Hands down – the most photogenic and the most fun regatta in Southeast Asia, continues to live up its reputations as participants sped past the beautiful karst topography of Phang Nga Bay making their way down from Koh Yao Noi to Ao Nang.
Racing Class for day two saw Emagine, Megazip and Phoenix finishing 1,2, 3, & Fujin, Team Ferret & the Fargo Ladies Team finishing 4th, 5th 6th in the order. That left Scott Bradley’s Emagine (a former Transpac winner as Bull) atop the leader board with three points; Megazip in second with five points and the Fargo Ladies Team with seven points.
Cruising B today saw Rate, Selma and Tongfah, win, place & show with Poco & Aqua in 4th & 5th & Sanook with a DNF. That left a three-way overall tie for first between Djkanov Sergei’s Rate, Kevin Gillow’s Poco & Ket Mangklaseranee Tongfah, each with five points.
Bareboat charters saw Papasha Grizly win with Little Eva in second and Kinnon in third. Allsail Isabella and Allsail Uhuru came 4th and 5th and Sumalee was in sixth spot. So after two races, Papasha Grizly was first with five points, Little Eva was second with four points and Kinnon and Allsail Isabella sat tied in third with seven points each.
Multihulls saw Java first, Asia Catamarans Hurricane second, Wow third, Twin Sharks fourth, Voodoo fifth, Blue Noze in sixth, Adrenaline in seventh, Galeforce in eighth, and Allegro in ninth. This left Java in first overall with four points, Twin Sharks & Voodoo in second with six points & Asia Catamarans Hurricane with seven points.
Firefly finishes saw Twin Sharks, Voodoo swap positions from yesterday and Blue Noze came in third again, so after two races Twin Sharks & Voodoo were tied with three points and Blue Noze had six.
A protest hearing was pending as Phoenix called out Megazip for a near collision at the start line.
Day two racing started off with the Racing Class, Cruising A and Multihulls charting a 24nm course that left from Koh Yao Noi, rounded Koh Le Mann to starboard, passed Koh Pang & then Koh Pak Bia to port, Koh Ka to starboard, rounded Koh Kaya to starboard through the gate at Koh Heng (leaving the committee boat to port), rounding Koh Ngang to port before passing between Koh Deng and Koh Samet and finally finishing off at Ao Nang.
Bareboats and Cruising B followed a shortened 17nm course, not heading north to Koh Le Mann, rather rounding Koh Pang to port immediately after leaving Koh Yao Noi.
The regatta features a different anchorage and party every night and the average course is about 20 miles long.
The regatta is more famous for the spectacular settings of its courses and parties than the sense of sailing triumph, and continues to evolve while maintaining its original brief – to bring the joys of sailing right into the midst of the spectacular environments that surround Phuket.
It appeals to the serious, the not-so-serious and the not-at-all-serious “racing” sailors, combining spectacular natural scenery with lively parties and some sail boat racing. The region’s yachting community visits three of Thailand's most scenic provinces in four days of racing and five days of partying.
Affectionately billed as “The Fun Regatta”, the regatta leads participants through a course of different anchorages and party venues. Camaraderie and fun are cornerstones of the event and as participants end up reliving each day’s sailing with post-race beverages and lively conversation followed by a casual dinner, a prize-giving ceremony and entertainment on shore.
Mark Pescott, the Firefly designer, was seen flying around on Blue Noze, a good reminder that he has won this event seven times (six times on Somersault and once on Sidewinder). Mark has also sailed in this event 17 of the 19 years it has been held. Other long-time winners participating this year include Neils Degenkolw on Phoenix and Jim Ellis on Remington.
Co-sponsors for this year’s Bay Regatta are Chang, Mekhong, 100 Plus, Neil Pryde, the Paradise Koh Yao Beach Resort & Spa and O2 Beach Club.
Regatta partners include Haad Thip, Paradise Koh Yai, Chandara Resort & Spa, Krabi Boat Lagoon, Nivea, The Mangosteen Resort & Spa, Jungceylon, & MOOSE.
Regattas Asia is the event organizer and The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Yacht Racing Authority of Thailand (YRAT) and the Phuket Yacht Club (ACYC) are the supporting authorities.
Local supporters include Aonang Villa, B&G, Electrical Marine, Infinity Communications, Octopus Electrical Services, Phuket Boat Lagoon, Prestige Marine & S/Y Seraph. The official media partners are Class Act Media, SEA Yachting, the Greater Phuket Magazine and One Coast.
The committee boat is the 110-yr-old Seraph (70ft with bowsprit), graciously supplied by Tom Howard.
Photography by Celine Verchere