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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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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Feb 24, 2008-New King's Cup Photos

wingssail image-marco & tessa
Judy onboard Wings at Kata

We just posted a few more images from the King's Cup by Tessa and Marco including the
sail by
and the BBQ

or you can view the
Wingssail-images archive, Dec 2007
and page through all of our cruising shots until you get to the King's Cup Photos

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket, Thailand

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feb 20, 2008-On the Beach; Sooo Yesterday!

wingssail image-pierre-yves hadamar
Fred & Judy

This photo was taken on the beach of Phi Phi Don Island during the Phang Nga Bay Regatta.

Today we are not on the beach, we are in Singapore getting Thai visa's which may be converted into a Thai work visa and doing a stack of paperwork, and when we fly back to Bangkok tomorrow we have a lot more to do, including stops at the US Consolate.

Yes, while our friends on Pollen Path cruise the Andamans and Constance sails to Chagos, and a lot of other cruisers are exploring various waterways of the world, it looks like we are going back to work.

Can't help it, gotta think about retirement.

The details are not final yet, but it looks initally like a one year contract, and I'll fill you in more when we know more.

We hope the Indian Ocean will wait.

By the way, Pierre has a bunch of photos from Phang Nga Bay Regatta here.

Fred & Judy, Singapore

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 11, 2008-Phang Nga Bay Regatta (update)

John Everingham
Wings Leads

NEW! There are some new photos posted on wingssail-images, click here to see them. Also you can follow the link below to the regatta photo gallery to see all their shots.

Phang Naga Bay Regatta took a toll on us. Judy, Pierre-Yves Hadamar and I sailed Wings in this great regatta last week and four days of aggressive sailing, challenging courses and tough competition was enough; the three of us did the work of ten and we gave no quarter, but at the end we were wiped out, knackered, finished. We had no jibes left in us, couldn’t do a tack if we had to, hardly could put the anchor down; had no energy for the party, left early. Pierre went home to Singapore and Judy and I rested in Nai Harn Bay.

wingssail image-judy jensen
Anchorage in Phang Nga Bay

But it was a good regatta, very close sailing and beautiful destinations.

Coming into the finish line on day four was typical. We were leading the race in our class and Phoenix was just a dot behind us on the horizon. We needed binoculars to pick them out. But we were exhausted. We were draped over our winch handles, tongues hanging out, couldn’t move a muscle. Almost finished we were heading towards the pin end and we noticed the boat end was closer. Jibing in the rough seas and light air was exceedingly hard. I’d previously cajoled them into the 20th one of the day by promising them it was the last one. Now I needed another.

I asked, “Can we do one more spinnaker jibe, I think the committee boat is closer?”

(Muted negotiations between Judy and Pierre follow; I wonder what retribution I will suffer.)

“OK, we can do it.”


(One intense minute of shouting and chaos).

We jibed again, finished the race and fell back on our winches, hoping for an early death; living is too tough if it involves sailing like this. Somehow we mustered enough energy to cut the spinnaker halyard and we left the kite where it fell.

By accident I turned the boat back into the wind and it blew on our faces and felt cool. It revived us. We looked up.

Here comes Phoenix. Let’s watch them finish, surely we got them today.

12 minutes after we crossed the line the red X-boat crossed. I did the calculations and gave the bad news to Pierre and Judy.

“They got us again, by 4 minutes.”

This was the story all week long. Every day we sailed hard and finished well up, usually leading our class, and each day we went into a new anchorage dazzled by the scenery and looking forward to a great party. But every day we also finished in 2nd place. Phang Nga Bay regatta is a tough regatta to win.

Never mind, we’re wiped out, and we didn’t win but we had fun and we’re on the mend; we’ll be OK.

We have to: we’ve another 36 miles to windward to sail on Tuesday to get home to Yacht Haven Marina.

We didn’t get too many photos, no time to take pictures, but click here so see a few, and some that John Everingham got.

NEW!! Or click here to go to the full regatta photo gallery .

NEW!! Pierre has a bunch of photos from Phang Nga Bay Regatta here.

