9th Pattaya Mail PC Classic

What a party!

Story and pictures by Brendan Richards

As the storm clouds loomed overhead and the heavens opened, the prayers of the many were answered, especially for the organizers of the PC Classic, and even more so for PC himself. The sun emerged from the doom and gloom of the thunder, lightening and torrential downpour an hour before race time. The storm wafted out to sea as sailors and spectators gathered for yet another legendary day of sailing off the shores of the Royal Cliff for the 9th Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff International Regatta.

Andrew Wood (left) pops the cork on the champagne as everyone breaks into a round of happy birthday for Peter Cummins (centre). (Photo by Tony Malhotra)

Andrew conducts the singing of happy birthday as PC prepares to cut the birthday cake prepared in his honour.

Vessels of all types graced the waters off the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, the largest, the ‘Island Dream’, dwarfed the smaller Hobies, Nacra’s and the tiny Optimists.

When the day arrived after weeks of publicity and hype, sailors gathered at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club to register for their former commodore’s yacht race. As sailors went through last minute checks of their rigging and sails and placing their names on the register, the sun shone brightly; however, the thunderheads loomed in the distance casting a doubt over the mariners.

Unperturbed, the race briefing went ahead at midday as planned without the presence of Peter Cummins (PC), who opted not to race this year fearing he might steal the limelight on the water by capsizing. The fleet of Optimists, Hobies and Nacra’s set sail as the storm cleared, leaving tranquil seas and only minimal winds. Despite the unforgiving, or should that be “ungiving” wind god Varune, the day was perfect for spectators.

“And the band played on”, students from Pattaya School No. 3 welcomed sailors and guests to the Royal Wing shores.

Nanthida , Kanikar and Ib Ottesen partake in the liquid refreshments offered by fellow sponsors Carlsberg during the warm afternoon.

Walter & Michael Thensich, Ranjit Chandrasiri, Bruno Keller, Cherie Schloemer & PC ‘gettin jibby with it!’! (Photo by Tony Malhotra)

Andrew Wood and pressmen Colin Hastings, the Big Chilli magazine, Roger Crutchley, sports editor, Bangkok Post, Peter Cummins, birthday boy and yachting scribe to the world and Pattaya Mail MD Peter Malhotra. (Photo by Tony Malhotra)

Sweet Seventeen, the most technologically advanced multi-hull in the PC Classic this year.

Panga Vathanakul, MD Royal Cliff Beach Resort voices her continuing support for the PC Classic.

(L-R) A likely group, Nick Bauer, resident manager of the Royal Wing, Dr. Iain Corness, H.E. Dr. Herbert von Traxl the Austrian Ambassador, Panga Vathanakul and Bruno Keller take shade from the afternoon sun. (Photo by Tony Malhotra)

Kavita flanked by H.E. Miles Kupa, Australian Ambassador to Thailand and Anil Singh enjoy the ‘stately’ afternoon.

Prince, Tony and Vikrom Malhotra plus PC, Anil Singh and Peter present an award of commendation to Term Chaobankrang, captain of the ‘Island Dream’ for his acute perception of sea-lore and swift action in rescuing the stranded group from a sinking speedboat.

‘Opti’ sailors rush to register for this year’s Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta.

(L-R) Manit Boonchim, director TAT Central Region 3 and his lovely wife, Vorawan take time out with Panga Vathanakul, Royal Cliff Beach Resort MD with directors of the local radio stations, Wittaya Yensabai, of MCOT and Cdr. Sontaya Siangjuw of Sor Tor Ror 5 Navy radio.

Taking a break in the shade, these lovely ladies look thoroughly relaxed. (Photo by Tony Malhotra)

Optimists lulled off the shores of the Royal Cliff as the unforgiving wind god Varune blew the storm away, but ran out of gust for racing.

The crowds of Pattayans, sponsors and organizers gathered on the shore of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort’s Royal Wing to witness the event and partake in the generosity of the sponsored refreshments, Carlsberg and Coca Cola, and enjoy the food laid on by Chef Walter Thenisch and his team.

