Happy Birthday PC
The 11th Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort
International Regatta held on March 26 was not only, as Dr. Iain Corness called
it: “The longest-named regatta in the world” but it was also, undoubtedly,
one of the best.
Held totally, for the first time, at the newly-opened Royal
Varuna Yacht Club house, it became initially some 90 sailors, with their 64
boats poised, waiting for a break in the weather - intermittent rain squalls
deluging all and killing the wind.
Dick van den Heuvel was on station aboard the Royal Cliff
Catamaran, the “Island Dream”, the weather broke, the wind came out of the
south - where it should be at this time of the year - and, right on schedule,
Dick sent the fleets on their way.
It was a good omen for, what followed, was a highly
successful regatta and an even more enjoyable party at the Royal Varuna Club.
Catered by the Five Star Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel, one of the Regatta’s
principal sponsors, the catering, entertainment and evening’s ambience were
also five star.
The long list of sponsors for this year, also hit a record
high, with many perennial supporters joined by first-time Platinum Sponsor, the
European Security Concepts Company who were so pleased with the total event,
that they raised their 300,000 baht donation to 350,000 during the splendid
The evening’s social events have usually been held at the
Royal Cliff but, due to some minor inconveniences to the sailors - for example
the boats cannot come ashore on the Royal Cliff Beach, requiring considerable
moving back and forth - the social side of the regatta was held at Royal Varuna.
This, in no way, affected the Royal Cliff’s support; quite
the contrary, in fact. Varuna’s illustrious neighbour in the adjoining bay was
extremely generous and the catering was beautifully orchestrated - down to the
last detail. It is just what one would expect from a Resort that has a list of
awards longer than the title of this regatta, including the Tourist Union
International-AG “Environmental Champion Award”. That is as close as
possible to the philosophy of the regatta and yacht racing in general:
Another perennial supporter, the “Pattaya Mail”, has also
just won its seventh successive “Best in the East” an award for its
excellence in English-Language reporting.
All sponsors, supporters and competitors in this year’s PC
Classic can also be proud that the event has raised more than one million baht
for local charities, with all regatta proceeds being disbursed through the good
offices of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, principally to the disadvantaged
and needy children of the Jomtien-Pattaya and Eastern Seaboard environs.
Future events also bode well when the organizing committee
pointed out that there was a large fleet of junior sailors (under-16-year-olds)
who sailed the little Optimist dinghies fearlessly, confidentially and ably -
especially when the wind picked up to some 15 knots.
They totally disregarded the storm clouds glowering around
the horizons and they will be back - maybe in a Laser - to sail the 12th PC
Results (first four only):
Hobie 16s: First Christian and
Markus Forster (1:05:05); second Holger and Hilary Michael (1:08:50); third Don
and Cherly Mackenzie (1:11:31); fourth Simon and Bronwyn Carey (1:11:56).
Multi-Hulls: First Stefaan de Vos and Gilles Schmidt
(00:58:;29); second Claire and Simon Medd (1:00:32); third Peter Herning
(1:03:14); fourth Aroon R. and Kitsade V (1:04:17).
Lasers: First Doug Morse (00:27:51); second Marcel D.
(00:28:05); third Nicholas Henley (00:28:24); fourth Phillipe Narbonne
Optimists: First Matteo de Vos (00:38:20); second Patrick
Littlejohn (00:38:45); third Raphael Menke (00:39:10); fourth May (00:39:35).
Birthday boy floats on beer
Peter Cummins, the man who inspired the
longest yacht race name in the world, “The Pattaya Mail PC
Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta”,
was later seen floating on beer, instead of the waters in the
Bay of Siam, after the event.
With the PC Classic event incorporating an
afternoon of sailing for the jolly Jack Tars, while the weekend
spectators sat back on the spacious lawns of the Royal Varuna
Yacht Club and drank beer, Peter Cummins was seen having very
little to drink. “It’s going to be a long night, so I’m
pacing myself,” was his reason.