And, click here to go to the Phang Nga Bay Regatta web site where you will find the results and other information about the Phang Nga Bay Regatta

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Feburary 8, 2008-Phang Nga Regatta Race 1

wingssail image-judy jensen
Concentration pays off on day #1

Right now it is day 2 and we are motoring behind RC launch "Henry K" which is flying the "follow me flag" down the intended race course. I think they will stop and set a line at any point that some wind fills in. My personal weather router, Will, says there will be a sea breeze today, this means SW wind. Also some chance of thunderstorms. Meanwhile the NOAA weather models calling for E winds 6-10 knots, of which we see no sign. I think I trust Will.

Yesterday we got second in race #1, and would have been first, were first most of the day, but Pheonix an X-3/4 ton nipped us at the finish. They are faster in the light stuff but we owe them time. Damn! What are they doing in cruising division?

We were 2nd around the course most of the day and even first ahead of the 70ft Judel-V Yasooda at one point. Lots of spin up and down, 1/2 oz, some very light jib work, wind mostly 0-4 kts. We're doing good for a full cruise livaboard with three people against all the racing machines with full crew. Out of 50 boats we were 4th across the line (monos) and we finished within 50ft of the lead boat. (which is 5 min).

Our anchorage at Chong Lat was drop dead gorgeous and there was also a good party and we drank a bit last night so this delay is OK.

Click here to see Choong Lat

That is the race report for today.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Chong Lat, Thailand

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Feb. 1, 2008-Visa Run To Myanmar

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Vegetable Sellers in Myanmar

We are staying in Thailand on tourist visas and it means we only get to stay 30 days at a time. When your 30 days is up you have to get out of the country so you take a “visa run” over the border somewhere and then come right back in and restart the 30 day clock. Myanmar is close so we went to Myanmar.

We left the boat in Phuket and rented a Toyota and drove 150 miles up the coast to Ranong right across the boarder from Kawthaung, Myanmar. A short boat trip to Kawthaung check in, have lunch, check out and you’re done. There seemed to be a convergence of a great number of other expats, backpackers, tourists, and locals, all queuing their way through the systems on both sides of departure and arrival cards, passport stamping, photo copying, fees payments and penalties. And there is also an office on the side where they take you for questioning if your paperwork isn’t exactly straight. We saw an older white man and a young Thai woman sitting there across from an immigration officer and the question and answer session seemed to be going on a long time. Don’t know what their problem was but we had none even though we had overstayed our previous visa by a day. Just pay 500THB and you’re good to go.

After our short stay and tea shop lunch in Kawthaung we returned to Thailand, checked back in, and drove down the coast road back to Phuket.

The Myanmar visa run was a new experience for us, but all in a typical day for a couple of cruisers.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket Thailand

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January 30, 2008-Cruise in Krabi Province

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Nice Morning for a sail

The sailing days were the best bits of the whole trip.

On the sailing days I go on deck around eight and have a look at the wind and the sky; get a feel for the day. If I’ve got the weather right and picked a good day for a sail there will already be a fresh breeze and the air will be crystal clear, the water will sparkle in the new sun.

Today is such a day. A gentle swell rolls in and the boat sways to it. I look around the harbor. Some other boat has already left, but they are motoring. No sign of any activity on any of the other boats in the harbor. This is our day.

As the boat rolls I go about preparing to sail. I put some music on, soft. I have a cup of hot coffee. I tidy up, take the main cover off, roll out the jib, lead the sheets, get ready.

And I wait: We won’t weigh until 9:00; still an hour away.

I love the day when it is like this; its promise. I savor it.

We were out 15 days on our cruise around Krabi Province and we sailed on 5 of them. We covered 110 miles, averaging 22 miles a day. We did not use the motor except to charge the batteries. We sailed.

It was a great cruise.

Since this posting is a little short on facts, here is the basic information: We left Yacht Haven (Lat N 08 deg 10.0, Lon E 98 deg 20.7) Jan 18, visited Ao Labu on Koh Yao Yai, Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Railay Bay, Krabi Province, The Chicken Islands, Ko Jum (Ko Po) to the SE of Ao Nang (Lat N 07 deg 48.9, Lon E 98 deg 57.7), then Ko Yao Yai again (the bay at the S. end), and finally returned to Yacht Haven on Jan 30. All of these locations are in the general area of Phang Nga Bay, Phuket Thailand

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Railay Bay Stopover

Click here to see all the photos of our Krabi cruise

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket.

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