Story & Photos by Scott Murray
Good wind and good weather prevailed on the final day of the Yacht Sales Co Regatta as Dan Fidock’s Fugazi and James Bury’s Alright continued their dominance in their two classes winning the multi-and-monoclasses, respectively.
On the last day, PRO Simon James sent both classes on two windward-leeward races to start the day; followed by a longer race towards the channel marker at Cape Panwa for the multihull fleet and one last windward-leeward for the monohull class.
The Fugazi crew (Joel Berg, Ciaran Corrigan, Scott Duncanson, Dan Fidock, Nick Gutry) made an amazing recovery bouncing back from a starboard shroud snapping last Friday - which brought down the boat’s mast down - to repairing the boat that evening and having it in the water ready to go Saturday morning without missing a beat. With the dropped race format in play, once the minimum requirement of five races was met the DNF ended up being discarded anyway. Fugazi ended up winning six of the seven races if did finish for a final total of eight points.
John Newnham’s Twin Sharks and George Eddings’ Blue Noze staged a race within a race as the two Fireflies jockeyed for position all regatta in the eight-boat multihull division with each boat winning a race in their game of snakes and ladders. In the end, Twin Sharks captured second spot with 14 points while Blue Noze close behind with 18 (The Fireflies were designed by Mark Pescott and built in Phuket & Mark Horwood.).
Dirk Weiblen’s No Fear finished in fourth place with 29 points followed closely by James Haste’s Bonza (34 points) with Glywn Rowlands’ Twister 2 a point back in sixth with 35. Roger Diggleman’s Saffron was seventh with 43 points while Andrew McDermott and his all-female crew on Trident rounded out the multihull class with 53 points (Twister 2 & Saffron were both built in Phuket by Asia Catamarans).
In the monohull class, Alright (formerly Emagine) won seven of the eight races to capture the first official monohull title in the Yacht Sales Co Regatta. The Alright crew traveled all the way up from Australia to compete in the event and frequently sail another boat, Aquarii, in regional regattas.
Niels Degenkolw’s Phoenix, who is used to winning this class, came second in the three-boat monoclass with Fang Liang Zhou’s Sumalee in third. Zhou’s crew flew in from China for the regatta and showed great sportsmanship competing in the event.
Neat the end of the second race on the final day, Phoenix encountered halyard problems, so they motored into the Ao Chalong mooring area where Alexander Velikokhotko shimmied up the mast to rectify the problem (they wound up using a shorter version of the halyard that had snapped).
Roger Diggleman took to the stage on the final night to thank Saffron’s owners Dan & Dao Fidock for letting him take the tradesmen who built Saffron onboard as crew during the regatta so they could see what it was like to sail their finished product.
Paul Stamp, Yacht Sales Co General Manager for Southeast Asia, and company broker Charles Robinson were on hand at the closing dinner and awards ceremony held at the Phuket Yacht Club. Mr. Stamp passed out the trophies to the delighted winners.
“This is our 10th year of sponsoring the event, which is already a significant landmark in itself, but it also coincides with the re-branding of our company and indeed this regatta”, said Mr. Stamp, adding, “We have also expanded our portfolio of new boat brands, which we now represent. And we hope to make this regatta even bigger, better and longer next year.”
The event, which has been called the Multihull Solutions Regatta for the past decade changed its name and concept to the The Yacht Sales Co. Regatta. Previously, it was the only regatta in the region which strictly focused on multihulls. But since the mother company Multihull Solutions started Yachts Sales Co, which brokers used monohulls, it is changing its image and rebranding itself to the Yacht Sales Co in this part of the world, it only made sense to rename the regatta.
In the past, this event has sometimes been seen as a feeder event for Phuket Raceweek, traditionally held a few days later, but since that regatta has been canceled The Yacht Sales Co Regatta is now the main event for the summer sailing season in the region.