Pattaya Mail to cover the event first hand
by Peter Cummins
“Ye Aulde Mug” as the America’s Cup has been affectionately called, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1848. In 1851, an upstart from the the United States of America, had the audacity to challenge the former masters in a yacht race, with the Cup as the stake.
The America cup
The two-masted schooner “America”, designed by George Steers (there must be an intended pun, there), was modelled along the lines of the Sandy Hook pilot boats which were used to bring ships into New York harbour.
Steers’ simple brief was that the “America” must be the “fastest yacht afloat”. In fact, the “Yankees” were so confident of defeating the British - at their own game, so to speak - that W.H. Brown, the builder of “America” announced publicly that he would take no payment if his yacht did not beat all comers on the other side of the Atlantic.
The first America’s Cup was scheduled as a side-show of “The Great Exhibition”, staged to show what the rest of the world already knew: the British Empire, at its zenith in the 1850s, dominated everything. The “stiff upper lip” of the Victorian era was not to be messed with! It was ubiquitous!
However, the British had certainly lost sight of their former North American colony. The New World was bursting with energy and the United States had become the home of an incredible breed of men who had conquered their hostile environment, overcome the enormous challenges of the new frontier and were big thinkers, with bank balances to match. And they wanted to teach “the old dog some new tricks!”
“America” sailed across the Atlantic and, on Friday, 22 August, 1851, the ‘upstarts’ challenged the collective might of the Empire, soundly thrashing a fleet of 14 of Britain’s finest yachts, in the race known as the Royal Yacht Squadron’s “One Hundred Guinea Cup”.
“Who won?” asked the Queen. “America won,” she was informed. “Well, then, who was second?” Victoria persisted. “Madam, there is no second in an event like this,” her informant replied. Maybe that was the origin of Queen Victoria’s oft-quoted phrase. “We are not amused”.
Regardless, the ‘Yankees’ carted off the rather-ugly solid silver trophy, created by British jeweller, Robert Garrard and, reflecting their confidence and exuberance, they bolted it down to its “final resting place” at the New York Yacht Club - every bit as exclusive as the Royal Yacht Squadron, at Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Another bunch of ‘upstarts’ - the Aussies - came along and, after several attempts, pried “Ye Aulde Mug” loose from its erstwhile home of 132 years, winning the final, deciding race of the the 1983 challenge, by just nine seconds. Thus, with their sensational win, the Aussies broke the longest-standing record in sporting history (132 years, minus nine seconds!) and the America’s Cup went to Perth.
The US fought back and a superbly-experienced and highly-motivated Dennis Conner annihilated all-comers in Perth and took the Cup back to the USA.
The Kiwis, in their turn, wrested the Cup away from the US (Maybe for ever?), off Point Loma, San Diego, five years ago and will be taking on the new challenger who will be decided at the end of the ongoing Louis Vuitton finals, on the unpredictable Hauraki Gulf, off Auckland.
And what does all this have to do with the “Pattaya Mail”? Well, it comes a little “closer to home”, so to speak, for our correspondent Peter Cummins has been selected by the New Zealand Tourism Board and, sponsored by Air New Zealand and the Tourism Board, will be proceeding to Auckland on the 22nd of February, to cover the finals of the America’s Cup.
According to the NZ Tourism Board, “this trip will be the first one ever for a journalist from Thailand to be in NZ solo... we are very excited about it.” The “Pattaya Mail” is honoured that our own correspondent has been selected; it is also a first for a Pattaya-based photo-journalist and we are most proud that our yachting coverage in the “Mail” has attracted the attention of the New Zealanders.
It will not only be a trip to cover the America’s Cup finals, however. The Tourism Board is arranging an extensive programme to cover some of the delightful scenic, cultural and historic sites of the North Island, such as Rotorua, Waiheke Island, Whangarei and the Bay of Islands.
The “Pattaya Mail” will be featuring a series of illustrated stories when Peter returns in March.
Alcazar Team into ball games
Alcazar’s Public Relations Assistant Manager, Miss Wimonphan Phetrakul announced the forthcoming football matches for the “Phet Arun Cup” and 100,000 baht in prizemoney will commence on 22 January at 3.00 pm at the Arunothai School athletic field on Pattaya 3 Road.
The first match will be a special event with the “Supporters for Rak Pattaya Party” playing the “Pattaya News Media”. The other teams entered are from the surrounding area and neighbouring provinces and of course the Alcazar team herself.