This counsel was not necessarily heeded by
quite a few of the ‘lawn potatoes’ with the Platinum
sponsors group from Steve Graham’s ESC (European Security
Concepts) collecting quite a few empty ‘tinnies’ by the end
of the afternoon in their specially erected tent. Sales manager
Keith was seen ‘hunt’ing down a few during the lulls in the
Another group seen enjoying the afternoon
included the Ottesen family (Jomtien Boathouse) and the Thenisch
family, though both of them were only warming up for the
evening’s fun and games.
Being very much involved in the organization
of the event meant that Judy Hoppe, the president of the
Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club, was also present in the afternoon,
with both she and husband Bruce (Emerson-Thailand’s Copeland
compressors) being their usual affable selves.
One of the sponsors was Anil Singh from the
LCB Container Terminal 1 at Laem Chabang, who was also a
competitor, but he looked as if he would have preferred one of
his container cranes to get his boat back to dry land, rather
than the pull, drag and push method.
Not to be missed was Gusti Steiner, the
affable Swiss gentleman with his team from the Siam Royal View,
one of the major sponsors of the event.
Keeping the guests entertained while the
bedraggled sailors got their craft back to the shore, the
Pattaya School Marching Band put on a very stirring (and
sterling) performance in the heat, while fully regimentally
dressed, complete with French horns, tubas and big bass drums.
By some wonderful application of horological
mathematics, the beer tent by the water ran out of beer, just as
the bar in the Royal Varuna Yacht Club was declared open, and
the 70 years young Peter Cummins was seen quickly getting
outside a Singha beer, while repeating his mantra of “It’s
going to be a long night, so I’m pacing myself.”
The dining area of the Yacht Club looked
wonderful, having been given the “Royal” treatment by the
Royal Cliff’s energetic personnel, and was soon filled up by
the large number of dinner guests, who could see a bargain and
grabbed it with both hands (and knives and forks and spoons).
Another of our local schools began the
entertainment with two classical Thai dances, all beautiful
young ladies that the MC, Dr. Iain, referred to as the Miss
Thailand’s of the future.
They were followed (timewise, not literally)
by Judy Hoppe and Peter Malhotra, with an uncharacteristically
short speech to inform everyone that the regatta had raised 1.3
million baht which would be used for charities administered by
the Jomtien-Pattaya Rotary Club and to welcome Peter Cummins,
who paced his way through another Singha and responded to
Peter’s kind words.
With the Ruby band from the Royal Cliff Beach
Resort in full song (and I must say getting better all the
time), the guests attacked the buffet, which had more than
enough for everyone.
After several trips to the buffet, it was
down to the serious business of trophy presentations, with
Deputy City Manager Apichart Phuetphan, Chatthan Kunchorn Na
Ayuthya, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Region 3 Pattaya
Office director and Pol. Maj Gen. Panya Mamen, commander of the
Tourist Police dispensing the rewards designated by the Royal
Varuna Yacht Club’s chief timekeeper and scorer Richard van
After a little more of the Ruby Band (and
many wanted a lot more, especially the cute little singer left
front of stage), MC Dr. Iain, showing that he had not lost his
medical skills, resuscitated Elvis, who came on and entertained
for an hour with many of the Royal Varunians remembering the
rock ‘n roll steps they used to do a few decades ago, with
Bronwyn Carey being one of the first! In the meantime, Peter
Cummins was heard saying over the top of another Singha beer,
“It’s going to be a long night, so I’m pacing myself.”
The finale was all Peter Cummins, who had
managed to pace himself to get as far as his 70th birthday cake
and blow out the candles while Elvis led the congregation
singing “Glory, Glory Hallelujah”, disguised as “Happy
Birthday”. H.E. Herbert Traxl, the Austrian Ambassador stayed
close by to keep PC steady.
A lucky draw was held at the end with the
major prize of an air ticket with Swiss International Air Lines
being won by Michael the son of Walter and Oy Thenisch. He was
promptly advised by father Walter that he would be taking his
So that was the Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal
Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta for PC’s 70th year.
He assured me that he is going to be present for the 12th
running of the event, saying, “It’s going to be a long year,
so I’m pacing myself!” From everyone, “Happy Birthday
again! We look forward to seeing you next year, and keep