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Ode to the Royal Varuna Commodoers


12th Pattaya mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta
Yacht racing does not come any better

Peter Cummins
It was a perfect day, clear skies, a reasonable chop from a 15-knot southerly and 90 craft manoeuvring mid-stream out in the Gulf, for the start of the 12th Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta, sailed this year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of HM the King’s accession to the Thai Throne.
And what a day – and night – it was. Hobie Cats, Nacras, Lasers, Multihull Catamarans, Keelboats and a virtual flotilla of juniors in the Optimist dinghies battled it out on the Gulf. A huge group of spectators crammed the Royal Varuna seafront to watch the action and avail themselves of the Royal Cliff’s generous catering.
The biggest fleet by far was the Optimists which, under the careful tutelage of Dave Littlejohn, comprised 42 entries, with 30 coming from the Royal Thai Navy facilities in Sattahip
Finally, as the sun set on a beautiful day, the juniors surged forward for their trophies, for both the Optimist and the Laser 4.7 rig, showing a prowess out on the water in the tough conditions, worthy of any world champions.
Mainly through the unstinting support and dedication of New Zealanders Julie and Dave Littlejohn, the Optimist Class was so well attended.
Then, it was over to the Five-star award-winning Royal Cliff for a sumptuous buffet, wining and dining, pool-side, with Ruby and her Royal Cliff trio and “Elvis himself” entertaining the crowd.
In his usual suave manner, Dr Iain Corness emceed the show, never missing even the most miniscule nuance, while Peter Malhotra, MD and owner of the Pattaya Mail and the Pattaya Blatt informed the big group of sponsors where their generous assistance had been disbursed during the intervening year.
The ambassador of Austria, as personal guest of Panga Vathanakul, MD of the Royal Cliff, continued that embassy’s support of the PC Classic while Panga herself was well pleased with the outcome.
Among the long list of sponsors were this year’s Platinum European Security Concept (ESC Property Services), and perennial PC Regatta supporters (randomly listed): the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Jomtien Boathouse, LCB Container Terminal 1 Ltd., Siam Royal View, Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt and Pattaya Mail on TV, Ambrose Wines, Singha, Pattaya International Ladies Club, ReTECH Energy, the Rotary Clubs of Jomtien Pattaya and Pattaya Marina, Carpet Master, Hospitality Co., Ltd, Associated Press, Swiss International Airlines, BeLucky, OAU Porrn Phanich, T and T Aluminum Ltd Part, and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
A new-comer - to the PC Classic, but not to marine-sport sponsorship this year - is the Raimon Land property development company which, with its appropriate logo of “developing a better environment”, supports regattas and yacht racing up and down the Kingdom.
And, so, for another year, all proceeds from the Regatta will be disbursed to better the lives of the most needy in this region – especially the children.

Results: PC Classic Regatta 2006
Hobie Cat 16. 1. Bud/Gaile Rockey; 2. Robert/Ole Vollmers
Multi S: 1. Bob Garner; 2. Alberto Cassio; 3. Jan Holdorff
Multi D: Claire/Simon Medd; 2. Richard Eyre/Dave Littlejohn; 3. KitsadaVongtim/Surapong V.; 4. Andrew/William Connelly
Monohulls: 1. Nick Henley (Laser); 2. Marcel Dubbelman (Laser); 3. Dave Wales/Gilbert Leeman (Enterprise); 4. Aaron Frankel (L); 5. Kevin Whitcraft (L); 6. Christophe Menke (L)
Laser 4.7: 1. Kirati Bualong; 2. Ruben Menke; 3. Santhiti Hirunsart; 4. Matteo de Vos
Optimist: 1. Natthawut Paenyaem; 2. Pattera Meeyuusamsen; 3 Benjamas Poonpat; 4. Phonphet Sook-u-dom; 5. Pichamon Farkhum; 6. Nut Butmarasri; 7. Sittisar Ponpun; 8. Supakon Pongvichean; 9. Pat Littlejohn; 10. Napakao Poonpat; 11. Stefano Cassio; 12. Kamolwan Chanyim
In addition, Dave Littlejohn, aware that the Sattahip boys and girls could well “clean up the top places” – which they did – donated special PC Classic trophies to the Royal Varuna Juniors: First: Pat Littlejohn; 2. Stefano Cassio; 3. Naphat Tye; 4. Bagus Bogert; 5. Bauke Tepstra. Bauke also won the award for the first boy beginner category.
Keelboats: 1. Hi Jinx - Pascal Leray and crew; 2. Alex Skaria; 3. Gary Baguley ; 3. Morten Jakobsen.
Multihull Catamaran: 1. Olaf Reese.

