The 19th Phuket Raceweek came to a close today, and unfortunately, the weather gods who had been so kind the first three days of the regatta did not come out to play today, so racing was cancelled.
Still, PRO Simon James could get in six races for every class, two on each day, so the skippers were allowed to drop their worst performance on the water.
Ray Roberts Team Hollywood landed back in Thailand with a bang capturing the four-boat IRC Zero class with some nifty sailing and manoeuvring on the water. James Bury and Craig Nicholls’ Alright came second in the class, Garry Holt’s Let’s Get it On placed third, and the Douglas/Kettlebey Ramrod settled for fourth. All four boats were crewed by sailors from Australia who flew up specifically to sail in the regatta.
Alright, then took top prize in the IRC 1 class. Garry Holt bought Jessandra II just before the regatta, renamed it Let’s Get it On and sailed it to a second-place finish. Ramrod had trouble with its sails and never really got on track, taking third overall in the three-boat class.
The OMR Racing Multiclass saw Joel Berg helm Dan Fidock’s Extreme 40 Parabellum to line honours in each race, winning each race along the way, drawing the admiration of everyone involved. Warwick Downes’ Bonza placed second in the class, followed by Alan Carwardine’s Saffron and Glywn Rowlands Twister 2. By the way, Mr Carwardine and Asia Catamarans were very kind enough to sponsor the third day’s racing and prize-giving.
John Newnham’s Twin Sharks captured the four-boat Firefly 850 Sport boat class win again, edging out rival Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo with Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol and George Eddings Blue Nose coming in third and fourth place, respectively, in the four-boat class.
The IRC Cruising division was the tightest battle in the regatta as APW Endeavour of Whitby and Phoenix finished tied on points atop the leader board with seven points each. The tiebreaking formula is thus: first, it’s the highest number of wins, then it’s the highest number of second-place finishes, followed by the highest number of third-place showings. If they are still even after that — and they were — it boils down to who had the highest placing in the last race, and APW Endeavour of Whitby did.
Toshiro Furuta’s Japanese crew on Sakura came third in the class, followed by Kirill Stashevsky’s crew on Agata. Fred Haes’ Venture finished fifth, and Kantus Bride, the only all-Thai entry in the regatta, helmed by Kampon Sutara, was sixth.
Tristan Hamilton’s Pulse Grey swept every race (six in a row) to take the Pulse 600 class, with Paul “Flatty” Baker skippering Pulse Yellow, putting up a valiant fight but unable to cross the finish line first.
The founders of Phuket Raceweek, Andy Dowden and Grenville Fordham were on hand for the third night’s ceremony presenting digital and printed versions of their chart book Southeast Asia Pilot to the class winners on the day. They set up the regatta in July 2004 as no other regional regatta sailed during the summer to take advantage of the good winds the prevailing southwest monsoon brings with it.
The closing party and final series prize giving were staged at the host Cape Panwa Hotel. The guest of honour was from Navy 3 Area Command Vice Admiral Sompong Nakthong, who presented the Final Series Awards
Twenty boats, divided over six classes, sailed in the event with 200 sailors from 20 countries.
Organizer Byron Jones has set the dates for the twentieth Phuket Raceweek Regatta from June 28th-July 2nd, 2023.
It wasn’t until the first week of May this year that Byron & Rung Jones were given the go-ahead to stage the regatta — less than eight weeks ago.
It was a tremendous credit to them and the Cape Panwa Hotel staff for pulling off the event so well.