The purpose of the games is to set a good example for younger people to follow promoting good health and good sportsmanship. Alcazar also wants to provide the community with the opportunity to join in and enjoy the fun games, which will have two matches played every Saturday and Sunday at 3.00 p.m. until the final round championship match decides the winner out of the 10 teams entered.
Into the last week of January already with Lewinski’s on Sunday 23rd January playing Stroke at Green Valley, now leaving at the earlier time of 10.15 am . All Lewinski’s competitions now leave at 10.15 am.
On Monday 24th January, PSC GOLF from the Caf้ Kronborg goes to Great Lake for a Stroke play competition, while the Splinter Golf Group from the Green Bottle, leaving at 09.45 am, go to Eastern Star for a Medal round.
On Tuesday 25th , the Bunker goes to Treasure Hill and Lewinski’s go to Natural Park Resort both playing Stableford.
On Wednesday 26th January, there is a choice of Stableford at Natural Park Resort from the Green Bottle or a Two Man Scramble nearby at Bangpra with Hare House.
On Thursday 27th the Kronborg is at Pattaya Country Club for the monthly Kronborg Mug leaving at 08.15 am and later, leaving at 10.15 am, Lewinski’s go to Sriricha , to play Stableford.
The week ends on Friday January 21st with the Monthly Diana Group Medal at Rayong Green Valley from the Green Bottle, a local competition at Siam Country Club from Hare House, or a Two Man Scramble at Great Lake with Scandic Hotel.
The full January and February Schedules can be seen at all PSC GOLF Venues, at Delaney’s, in Pattaya Mail and on the PSC Web Site at www.pattayasports.org
PSC TAGGS... golf from the Hare house
Friday, January 14
Eastern Star Golf Resort Bogey
1st Stephen Beard 3 Up
Pattaya area golf courses come in and out of favor much like some of the lasses at the local watering holes. There are just a finite number of times you can show up on the first tee for a booked competition, only to find that you have been superceded by two busloads of Koreans, before you start looking for a new place to play. One of the courses that is doing a good job of turning things around and starting to run a professional operation is Eastern Star.
The TAGGS team is starting to make more and more trips to Eastern Star, most recently on Friday, January 14, to play a Bogey competition. It was hot and the still air was so thick with humidity that you could almost swear to have seen vapor trails on some of the quicker back swings. The combination of good course conditions and benign wind produced a bevy of good scores.
Not wasting any time getting his name on the 2000 list of winners was TAGGS
Chairman Stephen Beard. Stephen won his match 3 Up and beat back the
challenge of three North Americans who all finished at 2 Up. After a thorough check of Stephen’s handicap it was found to be in perfect order and he was declared the winner over Steve Donovan, Jimmy Little, and Murray
by Peter Cummins
There he was - a clear winner. Alberto Cassio, the “new kid on the block” - in terms of Nacra 16 Square sailing - bolted around the course, set off the Royal Varuna Yacht Club last Sunday, for a convincing win in the “Three Island Race”. Suwan Poopoksakul had a narrow win in the Laser division.
Reg Chambers, in charge of the race office, sent the fleet of multihulls and Lasers north to round Koh Chun, thence north-west to the tiny island of Koh Nok, returning south to pass between Koh Sak and Koh Larn and finally back across the Gulf to finish in front of the Varuna Club at Pattaya Point. The 20-nautical mile course was sailed in light-to-moderate winds.
Line honours went to Gary Baguley, racing a Nacra 5.5, just three minutes ahead of Alberto, but not fast enough to knock the beaming Italian out of the top place.
It was, according to Alberto, “the triumph of technology, skill and perseverance,” as he fought the wind and the waves on his way to the front. Even as his Italian compatriots were battling for the right to challenge New Zealand for yachting’s top prize, the America’s Cup, being sailed on the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland, Alberto was busy waving the Italian flag at the other Gulf - Thailand’s.
Actually, to carry the Italian analogy a little further, we could look at the Great Navigator himself, the Genovese Cristoforo Colombo who, seeking America, landed a little short at Hispanola. The Three Island Race had a little similarity, inasmuch as the tiny island of Koh Nok is not visible until fairly close. That, of course, did not deter Varuna’s own “Great Navigator”. How did he fing Bird Island. Why, he simply followed Gary Baguley and, at the end, he won convincingly. Columbus was not quire so fortunate.
Copyright 1999 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.