Sunshine and a strong wind greeted the sailors for the Prince Bira weekend at Royal Varuna Yach Club in Pattaya on May 23-24. The multihull fleet was out in force with 18 teams signing on for the start of the epic traditional Prince Bira Trophy race starting from the club and sailing out to Koh Rin and then back to the finish line off Varuna.
On day one it was not long before a couple of boats succumbed to the conditions and had to recover from inadvertent capsizes. The fleet spread out as the boats beat upwind, but it was the two F18’s of Roch Giacinti and Arnaud Uhrich, and Saranya Makinson and Florent Herson who headed the field as they went through the gate off the south end of Koh Larn.
2015 Prince Bira Trophy winners & runners up. (Photo/M.V.Tchelistcheff)
Several boats decided at this time that the conditions were too rough and wisely headed back to the shore. The remainder battled upwind to round Koh Rin for a fast downhill ride back to the club. Roch and Arnaud took line honors after over two and a half hours of racing, with Saranya and Florent following them home. The Hobie 16’s sailed by Kitsada and Alex, and Teerapong and Passuree were also enjoying the conditions. Both teams were making full use of the capabilities of their boats and sailing well.
After all the boats were safely back ashore and the results on handicap calculated, it was the two Hobie 16’s who filled the top spots and the Firebird Prince Bira Trophy winner was awarded to Kitsada and Alex.
While the multihulls were on their long distance race, the monohulls sailed three races around the buoys. Shin showed good form in the first race to take the win, but then Kevin got fully up to speed and, with excellent upwind speed, took the next two races.
Christopher Marsh (centre) poses with other Future Cup medalists. (Photo/M.V.Tchelistcheff)
On Sunday, both fleets were out for further races around the buoys to count to the overall results for the weekend. In the multihulls, Kitsada and Teerapong were again at the front, but this time it was Teerapong who scored two wins. This left it down to the final race of the weekend with Kitsada and Alex crossing the line first to take not just the Prince Bira Trophy, but also the weekend series.
In the monohulls, Kevin again took to the front, and despite some spirited challenges, scored two further wins to take the series.
While the weekend passed by with much excitement from the multihull and monohull races, there was also junior Optimist racing in the Future Cup match. The perpetual Future Cup was designed for a quarterly basis for young sailors who have not previously won the event to step up as shining future stars of the Optimist class. Christopher Marsh was the winner on this weekend, and well done to those young sailors who completed the race!