For sailors it appeared to be a relaxing day out on the bay, with the multi-hulls pulling out the spinnakers to catch what breeze was available while the kids in the Optimists lulled comfortably in the waters, taking their time to move through the course.

The platinum sponsors Bruce and Judy Hoppe and crew from Copeland Corporation, a division of Emerson Electric (Thailand), joined the action on the water along with race director Richard van den Heuvel on the Royal Cliff catamaran ‘Island Dream’.

The onshore activities began heating up when more guests and sponsors arrived to view the race. Most notably, as with any event, sponsors are of major importance, and it was the smiling faces of Ib and Kanika Ottesen from the Jomtien Boathouse, Anil and Kavita Singh of LCB1 Container Terminal, representatives from Bartercard Thailand, Ambrose wines, Manit Boonchim, TAT director central region 3 office and special guests H.E. Miles Kupa, Australian Ambassador to Thailand and H.E. Dr. Herbert von Traxl the Austrian Ambassador were seen to be enjoying the afternoon’s hospitality.

Platinum Sponsor Bruce Hoppe, MD Copeland Corporation, a division of Emerson Electric (Thailand) accepts the token of gratitude from Panga Vathanakul.

Peter Cummins (centre) presents the donation to Robert England, witnessed by H.E. Barnaby Smith the British ambassador (2nd right), Bruce Hoppe and the PC Classic committee.

Winners of this year’s PC Classic permanent trophy are Marcel Dubbelman (second right) and Andreas Brockelman (far left) receive the permanent trophy for winning the top honours in the Monohull and Multihull classes from Santsak Ngamphiches, advisor to the minister of tourism and sports.

Thaveesak Chamnankij, national sales training manager for Bartercard Thailand accepts the token of appreciation from Andrew Wood.

Chanyuth Hengtrakul, advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Sports accepts a token of appreciation on behalf of Pattaya City for the city’s ongoing support.

Anil Singh, GM of LCB Container Terminal 1, Ltd., takes the place of honour among the sponsors of this year’s Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta.

Peter Cummins thanks Panga Vathanakul, MD Royal Cliff Beach Resort for her staunch support of this legendary event.

Once completed, everyone ventured back to dry land, the Varunians made their way back to the clubhouse and the others to the bar on the Royal Wing beach. Among the myriad of speeches and the marching band from Pattaya School No. 3, the Malhotra family made a presentation of thanks to the Island Dream’s captain, Term Chaobankrang, commending him for his acute perception of sea-lore and swift action in rescuing the stranded group from a sinking speedboat.

More drinking, food, music and celebrations formed part of the day’s events, which was still far from over as everyone moved off into the sunset.

After a fun-filled day on the water and on the beach of the Royal Wing, sailors and guests gathered in the lobby of the Siam Ballroom, many switching their nautical gear for elegant attire for the cocktail reception.

The gala dinner, a beautiful four-course dinner complete with wine and desert in the shape of a sailboat and live band was held in the Siam Ballroom of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in honour of PC and coinciding with the Varunians gala function to raise funds for the Royal Varuna Yacht Club.

In the opening speeches, Peter Malhotra, MD of Pattaya Mail welcomed Santsak Ngampiches, Chanyuth Hengtrakul both advisors to the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Khun Sopin Theppajug, Associate Judge of the family and Juvenile Court of Chonburi, Ambassador Herbert von Traxl of Austria, British Ambassador Barnaby Smith and other dignitaries before he went on with these words. He said “Today we are privileged to have such a man amongst us. I speak of none other than beloved Former Commodore Peter Cummins, loved by many, adored by a few and worshipped by none. But yet again we are all gathered here to celebrate an event that marks the happy occasion of this remarkable man’s birthday, which is commemorated this year by the sailing of the 9th PC Classic Regatta.”

