.
Race Day four
A massive thunderstorm appeared over Bass Harbour at sunset, foreshadowing an end to the north easterly monsoon winds that sailors have enjoyed for the past three days. This morning was like a mirror
and crews clustered under boom awnings, to protect from direct sunrays, some went for a swim! After two hours a light easterly breeze emerged at the north end of Bass Harbour and the Police start boat repositioned and hastily set a short windward leeward course. One race only today for the Multihull’s in what ended up to be a constant 5kts.
Race Day five
Trouble was brewing early morning with an overcast sky and rain and no wind. Shrewdly Principle Race Officer Simon James hoisted the postponement flag and kept the fleet ashore. The race committee sent out scouts around looking for wind. The bar opened and quenched the crews thirst, as they waited for a decision. The call came at 1300hrs that there will be no racing today and the previous days results will stand as the final result. David Liddell’s Stealth 14m WOW nearly made a clean sweep of the Multihull Class and wrapped up the Multihull Challenge Cup with a day to spare. Bob McIntyre’s brand new 13m Allegro, had the privilege of blotting WOW’s clean sheet but second place was always on the cards. Grenville Fordham’s 11.6m Andaman Cabriolet IMAGE Asia Niña. A lesson learnt for Niña owner/skipper Grenville Fordham was to check for airlocks in their fresh water system as after the race when filling the port water tank they found they still had a full tank of 400 litres. That’s a hell of a self-inflicted handicap to deal with. They will be keeping a much better eye on that for 2017 as well as the rocks at Koh Rok Nok.
Parties were as usual impressive with a combination of buffet nights, beer and cocktail nights with early prizegiving so competitors could get back to their accommodation and relax, also a suit yourself night to try out local restaurants.
The special ‘Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship’ award in memory of the late regatta founding chairman and RLYC Commodore Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah, is voted for by the participants and awarded for
competitiveness, fair racing and comradeship, both on and off the water, goes to Rear Commodore of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Tunku Soraya Dakhlah and the crew on the flagship Manta Blu for foregoing yesterday’s race, so the quicker catamarans could have a race in the light wind as well as battling around the course for the other four days. Last year Niña’s crew were awarded the prize for sportsmanship
PRO Simon James and his on the water team, must be commended for their persistence and efforts to run as many races as possible under the light conditions. As usual Regatta Director Wicky Sundram ran a well-coordinated event, despite the ongoing construction of the new Royal Langkawi Yacht Club clubhouse and marina extensions. It’s a blessing to have walk on and off facilities close proximity to the racing area, which individualises this regatta from others in Asia. Mark down January 9-14 for next year’s 15th regatta. Langkawi still rates economically as the least expensive regatta to participate.
Even though Langkawi is by far the most economic regatta to participate in they still battle to attract multihulls in a decent numbers. Given they include free berthing a few days before and after the racing it’s amazing the numbers are down. There may be a glimmer of hope as a Corsair Pulse has just been purchased by Gerhard Pils the Managing Director of BMW that will live in Langkawi plus a second one sent to Germany. Maybe the five Corsair Pulses in Phuket will come down next year and make a class.
Following on Niña had a much more relaxed run back to Phuket stopping at the top of Tarutao and Koh Muk cruising over three days with no incidents and she will be back to give it a go in 2017 a little less heavy I hope.David Liddell and WOW has headed off to South Africa with the intention of doing a world cruise They have arrived and departed Sri Lanka and are on their way southwards to The Maldives and further on to Capetown after which they will compete in the Capetown to Rio race as this article goes to print. Bob McIntyre’s Allegro remains in Langkawi her home port. We are hoping he can stir up some enthusiasm amongst other multihullers in Langkawi to participate last year. Tunku Soraya Dakhlah’s Manta Blu remains at Langkawi Yacht Club Marina in wait for next year’s regatta.
Wicky Sundram heads off to greener pastures and has managed his last Royal Langkawi International Regatta. Wicky has been a stalwart of Royal Langkawi International Regatta for many years and will be sadly missed. The greener pastures come in the form of – Executive Director for Phuket Boat Lagoon & Krabi Boat Lagoon. Wicky is also involved with their resorts, properties and other developments with the Boat Lagoon Group Thailand. We wish him well.
Why do I find RLIR different from the others apart from the price? It is operated out of Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Marina with hot and cold running water (shower block), power and water on the marina, restaurant with club bar and free marina berthing for a number of days before and after the regatta – and not a problem for multihulls ...
Out on the water, RLIR offers a variety of locations for courses to be set up: in harbour, offshore and around the islands (two varieties of round the islands). Inventive and adventurous race management this year made the most of all of the options to provide five days of incredibly varied courses.
What also makes a difference for Phuket-based boats is that it’s down there! Although Phuket participant numbers have been dwindling, the competitors sailing down from Phuket are realising it is a good chance to do some cruising both ways and make it a holiday, come regatta all in one. You can easily do three or four hops on the way down and back, doing a different route each way due to the diversity of islands between Phuket and Langkawi.
This year my partner – in Niña – stretched a five-day regatta to 10 days; next year, we’ve promised ourselves that we’ll turn it into a two-week adventure. I opted to fly down this year due to a pair of very insecure knees but next year I will join Niña for the un down and back. There is enough of a gap to get over Christmas and New Year’s festivities and be ready for the sail down.
On to the actual event. Once again being blessed with goods winds this year the event kicked off to a brisk start with the first days racing in Kuah Harbour where the conditions are relatively flat no matter how much the wind gets up. Multihull racing class omprised of a small fleet with two of the cats from Phuket, Image Asia Niña built by Composite Catamarans Phuket and Galeforce built by Asia Catamarans Phuket, one from Langkawi a St Francis 43 built in South Africa and one travelling through the egion on a world trip, 2FastForYou a Tim Mumby cat designed and built by Tim in Carmen on Cebu Island, Philippines.
The group was very much the League of Nations with Niña carrying Australia, British, Swiss, Thai and German crew. Galeforce a full complement of Russian crew and 2Fast4You German and Philippines crew and last but not least Umineko with a ompliment of Japanese crew.
Competing for the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup the smallest cat in the fleet Grenville Fordham’s and Bob Mott’s 11.6m Image Asia Niña was out sized by Herman Schwarz’s Mumby 48 2Fast4You and Motoyuki Sato’s St. Francis 43 Umineko. On aper, the Russian’s on Kirill Stashevskiy’s Stealth 13 Galeforce should have had a performance edge
As it turned out only three of the catamarans were competitive with Umineko heavily laden with cruising gear from its two year circumnavigation that ended in Langkawi in 2014 being too heavy to put up a decent challenge. They even had plants growing in the cockpit.
With the introduction of a Performance Handicap the remaining three had an equal chance of winning and each had to sail consistently to be in the running. Over the five days of racing the division clocked up 11 races with one being determined not valid by the committee once they check the auto tracking devices that were fitted to all the cats to find that all had missed a mark and some had missed more than one on a confusing course on day number two.
Each day brought its own set of dramas and courses to contend with. Out of the three competitive cats Niña came to the fore with consistency at the starts being 99% of the time on the horn as well as being economical around the course. Galeforce had a abit f being late for the starts and over shooting rum lines throughout the regatta. 2Fast4You the alloy Tim Mumby continued to impress by sneaking up on the back of Niña giving her a hard time more often than not. When you consider 2Fast4Us was virtually ailed by one person, the German owner, with a little bit of help from his 30 or so kilo Filipino girlfriend, it was quite a feat! A powerful 48ft 8,000kg+ alloy fast cruiser giving diminutive Niña a 38ft 4,500kg composite cat a bloody hard time. Galeforce spent ost of the time out tacking with fairies doing strange manoeuvres unrelated to the course.
The Performance Handicap formula regurgitated the results and made for some tight results in some cases no more than two minutes between first and third and in some cases down the 12 seconds between first and second. You couldn’t relax or make any mistakes and expect to win. Niña
started on 0.733 ended on 0.804.
