‘Tropical Island Regatta’
Koh Samui, Thailand. 31 May, 2010 – The 2010 Sawadee.com Regatta began today
in glorious conditions, with blue skies overhead and clear blue waters below, as the
racing fleet headed out to sea for this tropical island regatta off the shores of
Chaweng Beach, located on the eastern coastline of Koh Samui, Thailand.
2009 Sawadee.com Regatta Racing Class Winner, Neil Pryde and the crew of Hi Fi,
have returned to defend their title – and will be expecting fierce competition in their
division from Ray Roberts of Evolution Racing, Frank Pong of Jelik II (Boracay) and
Nick Burns/Fred Kinmouth of EFG Bank Mandrake.
The regatta will see five classes battling it out over the week-long event: Racing,
IRC-1, Premier, Bareboat/Cruising and Multihulls.
On Day 1, after a short delay while the start boat headed for a wind line that looked
promising, all classes got away in 5 to 7 knots of wind. PRO Ross Chisholm elected
to send the Premier Cruisers, Bareboat/Cruising and Multihull Classes on Coastal
Course 1, up to Koh Phangan. The Racing and IRC Classes stayed close by for
short windward/leeward courses.
The much-anticipated clash between Ray Roberts TP52 Evolution Racing and Neil
Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi came alive again today, with both fully intent on not giving
an inch to each other. Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II (Boracay) is prepared to get in
amongst the mix and the Nick Burns/Fred Kinmonth co-owned Mills 51 EFG
Mandrake are definitely not here just to make up the numbers. Two close but clear
starts saw the racers either heading for the coast or staying further offshore. Not only
was the adverse current stronger offshore, but the patchy nature of the breeze had
tacticians constantly scratching their heads. So much so that during Race 1, Hi Fi
and Evolution Racing changed places on nearly every leg of the race and much to
everyone's surprise in Race 2 all three 50 footers led Frank Pong's 76ft Jelik II
around the first mark and both Pryde and Roberts crossed the finish line in front of
Pong. After a good opening round jostle, Neil Pryde's Hi Fi came out on top in both races with Ray Roberts Evolution Racing in second and the co-owned Nick
Burns/Fred Kinmonth EFG Mandrake in third.
In the IRC Class, a battle of big proportions developed between Ben Copley's Club
Swan NY 42OD Katsu and David Ross' Kerr 32 Kukukerchu. Race 1 was shortened
at the top mark on the second rounding, which saw Katsu take out the daily double in
front of Kukukerchu. However the roles were reversed in Race 2 with Kukukerchu
taking out the handicap honours which has them tied on overall points after Day 1.
Brad Kirk's Farr 42 Dynamite did the best of the rest by posting two third places and
making the Thai based foreign crew members very happy in their home waters.
The early leaders in the Premier Cruisers sailed into some light patches on the long
run home. At the end of the day it was the smallest in the class, Gary Baguley's
Holman & Pye 52 El Coyote, that took handicap honours from Peter Forsythe and
Jing Lee's X55 Xena that sailed solidly to claim line honours. Jon Wardill's Cassidy
55 Australian Maid was one of the yachts that sailed down the middle of the course
to settle on third place.
The interesting mix of entries in the Bareboat/Cruising class on the coastal race saw
John Stall's Atkins 34 Lanta Concept take out the daily double in front of the Sunsail
boats. Nigel Hopkins Oyster Lightwave 48 Celere jumped up into second place after
handicaps have been applied. Scott Finisten's Oceanis 461 Andrew Short -
Constanza slipped into third place - the first time in two years at this event that this
boat has lost a race.
In the Multihull class Kirati Assakul's (Nim) Crowther 42 Sonic is up against three
locally built bi-plane rigged catamarans and despite all of their best laid plans, Sonic
managed to come out on top on the coastal race. Kunta's (Samui Ocean Sports}
Radical Bay Team Zazen is one of the first bi-plane rigged boats to be built on Koh
Samui and scored second place in front of the new designs from the home of the bi-
plane rigs. Kim Thomas' Storm maybe a Tornado look alike but had to settle on third
Peter Churchouse, Skipper of Moonblue 2, summed up this tropical island regatta at
yesterday’s opening Press Conference by saying, “We love the sailing here – it’s
great fun and offers us the opportunity to come together at a great destination with
friends and family from around the world – great sailing, great food, great parties and
great camaraderie – what more can you ask for?”
Callum Laing, Chairman of the Sawadee.com Regatta, commented, “The
Sawadee.com Regatta 2010 is off to a great start with Neil Pryde and his crew on Hi
Fi setting the pace for the week ahead. The on-the-water action has been
spectacular and we’re all set for a great week of racing”.
Adding to the action at this year’s regatta are two entries from the Royal Thai Navy.
‘Naval Academy 1’ & ‘Naval Academy 2’ – both Farr MRX design boats are
competing in the IRC-1 Division. Crewed by Naval cadets between 20-22 years of
age, the regatta experience not only helps develop their competitive sailing skills, but
also provides them with valuable life and social skills. The cadets, who are based at
the Sattahip Royal Thai Naval Base South of Bangkok, have trained extensively for
the regatta over the past two weeks and clearly enjoy this sailing development opportunity. Lt Commander Atthasit Wongpaibool directs the cadet programme, “The
last time the Royal Thai Navy competed in Samui, we came first in our division. We’ll
be pushing hard for a similar result in 2010”.
The Regatta continues through to Saturday 5th
June, with a daily spectator boat
following the racing fleet.
For additional Sawadee.com Media Updates, please see:
High-resolution images from the Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui, are
Excerpts in this press release are re-produced with thanks to ‘Asian
Citrus Public Relations:
Tel: +65 67364119
Tel: +65 67364119
About the Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui
The Sawadee.com Regatta 2010, Samui, is an annual event that takes place on the
beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui. Now in its ninth year, this ‘Tropical Island
Regatta’ has become one of the main events on the Asian sailing circuit and attracts
an international fleet.
New events such as the Sawadee.com Regatta Open, a golf tournament held at the
Santiburi Samui Country Club and Asia’s Biggest Bootcamp, a three-day nutrition
and fitness workshop; will be held in conjunction with the regatta this year.
Web Sawadee PLC is the title sponsor with Centara Grand and Singa as co-partners.
Event partners are Hertz Rent-a-Car, Prana Resorts & Spa, B1 Villa & Spa, Beach
Republic, Travel + Leisure, Samui Villa & Home, Dhevatara, Kandaburi Resort &
Spa, Anantara Lawana, Mont Clair, The Wall Street Journal, Virgin Radio Thailand
and Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa.
For further details see www.samuiregatta.com