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Phuket Bay Regatta – Day 1

February 18, 2014

The winds today were stronger in the morning at the start with occasional gusts of up to 15 knots. But it didn’t last long and the 17 mile course was eventually shortened at the buoy laid just North of Ko Yai Island. Within 15-20 mins of the start, which was laid close to Nakha, the winds had dropped off and boat speeds with them. The racing division shot off into the distance leaving the heavier cruisers struggling at times to even register a knot on their speedometers. A few boats found themselves doing circles and opted for a quick swim whilst waiting for the wind to pick up.

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Asia at Sea’s Olly was on Little Eva, a Bavaria 34 in the Bareboat division. After the Racing and Cruiser A division got going, the Bareboat and Cruising B divisions were next up, but the promising flying close reach start turned quickly into a sluggish beat to the North with speeds averaging 2-3 knots for much of the race. Thankfully the scenery around Phuket is such that slow or fast, when out on the water there is plenty to see.

Little Eva managed a decent third place in the Bareboat division, beaten by two 40+ foot Russian sailed boats. Speaking of which, it was a good day for Russia in Phuket today with Russian crewed boats taking many of the top places. The boats were Venture and Sita, both newer sleeker cruisers of more than 40 foot in length. It will be difficult for Little Eva and the rest of the Bareboats to narrow the gap, but they will need to, and quickly, to have any chance of competing for the top two places (today even on corrected time they had more than a 45 minute gap).

In the Racing Class, First helmed by Evgenil Nikiforov won with another Russian crewed yacht, No Applause in second. Surf Patrol (representing Australia) in third. In Cruiser A it was Beaux Esprits helmed by Andrew Bruechert for Australia, ahead of Russian crewed Elena and Danish crewed Phoenix. In Cruising B, the largest of all the divisions with 12 boats competing, two Thai sailed boats, Poco and Aqua took the top two spots, ahead of British sailed Rusalka.

Finally in the Multihull division the Firefly Twin Sharks for Britain beat Hurricane and Mojo representing Thailand and Australia.

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