2Fast4You 0.746 / 0.818. Galeforce
0.842 / 0.866. Umineko 0.726 /
With a 15-20kt north easterly, gusting to 25, blasting down Bass Harbour the crews had their hands full. As the four multihulls came to grips with the weather conditions, mixed results were produced. Niña seized the opportunity in the first race with a win head of a powered up 2Fast4You, it lived up to its namesake in the second race by winning and now sits on top of the table. Galeforce slotted into second place in race two holding down third place overall, which relegated Niña to second overall in the standings
The wind whistled all night past my sixth floor hotel window and by morning a lumpy sea had built up on the outside coastal course area, setting the stage for an interesting day of racing. Before the scheduled start time, a Platu 25 footer snapped it’s mast off elow the first spreader. Niña was the only multihull on the start line when the horn sounded and held the lead throughout the race, to claim the daily double with line honours and a handicap win, and in doing so, elevated themselves to the top of the multihull eader board. Second place for 2Fast4You, leaves them tied on points with Niña but in second overall. Some confusion about rounding the marks correctly on the second race and a retirement and Did Not Start has resulted in the race being cancelled. aleforce continues to hold down third overall with Umineko not contending.
Today was a round the islands race with the racing cats joining IRC’s top divisions and doing the long course. Again lots of wind throughout the whole course especially the return leg to windward. Niña was close hauled to windward in the lower Bass Harbour channel and hit by a gust of over 30kts which lifted the windward hull some 2m or more out of the water. Grenville at the helm dealt with a ‘bowel motion moment’ dumping the main and rounded Niña up to place her windward hull safely back in the ater. We did an involuntary tack, back winded the headsail as a result. I was on the low side and it was the highest I have ever seen Niña out of the water. Although Galeforce claimed the Multihull Class line honours, Niña corrected out in first place and xtended their overall lead. Third place for 2Fast4You, keeps them in second overall, in front of Galeforce in third
Strong wind conditions continued with the north east monsoon with three races for multihulls on the fourth day. All three multihulls scored a win and after juggling of places they all score six points, keeping Niña on top of the scoreboard with a two point lead ver 2Fast4You, and Galeforce a further two points adrift in third and all to play for tomorrow
Although the north easterly eased off to 10-15kts, the race committee took the opportunity to complete the 10 race schedule for the multihull class. Bass Harbour turned on top conditions for three round the buoys races to finish up in spectacular style. Galeforce reached in at speed and brutally forced Niña on to the windward pin mark but cutting her off one boat length to the mark inclusive of taking all Niña’s wind. Niña became the windward mark for the fleet until she managed to get herself loose of the angle with the buoy. A protest flag was flown due to the indiscretion of Galeforce but later withdrawn as Niña had won the regatta and the protest was of no consequence and a waste of time pursuing. So Galeforce’s skipper was off the hook and none the wiser as far as knowing the rules he had broken.
Although Image Asia Niña was hooked up the top mark on the first race and forced to retire on the first race, she rebounded with two more firsts on the day and secured the Malaysian Multihull Challenge Cup in fine style, with Galeforce in second and Fast4You in third Niña co-skipper Bob Mott (on behalf of the Niña crew) was awarded the Tunku Abdullah Sportsmanship Award, voted by all the participants for competitiveness, fair racing and comradeship, on water and land. Have a look at the crew hotos as it was more to do with the Zinc war paint than anything else – compliments of an Aussie company www.sunzapper.com.au
Parties as usual had free flow wine, spirits, beer, soft drinks and excellent buffets including roasted lamb off the bone. Three parties were on site with one at the Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa which was a stand up cocktail party with light snacks. The arties, were well organised, and the standards included a reservedseat system for the final night. Per the normal schedule we had one free night to check out the local restaurants.
Back at our accommodation at the City Bayview Hotel (provider for the regatta of reduced rate rooms approximate AU$85 a night for two including breakfast)) choices for breakfasts were diverse and there was a curious sign for people who over filled their lates and wasted food with a fine of 10 Ringgit (AU$3.50) for each 100grams wasted.
Many of the competitors stayed at the Bayview as well as all the invited media. It was amusing to see the mix at breakfast with racers, cruisers, media and locals in traditional dress including the odd Burka! Langkawi is a very mixed culture with Malay, Indian nd Chinese with all seeming to mix effortlessly.
More for less is how I would sum it up. The only variable in the package is the weather and so far these last few years the wind gods have been kind to Langkawi Regatta so great winds to sail in on the way down from Phuket, during the regatta and on the sail back. The team at Langkawi Regatta led by Wicky Sundram listen to the participants and are willing were possible to make changes. It’s a progressive regatta being tweaked up each year for the benefit of the participants Good wind produces good acing and keeps the participants happy and that rubs off on the officials and volunteers. Having a marina to run the racing from also makes it special and to top it all off the spectacular scenery and duty-free island paradise. Mark down in your sailing diary January 1-16, 2016 for the 14th running of the regatta. By the time the 2016 RLIR comes around there will be a new club house and shorefront development along with an expanded marina and added breakwaters.
For information visit www.langkawiregatta.com or email Bob at email@example.com for charters, help and advice. Be great to see more Aussies up at this event and a larger multihull contingent. We need your support.
NEW DATES FOR 15th
ROYAL LANGKAWI INTERNATIONAL REGATTA 2017
09th January to 14th January 2017. The organisers have chosen these dates to move the regatta further from the Christmas and New Years period to help attract more competitors from Phuket. The programme is for a practice day and five days of racing. They have already achieved an increase in the racing monohull fleet with the likes of Ray Roberts and Neil Pryde, Frank Pong and Peter Ahearn plus the Malaysian Navy on their TP 52s.
With the convenience of a marina berth for 8 days this is a very appealing regatta to attend. Parties are all at the yacht club so no travelling involved. Lots of economical accommodation is nearby for those who have not planned to live aboard at the marina.Royal Langkawi Yacht Club now has a hotel complex and Fishmans Wharf development recently built.
The impressive natural surroundings of Langkawi combined with the friendly people of the island make this destination an ideal venue for a regatta that enhances the Asian Yachting circuit's calendar.
More information is available at: www.langkawiregatta.com
Bob Mott & Grenville Fordham | PHOTOGRAPHS – LANGKAWI INTERNATIONAL REGATTA Photos SHARON PIVA, bob mott and langkawi regatta
Not only was this year's Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) the event that kicked off 'Visit Malaysia Year', but it was also the first edition 'under new management'. After 11 years, the 'face' of Langkawi Regatta, Ahmad Zailani Bashan (fondly known as Zack), left for new pastures and Wicky Sundram took over the reins – bringing with him breezes the like of which are rarely seen in or around Kuah Harbour. Not a bad start!
Depending on who you ask, close to 44 boats (eight of which made the journey down from Phuket to be there) headed for the start line on day one for five days of racing around the buoys, around islands and along coastlines, with winds up to 28kts. Langkawi Regatta is one of the few in the region that is run out of a marina and yacht club, offering free berthing to participants. That alone makes it really attractive! No wet bums or tipped up dinghies in the surf. No wooden long tail boats banging up against glass-like gelcoat for the fight to get ashore. Slip in, tie up, step off and drop into Charlie's Place Bar and Restaurant for a few well deserved post-race coldies.
For us (Oasis and Niña) the trip from Phuket to Langkawi was a quick one, but on the way back we allowed ourselves a couple of overnight stops; it could have been longer but we needed to get back to our businesses in Phuket. First night was at Ao Pante, a beautiful tranquil anchorage at the north end of Koh Tarutao, after a top sail in 15kts of wind all the way. Those with more time, and a thirst for exploring, could have navigated up the mangrove creek by dinghy to stunning scenery including limestone caves (crocodile caves) which, during World War II, were the hideout of Thai political prisoners turned pirates. It took the combined efforts of the Thai government and English soldiers from Malaysia to flush them out in 1946. There is also a shop and national parks station at the mouth of the inlet with restaurant and basic camping facilities. Thailand National Parks fees may apply.
Our second day took us to Koh Muk, again with little need to run the motors on the way. A stunning all-tide beach and a sunset-facing ramshackle bar perched high on the rock beckoned us for sundowners – after a short delay while we sorted out some navigational issues (Mmmm wrong anchorage ... A question of east vs. west ...) and a brief excursion onto Koh Muk's famous 'Emerald Cave' known in Thai as a Hong (a spectacular open-topped 'cave' accessed by dinghy through a pitchblack tunnel).
Dinner ashore involved a longish walk through the jungle to a place called 'Cheap Cheap and Different'. And it was. Great inexpensive food followed an almost two-hour wait (thankfully beer was not in short supply and the company was good!) and the evening ended with a three-wheel-and-sidecar bike taxi jungle race back to the beach (the Niña guys won).
