Bay Regatta – Days 2-3
Day 2 (Valentine’s Day): at the start line for the 2nd race we were informed we would be sailing the 21 mile course 2B with one slight modification; we would be required to sail South of Ko Deng Island in order to avoid the security patrol area of the Thai Royal Summer Palace. The finish would be laid just off Krabi, and for this evening there would be no organised party, to allow couples to arrange their own Valentines celebrations, a move made perhaps to satisfy a number of the non-sailing wives and girlfriends accompanying those racing.
The starting sequence set was the same as day 1′s race with the Racing and Cruising A divisions set off first, the Bareboat and Cruising B divisions 2nd and the Multihull divisions third. The wind was light (5-8 knots) and with a starboard rounding of the Ko Le Man Islands, the boats tacked up to windward but bunched up on the port and central parts of the course. On Little Eva, we were lucky at the start. We had positioned ourselves poorly and it was only by appealing to the better nature of Blue Jay, who kindly allowed us to barge at the line, that we managed a good start. Isabella, our closest rival in the Bareboat division was looking like she would have a similar problem, so in the spirit of Blue Jay, we gave them space to come round the Committee Boat. Unfortunately, she misread the current and found herself attached to the Committee boat’s 100 year old bow sprit, from which she took several minutes to remove herself (caught on camera below – sorry team Isabella!).
Meanwhile along with a number of Multihulls who had quickly caught up in the light airs, we chose the right hand side of the course and this choice reaped dividends. We caught up quickly with the boats in the divisions ahead of us, overtaking several. However, our smugness was short lived as we soon found ourselves stuck on the North East side of Ko Le Man. We finally got the spinnaker up as we headed South to Ko Pang but it wasn’t until we sailed out of the shadow of the towering islands that we finally started building our speed to an enjoyable 6-7 knots which thankfully we sustained for the remainder of the race.
The sail to Krabi was even more stunning than the day before with the course set treating us to scenery so beautiful that, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, and if I hadn’t taken the photos myself, I would have assumed the images had been photo-shopped in a studio somewhere in Bangkok. Day 2 saw Little Eva pull off another 3rd place, about in line with our expectations. The two Russian boats in our division also maintained the order of the first race. In other divisions, the Racing class boats also held positions apart from Russian boat Ruby Tuesday who managed to push out Australian yacht Surf Patrol to claim a 3rd place. A 1st place for Danish boat Phoenix in Cruising A followed by Canadian yacht Remington and in 3rd place, Thai sailed Sansiri Windstar.
In Cruising division B, another win to Thai sailed Poco, followed by British sailed Rusalka and Thai boat Aqua in 3rd. In the Multihull division, there were some big position changes with Galeforce (Russia) pulling off a win after a 7th from the day before. 2nd place went to Asian Catamarans Hurricane (Thailand), and third went to Nina, also representing Thailand. 1st placed boat in race 1, Twin Sharks could only manage a 5th for the second race.
Day 3. We had spent the night moored in the Bay of RaiLay Beach on Krabi where we had spent a quiet night relaxing and enjoying a full moon, watching families lighting Chinese lanterns which floated peacefully into the starry sky. The wind was the strongest of the Regatta so far at around 15-18 knots on the start line. PhiPhi Island was the destination for race 3 on the Saturday with the start laid just a short motor from the Bay of RaiLay. The courses set were numbers 4 (25 miles for the Racing and Multihull divisions) and 5 (a 19 nautical mile course for everyone else). Aside from the extra loop for the faster boats, both courses took the same mainly downwind route with roundings of several clusters of islands including Ko Khom to starboard and Ko Ya Ma Sam to port.
The starting order was the same as previous days with the Racing and Cruising A divisions underway at 8.30am, followed by Bareboat and Cruising B at 8.40am, and then Multihulls at 8.45am. The first start was exciting but relatively clean, the second start though…not so much! I was back on the helm of Little Eva after a day’s break and had messed up our starting preparation finding ourselves in “no mans land” on a port tack in the middle of the line with several big cruisers steaming towards us and with only one minute to go. I opted to duck a few of the boats and head for the Committee Boat end. Poco, about 30 foot in length tried the same but unfortunately her plan went astray as she went careening at full speed, head on into the side of a 50 footer. Thankfully a quick glance confirmed that no one was injured.
Thankfully the rest of our race was no where near as feisty and we enjoyed the best sailing so far of the Regatta with the wind remaining fairly consistent the whole day. We managed a 4th place on the day, with Isabella, starting cleanly this time, taking 3rd place with the two Russian boats once again holding the top positions. In the Racing division, In Cruising B, Poco’s retirement allowed Kanaloa to pull off a well deserved win, followed by Linda and Rascal in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. In the Racing division the first results were exactly the same as Race 2, whilst in the Cruising A division, Phoenix had her worst result of the regatta (5th) leaving Elena, Sansiri Windstar and Remington to take the top 3 spots. Finally in the Multihull Division Twin Sharks picked up her second win, with Mojo in 2nd place and Hurricane in 3rd.