Multihull’s brace themselves for a windy regatta…
Serious excitement reigns, in the lead up to the Multihull Solutions Regatta, as a strong wind warning was issued last Sunday and the Easterly flow is expected to continue over the weekend. This regatta is a natural fit for Phuket, as many foreign boat designers and composite experts, have moved to Phuket and neighbouring SE Asian countries. As the industry growth has been phenomenal, Multihull Solutions have opened dedicated brokerages in Asia and sold some sleek racing machines, that have raised the profile of the event. Last year the regatta also experienced strong wind, that caused some mayhem and produced exceptionally close racing, encouraging all class winners to line up again this year.
WindGuru is predicting Westerlies in the high teens with gusts over 20 knots during the weekend, so the boats are confined to Ao Chalong Bay but we can still expect plenty of action over the next 3 days.
Many skippers are a bit apprehensive in joining but thirteen multihull’s split into three classes – Firefly One-Design, Racing Multi’s (OMR) and Open Multi’s (NHC Handicap) will be taking flight on Chalong Bay.
Earlier this year, Multihull Solutions Asia scooped the rest of the world, with the launch of the very first Corsair Pulse 600 trimaran and the two crews lining up here are looking forward to serious fun on and off the water.
Four Firefly 850 Sports catamarans will be racing one design and always provide a great spectacle during the racing. Last year, Neil Ayre’sAdvanced Racing Team won the last race and came out on top with the title. Recovering from a pre-regatta capsize, John Newnham’s Twin Sharks made a remarkable come back for second place. Breakages let the former champion Hans Rahmann’s Voodoo down to third place, but are more than ever determined to regain their former glory. George EddingsBlue Nose has a year of experience of close quarter racing and expect them to make their presence felt.
The big battle comes in the Racing Multi’s (OMR) Class. Four of Asia Catamarans super light Stealth catamarans will be leading the charge. Alan Carwardine’s 11.8m Hurricane, Mick Coleman’s sister ship Java, Russian Kirill Stashevskiy’s Stealth 13 Galeforce and David Liddell is taking the reigns on the newest Stealth 14m WOW. Although they might have the legs on the others, they will have to go like a bat out of hell, to claim the handicap honours.
Modifications to Henry Kaye’s Seacart 26 Sweet Chariot are expected to bring more speed and the fresh conditions will help Grenville Fordham’s heavy displacement Image Asia Nina to get into the mix and amongst the silverware.
Andrew de Bruin, Asia general manager of Title Sponsor, Multihull Solutions said “Three days sailing around Chalong Bay in strong breeze, with a bunch of like-minded people, gathering at the yacht club bar afterwards, to regale each other with tall tales of their exploits over a few cold beers – what more could you want?”
As ‘all races to count’ in the series pointscore, boat crews will have to be on their best form, as they cannot afford to make any mistakes or have a bad day, as they will be severely punished for it. This regatta is usually packed full of surprises and the strong wind forecasted, makes it open for the taking. PRO Simon James stressed at the skippers briefing that “Safety is at the uttermost importance and all measures will be taken while conducting the racing and expect the skippers to do the same”.
This is a perfect feeder event for the crew to hone their skills before the action packed Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek (July 15th – 19th) to be contested on the very same waters, next week.
by AsianYachting MultiMedia