Our third day saw us back on our Chalong mooring by mid afternoon in enough time to beat the tide and make it to Ao Chalong Yacht Club for a few cold ones.
For Phuket based boats, Langkawi Regatta IS about more than just the racing ... but let's revisit the racing because the regatta experience alone does make it worth the trip down.
The racing in consistently windy conditions was, as always, superbly managed by the region's most professional Principal Race Officer, the cool, calm and collected Simon James - albeit with a little help from his friends. A marine police start boat that refused to hold in the windy conditions was swiftly sorted out by a Hong Kong competitor, Frank Pong, with a loan of a 100kg anchor from his support boat. It's that kind of friendly regatta.
Race day one: Two brisk windward leewards in Kuah Harbour. A slight chop and plenty of wind, which built as the day progressed.
Race day two: An outside course in lighter winds and an unhelpful chop that gave the smaller boats a tough time. Only one race as the wind died.
Race day three: The 'Round the Islands Race' with an optional early start for some divisions, including multihulls this year. One of the notable winners on the day was Niña, even with the clew ripped out of her mainsail and the need to put in a reef to be able to finish first in her division. In the top mono racing division 75ft Jelik took out line honours and improved on her 2013 performance.
Race day four: Started with an around the buoys race, then – a first for Langkawi Regatta which was made possible by the constant winds – a through the islands run through two gates and then to a buoy west of Telaga Harbour. A downwind spinnaker start, then through a gate and a reaching run for a several miles, followed by a reach back and then a final run to windward into Kuah Harbour and the finish. Just to make it more difficult, a freighter entered the harbour forcing some competitors to tack early. An absolutely picture perfect day for sailing!
Race day five: The wind was up to 28kts, blowing the tops off the waves and creating quite a swell. A number of breakages, retirements and didnot- starts were the order of the day. The hardy ones hung in there and got deserving wins and podium places. Some positions were up for grabs if the participants had realised how close some of the scores actually were. Opportunities were lost, unfortunately, in some cases. Well there's always next year!
A marine police star t boat that refused to hold in the windy conditions was swi f tly sor ted out by a Hong Kong competitor, Frank Pong, with a loan of a 100kg anchor from his suppor t boat. It's that kind of friendly regatta
A Lagoon 400 entry in Racing Multihulls, James Morris's Fleur D'Epice, won the 'Best Crew' award which was voted on by crews and skippers of all divisions. They doggedly hung in on most of the races to hold down fourth and last place, spending longer on the courses than any other boat in the regatta. A well-deserved award for a top effort in patience and perseverance.
Ashore in Langkawi, we enjoyed parties at the yacht club and two other island resorts, the Westin and the Bella Vista, with a tremendous grand finale prize-giving bash complete with music, dancers, seemingly never ending fireworks, traditional Malay dancers and a sprinkling of glittering VIP guests.
As well as the welcome attendance of the patron of the yacht club and regatta ex Malaysian prime minister, Dr Mahathir.
In years gone by, a large part of the Langkawi Regatta fleet was made up of visitors from Phuket. One year the tally of multihulls hit 15, with two divisions. It has sadly fallen over the years with this year's multihull contingent dropping to just four catamarans.
Even then, one of the multihull group this year went down especially to help make the numbers up. As a long time supporter of the regatta, Bob Mott's Oasis was freed up from charter duties and put back into race trim of sorts, even though she had 10-year-old sail wardrobe. Crew had to be found at short notice and Bob was obliged to abandon his regular ride Niña, leaving partner Grenville Fordham to go it alone(although with a little help from a great crew).
As catamaran owners who have competed in all 12 Langkawi Regattas, we can assure the multihull owners out there – YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE MISSING! You get a free (double) berth for seven days in a topnotch yacht club marina! Also a special multihull rate applies, with the boat entry including skipper and one crew at roughly $AUD220 and additional $AUD85 per crew member. All in a paradise with great sailing amid wonderful scenery, good parties, top camaraderie – and on a duty free island.
Next year's dates are January 12-17, 2015. One for the diary...
Also for your diary Multihull Solutions Regatta Phuket – July 11-13 year? And Cape Panwa Phuket Raceweek July 16-2 ? + year
And the winners were ...
Multihull Racing: First Afterburner – Daniel Renno, second Andaman Cabriolet Niña – Grenville Fordham, third Oasis – Bob Mott (Aussie).
Racing: First Oi - Ahern/Bailey/Wilmer (Aussie), second Jelik - Franks Pong, third Uranus – Malaysian Navy.
IRC 1: First Foxy Lady – Bill Brenner, second Red Kite – Anthony Root, third Fujin – Peter Sorrenson (Aussie).
IRC 2: First Phoenix - Nils Degenkolw, second Skybird - John Kara, third Orion Pacific – Brian Potter.
Sports Boats: First MYA - Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy, second ATM1 – Mohd. Masyuri A Rahmat, third RSYC/Setia West – Kevin Yong.
Club: First Elena – Vaycheslav Somov, second Liannet – Liannet Technology, third Rasalka – Kevan Perrins
Ocean Rover: First Eveline - Dato Richard Curtis, second My Toy – Wulf Henning Lenz, third Flissingen – Roel Enggen. The partners and sponsors of the RLIR 2014 were the Tourism and Culture Ministry, Tourism Malaysia, Youth and Sports Ministry, Langkawi Development Authority, Guinness Anchor Berhad. It was also supported by Permanis Sandilands Berhad and Neil Pryde. The media partners were Phuket's IMAGE asia along with SEA Yachting, HOMME, Spectrum Outdoor Marketing, Sail-World Asia and Yacht Style.
Providers of lucky draw prizes from Phuket should also be mentioned for their support. IMAGE asia, Phuket Premier Boatyard Phuket, Yacht Haven Marina Phuket, East Marine Phuket, Tops Chandlery Phuket, Ao Chalong Yacht Club, Phuket Cruising Yacht Club, Krabi Boat Lagoon and Sevenstar Transport Phuket.
The partners and sponsors of the RLIR 2014 were the Tourism and Culture Ministry, Tourism Malaysia, Youth and Sports Ministry, Langkawi Development Authority, Guinness Anchor Berhad. It was also supported by Permanis Sandilands Berhad and Neil Pryde. The media partners were Phuket's IMAGE asia, SEA Yachting, HOMME, Spectrum Outdoor Marketing, Sail-World Asia and Yacht Style. Providers of lucky draw prizes from Phuket should also be mentioned for their support. IMAGE asia, Phuket Premier Boatyard, Yacht Haven Marina, East Marine, Tops Chandlery, Ao Chalong Yacht Club, PCYC, Krabi Boat Lagoon and Sevenstar Transport.
15th February to 19th February 2017 A fun filled four days of racing in between the islands of beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Perfect for families and the less serious racers. There is a party on a different beach venue each night.
Go to Ao Chalong Yacht Club for information – see - www.acyc.asia or www.bayregatta.com
By Bob Mott for Fragrant Harbour Magazine Hong Kong. http://www.fragrantharbour.com
Parties, racers meet cruisers, stunning seascapes and an incredibly varied fleet - that's what the Bay Regatta is all about. This year saw a return to Phi Phi Island, once a regular venue for the King's Cup. It was the first time a major regatta had visited Tonsai Bay since 2001.
Held from the 12th to the 16th of February, the event kicked off with a waterside pre-race party at Chandara Resort, Ao Po. As always, the talk was of adverse currents and unpredictable (usually light) winds, all of which are part of the challenges posed by Phang Nga Bay.
The first day's racing had everyone lured into a false sense of optimism with a favourable breeze at the start. It didn't take long for individual battles to develop with fickle winds and wind shadows created by the island course. The lighter, bigger, faster (and mostly newer) front runners didn't have things all their own way for a change, as the day saw a shortened course under light conditions. Never saying die, the struggling back runners showed their patience and persistence and were rewarded with a 180-degree wind shift which allowed them to sail the final part of the course with a brisk tailwind, and kites full.
Day 2 featured a longer course, threading through the picturesque karsts of Phang Nga and finishing in the clearer waters of Krabi. Trimmeddown, hard-nosed racers met cruising monos and multis filled with food, water, pots and pans — everything including the kitchen sink. Tactical errors meant many a fast boat stuck in a back eddy . . . going nowhere. Being behind in some cases proved an advantage, with the front runners finding the holes for the followers, giving them the opportunity to opt for the other side of the course.
