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22 February 2007, 11:13 am
What Starts Well, Ends Well
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Puravana Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2007
Phuket, Thailand

The final day of the Puravana Phang Nga Bay Regatta in Thailand featured a long race from Phi Phi island back to Nai Harn Bay in Phuket with nine of the 50 boats retiring when the wind dropped halfway through the long leg to the mainland.
The day's racing started in good conditions off Phi Phi with light but steady winds of about seven knots when the five classes contesting the regatta began, but by the halfway mark the wind dropped to zero for about an hour before picking up with a vengeance. Most of the fleet drifted with the tide for an hour before the wind returned, but nine frustrated skippers decided to call it quits and motor on to the party venue at Nai Harn Bay, the Puravarna Yacht Club, which was formerly known at the Phuket Yacht Club.

Those who persevered when he wind dropped were rewarded when the wind came back in at about 10-14 knots and there was some exciting racing over the final stages. At the end of the final race experienced local skipper Scott DUNCANSON finished almost 30 minutes in front on corrected time on his boat Somtam Express, but his win was not enough to give him the overall honours in the Racing class. Ben COPLEY, who was second in the final race on Asia Spirit, took first place overall after two first places and two second places. Somtam Express was second overall in the Racing class while veteran Kiwi skipper John VAUSE sailed his boat Ruby Tuesday into third place overall.

Phoenix Rises To The Occasion

Nils DGENKOLE's Phoenix rose to the occasion and won four from four in the Cruising A class to take the top prize, while Kevin GILLOW's Minx bought up second place after three seconds and one third. Another veteran, Robert ENGLAND, sailed his boat Emerald Blue into third place overall.

The almost all-girl crew on Michelle PIPPEN's boat Tropicbird had a win on the final day which was enough to take them to first place overall in the Cruising B class. Bill CRUMP's Fistral managed to hang on for second place, while Kevan PERRINS' Rusalka took third place overall.

David WALES's The Sting was too good in the Multihull class and took first place after two wins and a second place, while Kim MITCHELL's Alpha Centauri 2 claimed second place and boat designer Mark PESCOTT skippered Sumersalt into third place overall.

The hotly contested Firefly 850 class was won by yet another veteran of the Asian sailing circuit, Henry KAYE, who steered his boat Mamba to victory. Roger KINGDON's Moto Inzi was a close second, while Bill PHELPS' Twin Sharks claimed third place.

Race organizers decided to call it quits at 16:30 in the afternoon and a few unlucky boats sailed in just too late. Regatta organizer John EVERINGHAM was a happy man at the end of a hectic fie days and paid tribute to his big team of volunteers who helped make the Phang Nga Bay Regatta a special event in its tenth year. 'All the people on the water, the people helping set up the parties and all the others that have helped run this regatta in their own time and for no reward have done a fantastic job,' he said. 'I can't thank them enough. In previous years we've had a few things go wrong, but his year everything has gone very smoothly.'

Alan Parkhouse (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Thailand:© Asian Yachting
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