The First Pattaya International Multihull Festival was raced in South Pattaya last week and it was an outstanding success. Sixty boats from 16 countries as far apart as Aruba to Australia and Netherlands to New Zealand joined a large Thai contingent for a week of fierce, competitive racing, good camaraderie and fun-filled shore activities at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in South Pattaya.
A highlight of the Festival was the Pattaya Mail-sponsored race day which consisted of two events: a regular windward-leeward course, set out in the bay, off the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Island Record Race which will be an identical course each year, allowing an annual challenge to the inaugural record set this year, by the fastest beach-launched catamarans in existence.
The Pattaya Mail, voted the best English language newspaper in the region for the past 12 years, had agreed to sponsor the Pattaya Mail PC Classic Challenge and Race Day on Sunday, February 5 as a major feature of the Multihull Festival which ran from February 3 – 10.
This represented a welcome return by the Mail and its associated media, the Pattaya Blatt, the Chiengmai Mail and PMTV, to sponsoring the burgeoning marine-related activities along Pattaya’s Eastern Seaboard. Since 1995, the Mail has strongly supported yacht-racing, held off the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, through the then -annual Pattaya Mail PC Classic, proceeds from which were disbursed to the needy – children, elderly and disadvantaged citizens of the Eastern Seaboard.
For this special event, the Mail resurrected the original Map of Tasmania trophy to become known as the 15th Pattaya Mail PC Classic Challenge Perpetual Trophy. The inaugural trophy, for the fastest time around the long-distance race, was won by Xander and Marc Pois, sailing a super-fast Nacra F-20. “We’ll be back next year, to sail in these superb waters – and defend our title,” enthused Xander.
The group was so diverse, with such a variety of multihulls, ranging from the sophisticated Thai-built Viper F-16s, to the more conventional Hobie Cats, that the race management committee divided the fleets into White and Yellow Divisions, comprising 36 and 24 craft, respectively and allowing handicaps to be applied to level the playing field, somewhat.
The large Dutch team dominated the Whites, with Caroljn Brouwer, crewed by Aussie Brett Goodall (Viper F-16), taking the top honors, while perennial Hobie Cat champions Thailand brothers Damrongsak/Kitsada Vongtim from Sattahip, cleaned out the Yellow Division.
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