The lost art of thorough and gentle relaxation

Caspian Pike
Whatever channel of communication Peter Cummings, seventy-one years young, uses with his God, then I would respectfully venture to suggest that the almighty seems to listen to his servant’s prayers. For on the manicured banked lawn of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club last Saturday, patrons and sponsors of the PC Classic were blessed with conditions that could not have been more perfect. Whilst out at sea, competitors young and old were meeting the challenge of robust gusts, those of us casting keen eyes in their direction whilst semi-recumbent on the soft grass, were treated to a cooling breeze of a most soothing variety.
For a fleeting moment, I felt as if I were part of a variation on Seurat’s “Bathing at Asnieres”, a feeling reinforced by the desire to savour and capture an atmosphere of friendship and laughter. From where I was sitting, contentment competed with playfulness as the main order of the day.
There was something wonderfully egalitarian about the Royal Varuna. No pretensions here, only yachts-people indulging in their passion on the water, whilst the caring public of the Eastern Seaboard took the opportunity to indulge themselves in all that this idyllic venue could offer.
What a setting indeed, presided over by the Corbusier-esque pavilion, a fitting backdrop. A cooling pool, overlooking the ocean, where children revelled and adults regularly refreshed themselves.
The enthusiasts looked on through high-powered binoculars and the aroma of mouth-watering food provided by the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and a succulent 70 kilo pig on a spit was tended to by the carnivorous amongst us courtesy of the Hard Rock Hotel.
The upper bank, a place for something a bit more physical - a pick-up game of soccer perhaps? And the lower bank, festooned with the yachts of the competitors and members of the club. And all around on this glorious day were people from all over the region, engaged in the lost art of thorough and gentle relaxation.
Perhaps it was the PC Classic polo-shirts, with their rather a nautical red collar, which fed the sense of unity? Conversation revealed a tremendous sense of occasion borne of twelve years of an ever-increasing sense of tradition and of affection bordering on veneration for the host.
Peter Cummings was ever his charming self, studiously avoiding what had hitherto appeared to be the irresistible temptation of a chilled Singha. He seemed to be soaking up the ambience, a mile-wide smile filling his face. His Excellency Arno Riedl, Austrian Ambassador to Thailand, had brought his delightful family with him. “It’s a long way from the Tirol,” I suggested. His Excellency replied with a diplomatic smile which seemed to reflect both his love of his gorgeous homeland and, as we gazed out towards Koh Larn over the brilliant blueness of the ocean, an acknowledgement of how beautiful life in Pattaya can be. How fortunate, I conjectured, to be here on this day.
Just then, a pair of red socks meandered by, belonging to the shoed feet of Peter Malhotra. “Why the red socks?” I wondered. “Symmetry in sartorial splendour?” Peter’s innate warmness and instinctive humour (with just a lashing of irony) put me in my place.
Now, if there had been a prize for “Best Dressed Man”, then my vote would have gone to the general manager of Laem Chabang Container Terminal 1, Anil Singh, as charming and humorous a gentleman, as you are likely to meet and a most generous sponsor of the PC Classic. Anil brought with him specific and fascinating knowledge - he had sailed the world as an officer in the Merchant Navy, before becoming “captain of a desk” as he put it. I tried to coax him into a conversation on the recent cricket series between India and England but he was having none of it.
The event had many sponsors, some of which were present on the day: Pattaya International Hospital was offering free blood pressure checks and the local security experts ESC Security Concepts were on hand to offer practical advise for the security conscious among us.
As well as a counter providing ice chilled beer (sponsored by Singha) and soft drinks there was also entertainment as a marching band, resplendent in their uniforms, paid tribute to Peter Cummins with some frankly rather funky rhythms; it really can’t be easy handling a euphonium dressed in such apparel in such scorching temperatures, even though the day was starting to cool a little as the sun was making its steady descent casting glowing colours across the sky that made the now empty waters shimmer to give all spectators yet another image to remember what truly was a special day.
As afternoon was drifting into evening there was just time for the awards for the young seafaring contingent made up of 40 under 16 year olds called the Optimists, after which the assembled reluctantly departed. There was a new sense of anticipation in the air. An evening of celebration at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort awaited us.
If you were unable to make it on the day, tune into Pattaya Mail on TV on Saturday April 1, as the crew was there soaking up the atmosphere and speaking to just a few of the people connected to the event. The first installment of the event will be shown on Saturday with the coverage continuing throughout the week.