The Bay Regatta is a great leveller and provides all competitors with an even playing field and plenty of entertaining David & Goliath battles. One notable winner was Twin Sharks, owned by John Newman, competing with other multihulls of all shapes and sizes. Twin Sharks, a 28-foot 2006 edition the Firefly 850, designed and built by Mark Pescott, usually races in its one-design class but, during the Bay Regatta, got the better of more modern catamarans to take home the silverware.
Also notable was a blast from the past. A Formula 40 trimaran, launched in the USA in 1987, Adrenalin lived up to its name and was sailed, appropriately, by a vintage 'Dad's Army' crew including a septuagenarian and a lot of spritely 50 and 60 year olds! Adrenalin, a puzzle of parts when it came out of its 40-foot container a few months ago, showed the fleet moments of stunning speed but was unfortunately damaged in the anchorage after the second day's racing. We'll have to wait for its next outing at Phuket's Multihull Solutions Regatta (11-13.Jul.14) and the big one - Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 16-20.Jul.14 — to see what this tri can really do.
Day 3 began in building conditions with a solid breeze filling in from the northeast. Gusts of up to 20 knots forced some of the more frisky and delicate vessels to reef down.
The wind pumped through for most of the 26- nautical mile run to Phi Phi's Tonsai Bay and yet another idyllic anchorage in crystal-clear, turquoise water.
Racing on the fourth day was mostly a downwind run to Ao Chalong, with one windward dog leg approximately half way for the faster boats, bumping into a choppy head sea created by an incoming tide against wind. After countless spinnaker gybes and a gate off Koh Maiton, the finish line at the entrance to Chalong Bay, with Cape Panwa to starboard, came into sight and — beyond that — the welcome view of Chalong Bay anchorage and the promise of several cold beers at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club bar.
Russian sailors not only boosted the entry numbers in various classes, but consistently appeared on the podium each night and took out overall 1st in the racing division. The happy winners were presented with a trophy and a copy of the Southeast Asia Pilot (perhaps the publisher should be considering a Russian translation!)
Bay Regatta is about the parties as much as the racing and this year participants were treated to some great affairs. After the opening night, festivities moved to Paradise Resort at Koh Yao Noi, a long time regatta supporter. A sumptuous spread was provided with traditional Thai dancing by one of the local island schools.
After the second day, a 'free night' was enjoyed ashore at the various restaurants and bars of Railey and Ao Nang in Krabi. At Phi Phi a new sponsor entered the fray — with a party and presentation on the beach by Arayaburi Resort and O2 Beach Club.
The final night's festivities and prize giving was at O2 Beach Bar in Chalong — an elegant beach club on the waterfront.
For those who may be interested in taking part next year, don't forget that the tortoises who carry their homes with them might think the racing hares have the advantage but, as in the children's story, real life has proven that not to be case in the Bay Regatta.
Kudos to Simon James, race director, and Kae Wattana, managing director of event organiser, Regattas Asia, and their hard-working and cheerful volunteer crew of students from Prince of Songkla University. At the last minute, Tom Howard provided Seraph as a start boat. With four days of racing and five days of partying, the Bay Regatta crosses the three Thai provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi, is surely one of the most scenic regattas on the Asian racing circuit and always lives up to its reputation as the FUN Regatta!
For details about future events, visit www.bayregatta.com The Bay Regatta is organised by Regattas Asia under the auspices of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Sports Authority of Thailand, the Province of Phuket, the Province of Phang Nga and Province of Krabi. It is supported by The Paradise Koh Yao Beach Resort & Spa, Arayaburi Boutique Resort, Bay View Resort, Phi Phi and O2 Beach Club
by Bob Mott
photos Scott Murray, Kim Mitchell, Ghislaine Bovy/GiGi, Helicam Asia, Bob Mott
You could say the Multihull Solutions Regatta (ninth year) and Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek (12th Year) are pretty well joined at the hip with the two events linked and covering two consecutive weekends in July
This year it all kicked off with an easy going opening party with crew weigh-in and registration at Multihull Solutions Regatta on Thursday evening July 9. The organisers of the two events were lucky to have their events at all this year, considering the effects of three building lows developing into typhoons in the South China Sea, sucking winds from Thailand’s west coast creating winds of 30kts and gusting higher. Phuket Harbour department put a restriction on small craft under 24m from leaving port which was amended in time to exclude Chalong Bay and the surrounding area, allowing Multihull Solutions Regatta to take place as well as the following Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek.
Just before the first regatta started a 68m Cambodian flagged container ship, the Sinaran Andaman enroute from Penang to Myanmar, lost steerage in the rough conditions off Cape Prom Threp (southernmost cape of Phuket Island) and planted itself on Koh Hae (better known locally as Coral Island), dropping containers and other deck cargo all over the place. At the same time a barge sunk just south of Phuket off Koh Racha. The Thai Navy responded quickly, plucking 10 crew from Sinaran Andaman’s iferaft s well as rounding up all but one crew member off the barge. See this link to a video of the rescue posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySbUgMCrgeU
While these dramas were unravelling in the south of Phuket, a newly delivered set of quadruplets, fresh out of the Corsair factory in Vietnam – the Pulse 600 Corsairs – were being assembled and launched in the Boat Lagoon mid Phuket Island for their aiden oyages south to Chalong Bay. The plucky crew battled the same winds of some 30+kts on the way down and miraculously survived the journey mostly intact “shaken but not deterred”. Talk about a baptism of fire for their first outing. Things could only get etter they thought, but in this case the wind, rains and sweeping squalls continued right through Multihull Solutions Regatta without let up.
A custom 37ft trimaran 3Itch was stuck at Koh Lipe near its home base of Langkawi trying to head north but had to give up and return to port due to the 3-4m seas and heavy wind.
Sixteen multihulls entered in three divisions – Multihull Racing, Pescott Firefly One Design and Open Multihulls. The Pulse 600 used the regatta as a tester and exhibition regatta to iron out any bugs with the boats and crew.
Early casualties, apart from 3Itch not making it before the regatta, were the 1989 edition Formula 40 trimaran Adrenalin and Hans Rahman’s Pescott Firefly Voodoo. The owners of Adrenalin decided to sit it out due to the forecasted conditions and save their efforts for the following regatta in the hope the weather settled down some. Voodoo broke its mooring during the night before the first race, ending up on a rocky beach and in need of repairs. Both made it to Raceweek.
On the water there were a number of breakages such as steering, damaged dagger boards (they do not like hitting sand banks at high speeds), damaged rudders, some structural damage to the odd vessel, sail damage and so on – the usual you would expect for a bunch of racing sailors pushing their multihulls in these sort of conditions. Notably one multihull suffered zero failures and that was IMAGE asia Nina, the first of the Andaman Cabriolet cats to be built by Composite Catamarans some six years ago. Owner Grenville Fordham opted to run the worn out cruising mainsail (better described as a bedsheet) rather than the much newer four-year-old square head carbon mainsail. Reason being the six-year-old Dacron sail was smaller and you could get away ithout a reef and at the same time improve the handicap. Had the racing main, larger by 4sqm, been carried it would have had to be reefed all the time, losing the advantage of the extra sail area and at the same time gaining a higher handicap.
That decision, along with some consistent sailing, provided dividends with a third place overall following the two Stealth machines: Asia Catamaran Hurricane, driven by designer builder Alan Carwardine and Java, a newer sistership, driven by Mick Coleman who unfortunately occupied the bridesmaid position second place this year after winning against Hurricane in similar conditions the previous year in the same event. So IMAGE asia Nina, as she did last year, split the fleet with her third place leaving two tealths
– Galeforce and the just launched
Wow behind her on handicap along
with the Seacart 28, Sweet Chariot –
OMR is a real leveller as well as the
heavy conditions which Nina revels
Winners of the Firefly class were
John Newman’s (John sat it out with
slipped disc) team lead by Brent
ribble on Twin Sharks, followed
in second by George Edding’s
Blue Nose helmed by the designer
himself, Mark Pescott, and Neil Eyre
on Advanced Racing Team Mamba
holding down third place after hitting
a sandbank and damaging her
The lone entrant in Open Multihulls, Tatiana Bogatyzova’s Lagoon 38 catamaran Star Fruit, plodded around the course unscathed to take the only position available ‘first’. Their spirits were not dampened by the conditions and the nearly all women Russian rew enjoyed the comraderie very much – it’s about being there!
