Bay Regatta sets sail with blue skies and good wind

Thirty-five boats, sailing in five classes, flying the flags of thirteen nations, set sail on the first day of the Bay Regatta, affectionately known as the “Fun Regatta” to all participants. Countries represented included Thailand, Malaysia, the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Mark Horwood, Mick Kealy on Silk Purse - c

The previous evening, the 16th annual Bay Regatta kicked off in style with a finger buffet at the Ao Po Grand Marina. After leading a skipper’s meeting, PRO Simon James took to the stage to welcome everyone, lay out the ground rules and warn people of the Bay’s all pervasive fishing nets.

The idea for this regatta is to sail deep into Phang Nga Bay, but not too deep (meaning MORE WIND!!) as past regattas have been struck with some beautiful karst topography at the top of the Bay, but little or no wind.

Judy c

To the delight of his fellow competitors, Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix is competing in the five-boat Racing Class this year. Niels has seven previous Bay Regatta victories in Cruising Class A, where some considered he had an unfair weight advantage. He’s up against Peter Jones’ refurbished Moya Hin, Ray Waldron’s Phuket 8 Surf Patrol, Andrew Marshall’s Mumm 30, Judy and Arbuzov Andry’s Young 11 Ruby Tuesday, and it was the latter boat who won the day jumping out to a quick lead and not relinquishing first spot, eventually winning by two- and-a-half minutes on corrected time over Moya Hin with Phoenix coming in third.

The 5-woman Lady Sevenstar team (racing what was formerly The Frog) is one of 11 entrees in the multihull division with Aussie helmswomen Liz Schoch leading her multinational crew of Marieke Derks, Meike Lange, Maureen Ezendaam and Lies Sol into action. They even have an individual support boat following them throughout the event.

Lady sevenstar c

In that multiclass class Mojo, a Schionning G Force 15, won by 1:07 today on corrected time over Fantasia, (a Stransky 15), with David Liddell’s Miss Saigon, a Corsair 37, coming in third. Coming into this regatta, Mojo had won the Raja Muda, the King’s Cup and the Royal Langkawi International Regatta, so it certainly had a hot hand and was continually upsetting Fantasia, who was the cat’s meow the year before. Ironically, it was Mojo skipper Peter Wilcox quizzing Fantasia skipper Andrew Stransky that brought Mojo to Southeast Asian waters.

The three Fireflies in the Regatta (Lady Sevenstar, Voodoo, and Twin Sharks) finished out of the top three spots today, but Voodoo had the best time of the three, winning the bottle of champagne supplied by the committee to the fastest Firefly.

gillows in action c

In Cruising A, Jim Ellis yee-hawed his Galatea 42 Remington to a 14-minute victory over Richard MacFarlane’s Aida, an Oceanis 411. Nick Band’s Tartan 48, Emerald Blue placed third.

Cruising B saw the Gillows on 30ft Poco, a S & S Swarbrick, beat Gavin Welman’s 53-ft Rascal, a Halberg Rassey 53, by 40 seconds on corrected time. Barry Wickets’ Kay Sira, a Slipper 42, finished third.

yee haw - c

The Bareboat Charter class saw Nikiforv Everil’s Kinnon, a last-minute entry, take home first by nine minutes over fellow Russian Igor Skvortsov, helming Uhuru, a Bavaria 46 Cruiser. Third place went to PIMEX Lawan, a Sun Odyssey 409.

And yes, by the way, that was sponsorship guru Paul Poole you saw crewing for Andy Dowden, on PIMEX Lawan. Paul is rumoured to be thinking of joining the Round the World Clipper Race.

Voodoo c

Although one boat did not start (Richard Eyre’s Zhuka with sail-fitting problems), today’s race was thought to be the first time in Bay Regatta history that all boats that started finished..

The regatta’s start boat was supplied by the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, the event management is being handled by Regattas Asia, Krabi Boat Lagoon and MontClair Wine are key sponsors and Matt McGrath (Tee Raak)  and Mark Horwood (Iruvai) have generously supplied support boats.

Fantasia c

To download the full day one results click HERE (pdf)

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