Peter thanked the Platinum Sponsor, Copeland Corporation, a division of Emerson Electric (Thailand), the Gold Sponsor, Bartercard Thailand, the Silver Sponsors, Carlsberg Beer, Coca Cola, Ambrose Wine Limited, LCB Container Terminal 1 Ltd., Rieckermann Thai Engineering Co. Ltd., Jomtien Boathouse, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Pattaya City, the Royal Varuna Yacht Club and most of all the Royal Cliff Beach Resort ‘for services rendered beyond and above any five star establishment could offer’ and specifically Panga Vathanakul, MD of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, a staunch supporter of the PC Classic. She has watched our preparations from the very start and has offered valuable advice when deemed necessary. Khun Panga has ensured us of her continued support of the Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta for many years to come.

“The Pattaya Mail came aboard the PC Classic, for we believe that yacht racing, sailing and cruising are the most environmentally friendly activities from which Pattaya can benefit. We are also extremely happy to continue our long and close association with the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in this, the Ninth Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta,” said Peter.

A short speech from Peter Cummins followed as he thanked everyone for their kind words and the success of the event, before allowing everyone to begin with their dinner.

During the proceedings, sponsors were presented with unique gifts of gratitude, a hand carved replica of PC’s beloved OK Dinghy, complete with mast and sail embedded with the 9th PC Classic logo.

Linden Phanpho, Sherie Ferguson and David Holden take an opportunity for a quick picture during the evening’s cocktail party.

Kannikar Ottesen receives her trophy for sponsorship on behalf of the Jomtien Boathouse and Grill from Peter Malhotra.

Three lovely ladies all in a row.

The two Peters, nothing more to be said.

PC presents RVYC commodore Robert England with a PC Classic OK Dinghy from former commodore Peter Cummins.

Andrew Wood hands George Strampp a donation for his worthwhile project of providing computers and vital facilities for computer skills & training to the Bannuantong School.

Kasemsukh Phamornsathit (center right) accepts a donation from Panga Vathanakul for the Happiness Camp, a project that brings teachers and students in the local community together. They are joined on stage by Sopin Theppajug, associate judge ofthe Chonburi Youth and Family court (far left), Alvi Sinthuivanik (center back) and Wannapa Wannasri (far right) co-organisers of the project.

Donations were also made to the George Strampp for his worthwhile project of providing computers and vital facilities for computer skills & training to the Bannuantong School, the Happiness Camp project organized by Kasemsukh Phamornsathit, Alvi Sinthuvanik and Wannapa Wannasri. On receiving the cheque, a moved Aunty Sai explained that the Happiness Camp is a project that brings teachers and students in the local community together to absorb words of advice and join together in activities to build strong minds, balanced emotions and good character. The camp stresses the importance of the family and promotes unity. The programs and activities also impart the philosophy of a balanced viewpoint and teach the participants that excessive materialism can often lead to unhappiness. Respect for the environment and preservation of nature are also part of Happiness Camp’s message.

The most touching part of the donations was made by PC himself, presenting the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, which he loves so dearly and considers to be his second home, with a generous contribution towards the construction of the new clubhouse due to be completed by December 5th as part of HM the King’s Birthday celebrations. Incumbent commodore, Robert England, graciously received the donation, witnessed by H.E. Barnaby Smith, the British ambassador, and the PC Classic committee.

Next up were the trophies for the class winners and the club Optimist champions for 2002-2003, and the coveted PC Classic Permanent Trophy, but more about that next week.

An enjoyable evening continued on much longer, culminating with a surprise birthday cake, the popping of the cork of champagne to celebrate Peter Cummins birthday (27th March) by Royal Cliff GM Andrew Wood and Peter Malhotra, MD of the Pattaya Mail. The whole ballroom burst out singing happy birthday to a man that everyone has grown to know and love.

The wine flowed and the band played as partygoers danced into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Read PC’s report of his event next week, as this week PC is taking a well earned rest in Chiang Mai.

Skal International