Prize presentations were Sunday night accompanied by a delicious buffet provided by Kim, Pia and the hardworking Thai staff at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club. Talk on the night was would there be wind during Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek in a few ays. www.windguru.cz predictions were not looking good. Most visiting competitors stayed nearby just 200m away at Ao Chalong Villa and Spa a green Thai style resort who also gave special rate during the regattas Crews generally took a break Monday if hey could. Repairs had to be done and competing boats in Raceweek normally moved from their Chalong Bay moorings to temporary set up moorings off the beach at Cape Panwa Hotel.
Tuesday was normally boat moving day with Wednesday sign in and crew weighing and the first night’s open party. Many of the competitors made use of the special (amazingly low) regatta rates at Cape Panwa Hotel the main venue and its sister hotel antary ay, staying on site where the parties were and where the boats were anchored. Not often can you participate in a regatta and look out your hotel room to see your boat at anchor. There is a lot to be said for this event formula.
Multihull numbers at Raceweek were down on MS Regatta by just one. Voodoo returned, Adrenalin was ready and the four Corsair Pulse 600’s officially entering with only one drop out being Galeforce bringing entries to 15.
Everyone was hoping for the windy conditions of Multihull Solutions Regatta to continue with a little drop off, but Raceweek was beset by calm conditions with winds rarely getting over five or so knots for the first few days.
On race day one PRO Simon James pulled a rabbit of the hat to get one race in before the wind died. Second day saw the multihulls sent home with no racing due to lack of wind. Simon James pulled another rabbit out of the same hat on the third day, after a ouple of hours of AP ashore, for those who decided to race with two very good races achieved. The last day, Sunday, produced much better winds and two races, leaving competitors more than satisfied. Simon was the PRO for both regattas so also had to deal with the varied conditions. He proves himself to be a regular Houdini when it comes to getting races done and everyone pretty well expects it of him nowadays.
Throughout Phuket Raceweek, patience and skills were tested to their limits on the absolute opposite end of the scale to Multihull Solutions Regatta. One with strong winds and heavy seas and the other mostly gentle breezes and calm seas. It would be hard o ind two regattas so suited to each other for varied weather conditions, the actual events themselves with Multihulls Solutions Regatta as a low key three-day event with easy going parties and Cape Panwa Hotel Raceweek with its lavish surroundings of Cape
Panwa Hotel’s garden by the beach venue and buffets to die for, along with some top entertainment. And it’s only the multihulls that get this double package, not the monos.
The fact that these regattas span an overall 10 days leads very much
to the opportunity to have varied conditions and what you could call champagne light and heavy weather
sailing, the best of both worlds. Not a lot of change in the pecking order at Raceweek with Hurricane taking first, Java second and David Liddell’s newly launched Wow slipping into third pushing Nina off the podium to fourth, with Adrenalin and Sweet Chariot bringing up the rear. The one-design cats had a good shuffle but still with rent Gribble skippered Twin Sharks first, Neil Ayre’s Advanced Racing Mamba a well-earned second place and Hans Rahman’s recently repaired Voodoo holding down third. In the Corsair Pulse 600’s, SuDu 1, Andrew DeBruin (agent for Corsair – Multihull Solutions) / Zam Bevan
(factory manager) got first; SuDu 3,
Dirk Weiblen second and SuDu 4,
Scott Galle, third.
With both events over, a majority of the group headed back to their mooring in Chalong Bay off Ao Chalong Yacht Club, while the new Pulse 600’s split – two going to Krabi Boat Lagoon to join John Coffin’s Sailing School Krabi Training centre
and two going to the Boat Lagoon Phuket, also for sail training and for hire.
Consider this: based on one multihull and six crew with twin share accommodation for 14 days (giving
a few days either side to explore Phuket and acclimatise from the chilly Australia weather in July), with boat entry and crew tickets and
some pretty interesting racing for just over $A600 each plus airfares of around $A900 (fare rated out of Melbourne where it is really cold) it is hard to resist. Considering the minimum wage in Australia in 2015 is just $656.90 per 38 hour week (before tax) your money goes much further over here. It’s a case of ‘Live in Your World, Play in Ours’.
Special mentions go out to PRO Simon James ‘A Man for All Seasons’ for his impeccable efforts in both regattas. Byron and Kanyarat Jones of Media Business Services, the owners of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, for yet another wellorganised event. The owners and management of Cape Panwa Hotel and Kantary Bay Hotels the title and venue host sponsors for Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek. Also hats off to Khun Tirapongse Pangsrivongse, managing director of Kasemkij Group the parent company for Cape Panwa Hotel, for purchasing and entering Kantas Bride, a Bavaria 32. Andrew De Bruin manager Multihull Solutions Phuket the naming sponsors for Multihull Solutions Regatta. The Ao Chalong Yacht Club under which both regattas are run as well as hosting the venue for Multihull Solutions Regatta.
13th July to 16th July 2017 Three days of thrills and spills at the Multihull Solutions Regatta. One of if not the only purely large multihull related regatta in Asia. A simple event with presentations and dinners at Phuket Yacht Club each night. A forerunner and warm up for the multihulls before Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Racweek. Early Bird special entry fee of 3,500Baht for boat and skipper and 1,500B for additional crew. Regular rate is 4,500B for boat and skipper and 2,000Baht for additional crew. This is Multihull Solutions 4th year as naming sponsor
Go to Phuket Yacht Club for information - www.phuketyachtclub.com
Bob Mott | racing photos scott murray | still photos kim mitchell and bob mott
Astrong contingent from Australia as far as crews, charterers, designers and builders made up around 90% of the fleet. Leading the numbers stakes were Mark Pescott designs with six Fireflies competing in their design class and a Summerhaven competing in the Open Class Catamarans. Following were the Stealth Catamarans designed by Alan Carwardine with four entered in Racing Multihulls. Also in contention Nina an Andaman Cabriolet built by Composite Catamarans Phuket / Grenville Fordham and Bob Mott. All in all 11 catamarans were built in Phuket, and Aussies had a hand in 15 of the 19 entries if you include Richard Ward's Corsairs out of Vietnam.
The Corsairs had a good presence with three entered including the newly launched Corsair Sprint Mark 2 of Zam Bevan and Shane Grover from Vietnam. Corsair also provided crew shirts for all the Corsair crews plus a cash offering toward the event.
Joel Berg from Allyacht Spars was over to crew on Hurricane – not his first time. It's a wonder Australia was functioning! There were more Aussies out there – forgive me as it's a bit hard to cover everyone.
This year the regatta began in blustery south west monsoon conditions that never let up. A permanent one reef in the main and smaller jibs were common and as the conditions stayed in for the six scheduled races. There was no problem getting the six races in over the three day regatta. It was more of a problem holding the boats and crews together in winds of a constant 20+kts rising at times into the 30's and on one day a 40kt squall battered the fleet with heavy rain causing a white out. There were a number of retirees, some with gear failure, some being sensible and sparing their boats.
Parties were low key but more than adequate. Due to Thailand's religious holiday Asahna Bucha Day - http://www.officeholidays.com/countries/thailand/asahna_bucha_day.php alcohol was not allowed to be sold for two of the regatta days. This was overcome by the club filling a big Esky full of free help yourself beer and the official bar being closed for sale of alcohol. Restaurant and Bar management Kim cooked up free pizzas on the first night sponsored by ACYC. Beers were sponsored one night by Corsair Marine. Final party buffet was sponsored by Multihull Solutions as were the trophies handed out on the final night. Some special awards were handed out, one of which was a Captain Araldite shirt and cap from Corsair Marine to a very worthy recipient Mark Horwood the skipper/helm (NSW) of the 1989 built Formula Forty trimaran Adrenalin. Mick Coleman (NSW) got to hold the perpetual club trophy for winning Racing Multihulls for a few minutes while the cameras snapped photos.
The event worked well as a one venue regatta and those who flew in generally opted to stay 200m from the yacht club at Ao Chalong Villa & Spa who offered the yacht club a special agent / club deal. A great little, very green, Thai run resort on the beach with two great swimming pools to relax in after racing. www.aochalongvillaandspa.com
Organisers ACYC and naming sponsors Multihull Solutions are expecting an even better turn up next year and don't forget just three days after Multihull Regatta there is Phuket Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek with another four days of serious racing and parties – see www.phuketraceweek.com for details. Raceweek is also a one venue regatta and special accommodation prices are on hand at the sponsoring hotel Cape Panwa Hotel and their sister hotel just around the corner Kantary Bay Resort. If you are coming from Oz it makes sense to combine the two events and make the journey worthwhile. There is always a lack of good crew and some boats couldn't compete due to that issue.
