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Monday, February 25, 2008

Feb. 25, 2008-Phang Nga Bay Regatta Revisited

John Everingham
Good Start

I’ve put this photo back up because it is one of my favorite photos.

Maybe we surprised ourselves a bit on the first day of the Phang Nga Bay Regatta when we came out of the box for the first start and found ourselves with clear air and in the lead. It might have shocked the other boats probably a bit more; the only thing that most of these guys knew about us was that we spent an hour aground the night before on a sand bar in front of the resort where the skipper’s meeting was, missing the meeting.

Not auspicious.

But on race day it was different: we were starting with the racing class and we let them know we were there.

The pin end was favored and we came in from that end on port looking at the other boats coming at us on starboard and looking for a hole. The first two boats were early and were staying away from the line. We passed one safely and hunted the second.

He was slow; trying to kill some time, and anyhow he wasn’t really expecting a port tack boat

I looked at the time: 30 seconds.

“I’m staying clear of this guy but we’re tacking to start as soon as he passes.”

Judy and Pierre didn’t say a word but they were definitely attentive; we had no rights.

No worries; I’ve done this before. The boat passed and I came up sharply.

“Helm’s down”.

There was a flapping of kevlar and that beautiful metallic ring of a spinning primary winch and the sail came over and was sheeted in. Pierre ran forward to skirt and I used the time to build some speed.

The helmsman of the other boat was screaming. I didn’t know if it was at me or at his crew but there was nothing he could do to touch us. I turned my attention away from him and looked at the distance to go.

Two lengths, it was time. We went for the line.

The pin to leeward.

“All clear” came over the radio. Only Yasooda, the J-V 70, was near us and we were ahead of him.

The rest of the fleet were caught behind the line in the bad air.

Judy and Pierre and I looked at each other: this is nice, let’s go.

Yasooda promptly passed us but we held onto to second for the first two marks. Then crossing the flats where a reef was marked we went low to go around it and the boats behind seemed to ignore it and went high. They got some separation and when the wind went light it turned into a lottery. After that things got mixed up a bit and four hours later we finished forth and got second place on corrected time.

John Everingham
Finishing a drifter

That was the way it went for the next three races too: In the last minute before every race there would be some frantic activity as the three of us on board tried to get everything set and trimmed and the boat pointed in the right direction, then we’d look up and find ourselves in front. We got great starts.

John Everingham
Light Air

Then the faster boats would grind us down but we gloried in those first few minutes each day and we knew that we were doing fine.

The result in the end was second place for the regatta and we were happy with that.

Maybe next year we’ll leave off all the cruising equipment and improve on it.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket, Thailand

Click here to read the report from the for the report from day two, when there was no wind at the start.

Click here to read the report from the finishing line of the last race , when we were exhausted but happy.

Click here for the offical results of the 2008 Phang Nga Bay Regatta"

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