Sailors, sponsors and dinner guests dig deep for charity

Dr. Iain Corness
It would not be too pretentious to say that the Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta yachting event really came of age last weekend. Whilst it was the celebration of the 12th running of the event, it was also an example of the true spirit of generosity that can be shown by the folk in Pattaya, to assist the needy children on the Eastern Seaboard.
The dinner around the main pool of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort had its usual spectacular buffet, with chef extraordinaire Walter Thenisch not only supervising, but even carving the spare ribs himself. (They were lovely, by the way.) The bottles of wine from Ambrose Wines at each table added to the overall enjoyment of the food, and the service was superb.
As in previous years, one of the local schools provided the first round of entertainment, with two Muay Thai champions from Pattaya School #3 showing the various movements that are entwined in the classical Muay Thai. It was also of interest that these two young age champions will be representing Pattaya in Russia in two months.
By popular demand, Elvis (Pralard) from the Jomtien Boathouse entertained with two full segments, which were very much appreciated by the guests, with even some of the youngsters enthralled by the powerful voice and delivery of our own Elvis.
Peter Malhotra, the MD of Pattaya Mail Publishing outlined the history of the PC Classic, with particular reference to the many charity projects that had been assisted by the PC Classic over the years, with the organization of the charity assistance being done through the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya.
Peter also mentioned the amounts of money raised last year (1.3 million baht) and this year, being slightly down at 1.1 million. This news brought an immediate response from the principal sponsor of the PC Classic, ESC’s Steve Graham, who spontaneously suggested that if the guests that night would dig a little deeper, in an impromptu whip-around, he would more that equal that donation.
Several champagne buckets were appropriated from the Royal Cliff and the Pattaya Mail girls went out into the audience and returned with 47,000 baht, which was added to the 50,000 baht previously donated that evening by the French speaking Pattaya Marina Rotary Club. When the total was announced at 97,000 baht, Sanjay, one of the diners at the LCB1 table immediately rushed over with the 3,000 baht to round out the total to 100,000 baht.
Steve Graham is a man of his word, and his ESC commitment was more than met when he joined Peter and Dr. Iain on the podium and, with a little friendly jousting, committed ESC to another 200,000 baht, in exchange for some full page advertising in the Pattaya Mail Publishing’s three mastheads, the Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Blatt and the sister newspaper, Chiangmai Mail. That, said Steve Graham, makes the total more than last year!
Buoyed up by this largesse, the evening continued with the presentation of trophies and “gold medals” for crews and a lucky draw for some sensational prizes including dinners at many of Pattaya’s better restaurants. The final draw was for a ticket on Swiss Airlines International, with the LCB1 table being “rewarded” for its support, when Anil Singh and his wife Kawita won the major prize. We know of two people who will be escaping to Singapore for the Pattaya Songkran!
By the end of the evening, people were already talking about next year’s event, with the now 71 year old Peter Cummins being instructed that he had to make sure he was going to be around for the next one! There will be some needy children who will also be hoping that Steve Graham and ESC will be around next time too.(?)

Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596  E-mail: [email protected]

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