Multihull classes made up 40% of the entries this year with decent numbers in each division for real competition. It was basically Multihull Solutions Regatta fleet from the renamed Ao Chalong Yacht Club now name Phuket Yacht Club with their 19 multihulls shifting to the Raceweek venue. It’s a pity they didn’t bring the wind with them! Multihull Solutions Regatta was lucky enough to have satisfactory wind over all days and a top breeze on their last day.
Perseverance and patience were attributes needed to contend with the Raceweek conditions this year. Actually not a lot different than 2015’s Raceweek.
Thursday. Saw the combined multihull and mono fleet sit around for some three hours on the water until a light sea breeze kicked in. Boats were off at 13.54 for just for the one race. Comments back at the Phuket Yacht Club by some were that the currents and winds shifts, some 90° at times made it a lottery rather than a race. Whatever the call the usual suspects won out overall regardless so it certainly it was not a lottery out there for them.
Principal Race Officer (PRO) Simon James and his on-water team had searched around Chalong Bay and surrounds skilfully to allow this one race to be run.
Friday. As it turns out this was a sign of things to come with the AP held ashore for day two at Phuket Yacht Club and Cape Panwa Hotel till 12.45 when a light 5-6kts breeze appeared. I was watching the boys at Phuket Yacht Club sipping sodas and soft drinks and knocking back the odd cup of coffee while watching the ice cold beers sitting there tempting them. It was not just perseverance on the course there was a lot of will power needed at the yacht club and Cape Panwa to keep away from the hard stuff and stay alert. Hats off to all the sailors for withstanding the temptation.
Eventually Simon James had them on some very short windward leeward courses with the multihulls managing to do two races which proved to be very important considering only one race could be completed on day three and racing was cancelled on day four. As there were only four races completed the multihull divisions had no drop.
There were several lead changes as they circulated but in the end it was the defending champion, John Newman’s Twin Sharks that came away with two wins and resumed the role at the top of the leader board. Close on their heels Hans Rahmann/ Ian Coulson’s Voodoo scored second and third places and despite handing over the overall lead, they hold onto second place. Neil Ayre’s Advanced Racing Team (Mamba) led for most the first race, only to be overrun on the second lap and ended in third. The big mover is George Eddings’ Blue Nose with second place in the second race, lifting them to third overall.
In Racing Multihulls Alan Carwadine’s Stealth 11.8 Asia Catamarans Hurricane two wins maintains their overall lead. John Coffin’s sister ship Java’s two second places holds down second even though they were recalled at the start on one race. A third and fifth for Peter Wood’s new Stealth 13
In Corsair Pulse one design Aussie Mick Tilden’s Pixalux Sudu Blue sailed off into the distance and claimed both Corsair races today with a clean sheet. Zam Bevan and Andrew De Bruin’s H30 and Charles Robinson Su Du Yellow traded second and third places to hold the respective places in the overall stakes.
Saturday. It looked promising on day three with a delay of only one hour. On the way to the start line a grey cloud bank appeared over Chalong Bay and Murphy’s Law came kicked in with a vengeance. Just when PRO Simon James went into the start sequence the clouds shifted overhead with an easterly breeze changing to a westerly. Corrections were made and the sequence continued through the classes with the wind fading down the course into glassed out conditions.
Asia Catamarans’ Hurricane finally pipped by her sistership Java. The new Stealth 13’s Top Cat pushed them further down into third place.
No surprise that defending champion John Newnham’s Twin Sharks scored another win to lock in their place on top of the Firefly 850 One-Design class. A second place for Hans Rahmann/Ian Coulson’s Voodoo keeps them in second
overall. After scoring three sixth places, Japan’s Natsuki Motoyoshi on Mil Grace jumped up into third place in the tricky conditions. Consistency and a fourth place for George Eddings’ Blue Nose keeps them in third overall.
Aussie Mick Tilden’s Pixalux Sudu Blue had a difficult start in the changing conditions, yet they came back to make it four wins for a clean sheet. Second place for the ever improving Charles Robinson’s Su Du Yellow takes over second overall in the Corsair class and now tied on points with Zam Bevan’s and Andrew DeBruin’s H30.
Sunday. Early morning drizzle and windless conditions produced a glassy sea state today and despite the race committee searching for wind, nothing could be found and the final day of racing was cancelled.
Irrespective of what was happening on the water, the facilities ashore and parties were brilliant as usual at the regatta village. Cape Panwa put on five star sumptuous buffets in the evenings that were a sight to behold.
Accommodation prices were at special rates for competitors and friends. The venue, parties and attentive and friendly staff were the saviours of the event this year as well as some dedicated work as usual by Simon James and his team
The one venue regatta works wonders and with the accommodation special rates ashore at Cape Panwa Hotel and Kantary Bay Hotel (sister hotel over the hill) this must be one of the most convenient regattas to participate in. Given that Multihull Solutions
Multihull Regatta is the weekend before so multihullers have a great double header. The photos on the water in this story happen to be from Multihull Solutions Regatta. I couldn’t take nor find any near decent action shots during Raceweek unfortunately so threw this lot in for effect.
Don’t miss out on the special accommodation rates – book early – also book early for the early bird entry specials.
Dates are already set for next year. Mark your diary: 14th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place July 19-23, 2017.
CAPE PANWA HOTEL
PHUKET RACEWEEK 2017
19th July to 23rd July 2017 With racing over four consecutive days, and four nights of magical beachside parties. Cape Panwa Phuket Raceweek is unique amongst Asian regattas as it is held in the usually windy "Green" season on Thailand's west coast and in the calmer waters of Phuket's eastern shore amongst the many southern islands. The regatta operates out of a truly palm fringed beach of Cape Panwa Resort. Parties are held on the grounds of the resort each evening. Special accommodation rates apply for regatta entrants so you can live, party and sail out of the one venue each day.
For more information and special accommodation rates: www.phuketraceweek.com
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
A turnkey event
above: Photo www.helicam.asia
top right: Party from above
above right: Cape Panwa junior suite.
BOB MOTT : photos phuket raceweek, cape panwa/kantary bay hotels and bob mottThere were no big surprises at this year's Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek. New owners Byron and Rung Jones of Media Business Services continued in the tradition of the regatta with the support of naming sponsor Cape Panwa Hotel who were also venue host to provide yet another excellent event. All the work that went into previous events over the past 10 years with logistics ashore, organising the boats on the water and gaining secure sponsors and venue made this regatta a slip in turn-key event for the new owners. Byron and Rung clearly appreciated the hard work of their predecessor Grenville Fordham (who was also the founder of Raceweek) by offering a trophy for outstanding work in the yachting industry in Thailand to Grenville much to his surprise at the last night's party.
The one venue, one location regatta theme is certainly the way to go with all parties at Cape Panwa Hotel. The evening buffet dinners were sumptuous and in copious supply as expected. Free flow beer, wine as spirits were also provided. Entertainment was superb with the return of Thai singer 'Gig' a former second place winner at Thailand's Got Talent accompanied by the Z-Machine.
Very generous accommodation rates were on offer for participants and friends to stay at either Cape Panwa Hotel or at their sister hotel just over the hill Kantary Bay. Rooms at Cape Panwa run from 3,500B a night twin share and Kantary Bay at an unbelievably low 1350B a night twin share including breakfast.
left: Chalong Bay – calm before the regatta. | Photo Kim Mitchell ACYC | below left: Winner Hurricane. | below right: Adrenaline. | bottom: Crowded start.
Convenient shuttle buses departed regularly from Kantary Bay Resort to the beach as Cape Panwa Hotel right to where the action was. Racing on the water was again superbly controlled by PRO Simon James, including some hard decisions to abandon racing on day three, which was the first time in the event's 11 year history that a day's racing was cancelled. After a windswept Multihull Solutions Regatta the previous weekend organisers hopes were up for a follow on which was not to be. Casting one's memory back to a Raceweek many years back where Grenville Fordham promoted it as 'The Windy Regatta' which threw a bad omen bringing about very light winds that year, Byron should have not thanked the wind gods at the pre-race party for providing expected good winds that were not to be! As the Ancient Mariner – he is now a wiser man! Leave the albatrosses alone!
