On the fourth and final day of the Bay Regatta, the Coca Cola Haad Thip Race, Principal Race Officer, Simon James continued the regatta’s two-start format as all the multihulls crossed the start line together followed by all the monohulls. Today’s race saw the participants start off of Krabi’s Railay Beach between the committee boat and Koh Yaman, then pass Koh Dam Hok and Koh Dam Kwan to starboard before hitting the gate at Hin Mu Sang Noi. The multis made it through the gate but the wind died before the other boats could get there, so finishing times was taken from the gate.
After all the boats crossed the finish, they headed back to Phuket, where they celebrated the final prize giving and dinner at Kan Eang 2 restaurant, overlooking Chalong Bay.
It was hoped that the final prize-giving would be a somewhat quieter affair as last night at the Phra Nang Inn the stage collapsed while the prize-giving was taking place when the extended crew from the Russian yacht Megazip jumped on stage. Luckily, the only casualties were a few bruised egos and some wet clothes as the temporary stage was constructed on the resort’s swimming pool, but it certainly was a prize-giving ceremony to remember as everyone went scrambling once the stage gave way.
The six-boat Racing Class saw Scott Bradley’s East Marine Emagine win for the second time in four years. Alexey Mashkin’s Megazip came second, having won the regatta the two previous years. Craig Nichols’ Aquarii was third with Gordon Ketelbey’s Ramrod in fourth followed by Andrew McDermott’s Jessandra II and Vitalii Plaksin’s Uminoko in last.
In the Cruising A class, Paul Merry's Night Train rode three first-place finishes to victory while Brandon Roscoe's Lola, which took first on day three, claimed second overall with 9 points. Hellmut Schutte's Aquavit 6 was third with 12 points followed by Kirill Stashevskly’s Winds of Change (15 pts) Andrew Bruechert’s Sand Grouper (21 pts) and Jack Christensen’s Linda (25 pts).
The six-boat Cruising B class was won by surprise, surprise, Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix. Niels has won the Bay Regatta a number of times in various divisions over the years. This year, he won every race except for day two’s when the Gillows on Poco snuck by him. Poco did end up claiming second in the class while Vladislav Belosheikin’s Sail in Asia Pinocchio was third, Tristram Denyer’s Iseulta was fourth and Sergei Kataev’s Hope was fifth.
Mig Wehrle’s Aqua came in last but did have the regatta’s cutest entrant-Mig’s young son Lucas on board, along with Lucas’ grandmother so it really was a family affair.
Speaking on families, it’s always tremendous to see the father-daughter team of Kevin and Mia Gillow out on the water. As a child, Mia sailed around the world with her parents, and the family has always been quite close. But a few years back, Kevin suffered a stroke. He made a miraculous recovery and 18 months later was back sailing and winning the Bay Regatta on Poco with Mia.
In the Bareboat Class, Konstantin Nazarenko’s Kinnon almost made a clean sweep of it, but Venture, after finishing second on the first three days, claimed the top spot on the final day. Russell Waddy’s AllSail Tonicola, the only non-Russian boat in the class, was third and Denis Aksenov’s Uhuru was fourth overall in this division.
Fugazi was the star of the show winning regatta line honours in all four races – but when their handicap was applied on the final race it was only good for third overall in the multihull class, so they didn’t sweep their division though they did win it on days one-three. Kudos to owner/skipper Dan Fidock and his crew of Mick Coleman, Rob Meizer, Nick Gutry, Ciaran “Irish” Corrigan and Gaetan Verhegge as they flew their hull(s) masterfully throughout the event. Twin Sharks usually gives them a run for the money when handicap is applied but John Newnham’s tight-knit team of Alfie Rowson, Jason Corall (fly in from New York), Tam Keawwantha (flew in from Ireland), with John as skip, had to pull out early on the first day due to a ripped sail. They had blown out their back-up sail at the Royal International Regatta just a few weeks earlier and hadn’t had time to replace it. Jason did find a home with Phantom 5 for the regatta and Alfie and Tam sailed with Jessandra II.
George Eddings crew (John Claxon, Peter Taylor & Mark Pescott) on Blue Noze filled the gap left by Twin Sharks and sailed marvelously finishing only two points behind Fugazi in the final standings. Alan Carwardine’s Asia Catamarans Phantom 5 also turned in a valiant effort, coming third with 12 points. Alan sailed with many of his crew from Hurricane, since sold to a sailor based out of San Diego. Glywn Rowlands Twister 2 was fourth with 14 points and Ray Waldron’s Surf Patrol was fifth with 23 points. Ray’s was the only boat able to fix a damaged sail during the regatta, because after registering a DNF on day three, crewmate and sailmaker Ket Mangklaseranee was able to match things up and have them ready to go for day four.
Scott Galle’s Blade Runner IX had trouble in the regatta and ended with 2 DNFs on the first two days, ripping its sail near the end of the second day, forcing it out of the regatta. Gallant effort in tough winds for the small trimaran though.
Simon James did a tremendous job as PRO setting the courses, manning the starts and keeping things in order. Kae Wattana and her Regattas Asia team made everyone happy on shore, providing plenty of good food and drink and good entertainment. Vacation Village stepped up and provided Seraph as the committee boat Captain Brent McInnes did great work steering the photographer’s rib. Brendon Kealy helped out by providing his catamaran, Catapult for photography services on the last day. And Bob Mott was also a tremendous help, providing the mark boat and the Rainman waterproof bags for all the skippers. A big shot out to Simon’s team on the water—Susie, Hughie, Chandran, Jane, Cookie & Eddie—who as always, made sure all the starts and finishes were correctly posted and recorded.