The PC Classic: The sailors, the sponsors and the children gain

Happy Birthday PC

Peter Cummins

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 evening.

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: environmentally friendly.

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 Classic.

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 (00:28:42).

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 racing.

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 den Heuvel.

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 mother!

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 pacing.”

Pol. Maj. Gen. Panya Mamen presents the
PC Classic perpetual trophy to Stefaan de Vos
Don Mckenzie receives his trophy from Chatthan Kunchorn Na Ayuthya, Director Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Region 3. Guest of honour, Deputy City Manager Apichart Phuetphan presents trophies and medals to the winners

Michael Thenisch can look forward to a pleasant flight on Swiss International Airlines.

H.E Dr. Herbert Traxl, the Austrian Ambassador presents plaques of appreciation to our sponsors

Steve Graham
European Safety Concepts (Thailand) Ltd.

Brian Sinclair-Thompson
Swiss International Air Lines

Hans-Dieter Westphal
Retech Energy Co., Ltd.

Kannikar Ottesen - Jomtien Boathouse

August E. Steiner - Siam Royal View

Sudthida Jaikid - Pattaya Grand Trophy

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