The fleet contended with mostly south westerlies ranging from around 5-12kts during the event with the better winds occurring in the first two days. There was no room for tactical errors of silly mistakes in the unforgiving conditions throughout the regatta. Any gains in the first two days were cherished as the third day's racing was cancelled and the fourth day produced just enough wind to get one start in just tripping the 5kt level. As it turned out the 5kts came in from the south east, gradually settling in from the horizon with Simon's spotter boats travelling every which way to collect wind and angle readings. It didn't have the excitement of a regular last race but the crews patiently took up the challenge and worked away with what was available.
above: Mamba third, Moto Inzi fourth.| below left: Ray Waldron's Surf Patrol honorary multihull. | below centre: Hard day in the light winds. | below right: Java holds off Adrenaline. | bottom: Bullet.
Notable this year were the increase in multihull racing entries topping the cards with eight entered plus the four Fireflies making up a high percentage of the fleet – approximately a third. An increase brought about by locally built Stealth catamarans and rejuvenated interest in Corsairs, backed up by a very strong following of multihull enthusiasts in the region and a big contingent of Aussies flying in.
First Hurricane – Alan Carwardine – Asia Catamarans a well-earned win.
Second Java – Mick Coleman – A close second swap from MS Regatta the weekend before.
Third Bullet – Zam Bevan & Shane Grover – light airs suited their Sprint Mark 2.
Fourth Nina – Bob Mott & Grenville Fordham – Nina battled on in unfavourable light conditions.
Aussies were in abundance as crews, skippers and also designer/builders in racing multihull.
Firefly One Design
First Twin Sharks – John Newman – hard fought win in Firefly 850 One Design.
Second Mamba – Neil Ayre – just missed out on a first due to protest loss.
Third Voodoo – Hans Rahman – a regular compeditor who flies over specially from Germany.
Fourth Moto Inzi – Roger Kindon – a past winner of the regatta.
The Brits were strong in the Firefly division but there was again a scattering of Aussies aboard also.
As much as it is about the racing it is also very much about the venue Cape Panwa Hotel and the supporting accommodation venue – Kantary Bay Resort – just over the hill (same hotel group). To be able to stay in good quality accommodation at special top: Lots of jostling for position on the line. above left: Mamba – second place. above right: Java leads Adrenaline. regatta rates at or near the party and regatta departure location is a blessing not to be missed. The main sponsor and venue sponsor – Cape Panwa Hotel – has made this an absolutely brilliant event when it comes to the competitors needs ashore. They are to be congratulated.
18th November to 26 November 2017 Starting from Royal Selangor Yacht Club and finishing with around the buoys racing in Langkawi. The only regatta on the west coast to include overnight passage racing. Finishing at The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Marina.
The regatta is run in association with the RORC. It consists of three overnight passage races, 260 miles in total, plus 3 days of harbour racing in Penang and Langkawi. With regatta dinners almost every night, a rickshaw race and lots of opportunities to socialise, onshore activities are just as demanding as the sailing. The event attracts a large variety of yachts from top class IRC1 racers to slow classic cruisers dating back over 100 years, all of whom had to cope with unpredictable weather and changing tactics during the 9 day mix of races past tropical islands. For more information see the event website: www.rmsir.com
Photos and story by Bob Mott & Stuart Heaver for Fragrant Harbour Magazine Hong Kong. http://www.fragrantharbour.com
Those who say lightning does not strike twice have probably not competed in the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta in the Straits of Malacca, now in its 25th anniversary year. The event tests sailors over a magnificent three-leg course from Port Klang to Langkawi via Penang combined with a series of inshore races.
The regatta was established in 1990 by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club's royal patron, the Sultan of Selangor (who was then Raja Muda Selangor) together with Johan Ariff and Jonathon Muhiudeen. It is organised annually by the RSYC in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. It is sponsored by the local tourist board and has invaluable practical support from the Royal Malaysian Marine Police led by the greatly admired Commander Tharamadurai and his team in their smart black RIBs.
A lot can happen over a 15-hour passage while competing in each unique overnight leg, and not least with regard to the weather. One mistake or loss of concentration can mean game-over and some competitors even liken it to test cricket!
The weather for the silver anniversary race proved to be as varied and challenging as in any other year in recent memory. One competitor Andrew Cocks reported that his Simonis Voogd 56, Starlight, had lost all instrumentation after a powerful lightning strike near the boat (for the second time in the regatta) and then later became entangled with trawl nets. It was his maiden Raja Muda, too, but the bad luck did not prevent Starlight from securing 3rd in class.
There can be few offshore races where the transition from passing round tubes of Factor 50 sunscreen to the rapid issuing of life-jackets can be quite so abrupt. One minute up on the rail admiring the fleet scattered over a clear horizon, the next spitting out a cocktail of warm rain water and sea spray while frantically grinding on a winch.
Onboard Keith Garry's Beaux Esprit, the crew were a highly experienced and friendly bunch with many Raja Mudas under their belts and included race committee chairman Martin Axe, who is recognised as the driving force behind the Raja Muda. He was competing in his 25th event.
Forty boats (2013 : 35) of varied designs and sizes made the start at Port Klang a spectacular affair in bright sunshine and a pleasant 12 to 15-knot north westerly. Date — Saturday, the 15th of November 2014. Richard Curtis' 103- year-old pilot cutter, Eveline, skippered by Trevor Richards, looked particularly graceful (and slightly incongruous) against the ultra modern lines of the enormous 38-metre, Escapade. Newcomer Sophia, a Davidson 35, racing in the cruiser class, was confidently handled by Kiwi sailmaker, Philip Auger, who went on to win six events with his charming Danish partner, Astrid Graha.
It was a reasonable start for Beaux Esprit, which Axe modestly rated as "4 out of 10" and there was no incident of note as the fleet spread and the sun began to set.
Just as the crew started contemplating the eagerly anticipated evening meal of homemade beef goulash, the rival boat ahead, Rikki Tikki Tavi, made an unexpected and sudden tack to port. This made Garry and his pit team somewhat twitchy for the first time since the start and binoculars were called for. Was there a shoal ahead, a wind hole, was it those brooding grey clouds over the land on the starboard bow or was this a case of psychological games being played by Chris Furness and crew?
The brooding clouds were now black and threatening, though when Scott Inglis on the foredeck politely asked Axe on the helm whether he thought a sail change from No.1 to No.2 genoa might be appropriate, he made it sound like a casual enquiry about the price of fish in Reykjavik. Axe's considered reply to the suggestion will remain in the mind for some time.
"That might be prudent." Within a few minutes, thick dark cumulous cloud started emitting huge bolts of lightning and the reassuring 12 knot westerly became a 25-knot blast accompanied by a weighty deluge.
With the No.2 hoisted, the wind increased further, gusting 30 knots plus and then shifted 180 degrees before the second sheet had been secured to the No.2.
"How long until we can tack?" came the polite enquiry from the pit with careful restraint as the port sheet was being secured up front by Inglis in the lashing rain.
"We will be in Pangkor before the bar closes at this rate," predicted Raja Muda veteran and loquacious one-man party machine, Dom Liddell, looking up as he trimmed the main. Before the storm had completed its work, though, the No.2 had to be lowered, the main reefed and there had been some minor damage to the vang.
By nightfall the black skies were filled with huge long tentacles of lightning which illuminated the fleet for a second and exhilaration rapidly turned to frustration as the Raja Muda weather Gods worked their magic and the wind dropped from 20 knots to zero knots by about 2100. With three large zeros displayed on the log for what seemed like hours and with the tide setting south, Liddell ordered the kedge anchor to be readied but inevitably, having located the anchor and dragged it up through the fore hatch and secured a line, the first whisper of a breeze was felt.
With only the gentle snoring of the off watch crew as background noise, Beaux Esprit slipped through the inky water towards Pangkor, crossing the line at 0342 in the morning. From there it was the beautiful anchorage on the southwestern corner of Pulau Pangkor, next to a luxury resort reputedly once frequented by the late tenor, Pavarotti.
If the violent weather shifts had been cause for alarm, it was nothing compared to the karaoke competition held at the Bay View Hotel after the prize ceremony that evening. Mr Pavarotti would not have been impressed by the musical efforts of the assembled crews. Dom Liddell insisted on leading the Beaux Espirit crew in a passionate cover version of "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor. They compensated for the painful lack of harmony with some vigorous stage dancing and impromptu audience participation with Neil Pryde's crew from Hi-Fi who had been overall winners in Class 1 that day and first over the line by some two hours.
The musical awards justifiably went to Aeolus XC who had the unfair advantage that two of Simon Read's crew members could actually sing. Special thanks to Foxy Lady VI for clearing the bar with their excruciating rendition of Que Sera Sera. Even the monkeys headed back to the jungle in disgust. If Leg 1 was challenging, Leg 2 to Penang delivered 19 hours of meteorological torture during the slowest leg to Penang in the 25-year history of the regatta. After the accustomed sudden storm, deluge and wind shift, the interminable night calm in an enormous hole of glassy sea. The deadly quiet only disturbed by the rhythmic snoring and snorting of the off watch crew sprawled like corpses over the coach roof or half covered by wet sail bags in the saloon and forepeak cabin. Hour after hour of coaxing the wind, muttering curses and prayers to the Raja Muda weather Gods, trying all points of the compass to move us slowly from the hole, twitching on the asymmetric sheet, adjusting the mainsheet for the thousandth time, watching the coastline, discussing another sail change, checking the GPS for our COG, telling filthy jokes, and just staring out into the inky blackness and the stars above...
By 0400 an onshore breeze arrived allowing progress towards the massive new road bridge that connects Penang with Butterworth and the finish line. No chance of threatening defending Class 3 champions Fujin on this leg, so beers are issued and Terry Grundy miraculously produces a bottle of Jameson whisky just to ease the pain and warm damp joints. Talk turns to tactics for that afternoon's rickshaw race on the quayside in historic Penang. A trickle of boats arrived throughout the morning (Tuesday) with most anchoring in the channel off Straits Quay. Multihulls Hurricane, Java and 3Itch made the best of the comfort and convenience of a marina berth and were joined by a small number of yachts with shallow draughts. Some of the crews slept aboard, others chose the comfort of a hotel.
The 18th of November was a welcome rest day but for the late afternoon rickshaw races that drew a huge crowd of onlookers. Collissions between the match racing teams were the order of the day — loadsa laughs.
Wednesday, the 19th, began with light, variable conditions. For the Penang inshore, the AP only came down at 1430. All division got away in a light breeze that built as the afternoon progressed. A big 80-degree wind shift favoured the back runners (who hadn't rounded the windward mark) and caused a reshuffle of the order in the first race.
The breeze continued to build for the second race but this time with bullets coming down off the mountains and with no noticeable wind shifts. Racing finished at 1730, running over the regular finish time allowance by some 30 minutes. Tides were not favourable back at the marina and it was for some tricky manoeuvres aboard Foxy
Continued from page 27 — reduce its draft in the channel (like crew hanging out on the boom in numbers). That night, the sailors were entertained by local school children performing traditional dances and by an amazing lion dance on poles with the tandem team in the lion suit jumping from pole to pole — frightening and amazing at the same time. We were told they were the world champions but it doesn't bear thinking about had one of them slipped. The buffet was sumptuous with every taste catered for. Beer, wine, cider and soft drinks for all along with fresh coconuts.
Thursday, the 20th, saw the fleet gather at 1300 in the bay off Penang. Fluky, light winds delayed the start so the accompanying police boat sensibly put out the message 'Follow Me' and proceeded to move out of the bay in search of better winds... and Langkawi. Eventually the wind picked up and race officer, Jerry Rollin, got all the classes on their way with the slower ones starting first.
After clearing Penang, and a number of sail changes, the fleet slowly moved into open water where the breeze increased to around 20 knots, whipping up the sea to about 2 metres and giving the boats a slingshot effect towards Langkawi. Geoff Smith's 72-footer, Antipodes, took overall line honours just 2.12 minutes ahead of Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52, Hi Fi, but he was pipped by Paul Winkelmann's JV 44, Island Fling, by just 18 seconds for the handicap win. In the other divisions, Antipodes took 1st in Premier Cruising, Gordon Ketelbey's Beneteau 44.7, Fujin, won IRC 3.
Friday, the 21st, in Langkawi, saw racing start late to allow crews recovery time from their run from Penang. Conditions on the water were superb producing some tight racing amongst the IRC classes.
Saturday, the 22nd, kicked off with a light northeasterly blowing in the harbour and ended when a storm approached from the south. There was a complete change in the direction of the wind, accompanied by 20 knots plus and showers. Hi Fi tangled with the windward mark anchor line and, believe it or not, EFG Bank Mandrake did the same shortly after! Spinnakers were shredded with many boats trawling for prawns. More observant skippers managed to drop their kites and two-sail reach, knocking off some of the front runners to podium spots.
Class 1: Bill Bremner's Foxy Lady VI successfully defended its title and collected another Raja Muda Cup. Paul Winkelmann's Island Fling secured 2nd overall and, apart from a 6th in Race 4, could have been top of the table.
Class 2: Even after running aground during the last race, last year, Geoff Hill's Antipodes secured the Premier Cruising class. Defending champion Jon Wardill's Australian Maid came in 2nd overall. Andrew Cocks Simonis Voogd 56, Starlight, took 3rd place. In future they can expect better results when the crew is more familiar with the boat... along with better luck.
Class 3: Gordon Ketelbey's Fujin defended its IRC 3 class title with a solid seven bullets. Keith Garry's X-412, Beaux Esprit, came out on top for podium position over Chris Furness' Elan 410, Rikki Tikki Tavi, with 2nd and 3rd places.
Class 4: Mike Downard's Farr 1104, Piccolo, just pipped Jeff Harris' J92S, Nijinski, for the IRC 4 class. John Kara's Dehler 34, Skybird, held down 3rd overall.
Class 5: Philip Auger and Astrid Graha's Davidson 35, Sophia, had six wins, giving them the perfect score to win the Cruising Class and taking the silverware. Chris Mitchell's Naut 40, Lady Bubbly, had to settle for 2nd overall. The RSYC team (new kids on the block) on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey, Panacea, ended up in 3rd overall.
Class 6: Barry Wickett's Slipper 42, Kay Sira, took 1st in Classic Class, wresting the trophy off Dato Richard Curtis' centenarian pilot cutter, Eveline.
Class 7: Rolf Heemskerk's chartered Stealth 11.8m, Hurricane, slipped into 1st but not after a solid challenge from sistership, Java. Danny and Nigel's Bali-built trimaran, 3Itch, struggled a little but it was their first regatta on the brand new trimaran.
The Raja Muda is a tough one, with testing conditions, strenuous overnight passages, logistics and little time to relax and recover ashore. The reward is the challenge and the camaraderie. A good indication of what is involved is that many teams employed logistical support ashore.
Martin Axe estimated that it took some 40 support people to organise the logistics for the 260-nautical-mile race. Consider that there are three locations, nine days of activity and even police escort bikes with flashing lights and sirens when transporting the gear for the officials from location to location. There are also boat services to the islands and, in Langkawi, a commercial vehicle barge. One of the main supporters of the event is the Malaysian Marine Police, lead and coordinated by DSP Tharamadurai. Tharamadurai is a veteran of 23 Raja Muda Regattas! Jerry Rolins and his race start team should also be commended for their excellent and seamless effort getting the boats on their way each day regardless of the trying conditions.
As 2014 was the 25th and silver anniversary, HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Shahm was in attendance in Langkawi to present the Raja Muda and Jugra trophies. The Sultan of Selangor was also on hand to launch a commemorative 25th anniversary book, personally signing many copies. The usual Malaysian protocol was eased and the Sultan mixed with skippers, crews and media throughout the launch party and final prize giving evening.
00th December – 00th December 2017 The King's Cup is the yachting event in Phuket. Usually held in the first week of December it attracts many sailors from around the world. It is set to be held to encompass the birthday of his highness The King Of Thailand In its 23rd year, this high-class event attracts as many as 100 yachts and 1000 sailors for a week of coastal and inshore racing and not to be missed parties. Raced on Phuket 's west coast and island south of Phuket and cumulating with Royal Awards under the patronage of his Royal Highness The King Of Thailand. It is a truly world classic international event attracting interest from all over the world.
For more information see the event website: www.kingscup.com