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Posts Tagged ‘King’s Cup Regatta’

Sailboats Lost

Back in December of last year (2010), I posted a story here about a devastating storm that almost wiped out the fleet in Phuket, Thailand just prior to the start of the King’s Cup race. This became known as the “King’s Cup Disaster” and my post ended up in the nether-world of cyber obscurity where so many posts go to rest for eternity.

That was until a young woman doing a web search for her long-lost step father, found it and made a comment.

“Hello there, I am trying to locate Keith Mackay (from England). I am his step-daughter and have unfortunately lost touch with him; we last met more than 20 years ago. He knows me as Jopie Mackay, not Jodie. My cell number in South Africa is 082 —–.”

Keith had taken some fabulous photos of the disaster, boats strewn along the Kata Beach. Some buried up to their gunnels in the sand as the tide ran out faster than men could push. He lives in Thailand now after having sailed there solo from Lauderdale a few years back.

It was purely by the grace of my long-time cruiser and friend Ginny-Lea Duba-Filiatrault that I even saw these photos. She has sent them to me in an email that Keith sent to her. I posted those photos on my Blog (King’s Cup Disaster – Sailing Regatta) and the rest, as they say…is history!

Once I read Jodie’s comment I fired off an email to Keith with the comment so that he could contact her. I copied Ginny as well, since she had introduced us and I knew she’d be thrilled to follow this story.

Daughter Found

Keith replied a few days later…

“Dear Nancy & Ginny,

Two great things happened on Friday: one was a stunning momentous wedding involving TV viewers the world over and the second happened to two very ecstatic people who found each other after having lost touch more than twenty years ago. Of course I’m talking about my daughter and yours truly. We have since had a few hours on Skype catching up on all those intervening years and I have to thank you both for making it all happen. To you Ginny for forwarding my King’s Cup disaster photos to you Nancy, and to you Nancy for not only publishing them on your website but for forwarding Jodie’s mail to me. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart and from Jodie too.
Big Hugs and monstrous thanks,
Keith”
(Heart swelling, BIG smile… ; ) Sometimes technology can be a beautiful thing!

I just wanted to share this great story with all of you and wish you a very happy day!

Fairwinds,

Nancy

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Photo by Keith MacKay

Your Cruising Editor presents this video / photo montage of the wreckage at Kata Beach near Phuket, Thailand, in the aftermath of a freak storm that caused much of the fleet of racing sailboats to drag anchor and wash ashore.

Click here to view video:

http://gallery.mac.com/cruisingeditor#100714

Photos used with permission, by Keith MacKay.

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Phukett, 11 December 2010 (PDN): The last race of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta was cancelled today after two tropical storms in the China Sea & Indian Ocean brought unusual westerly winds gusting up to 25 knots and turned the 2m swell along the west coast of Phuket into rolling breakers on Kata beach.

In an email to my friend & longtime sailor, Ginny Filiatrault, racing sailor Keith MacKay witnessed the horrible aftermath of a freak onshore storm that hit the sleeping fleet of racing yachts on the last day of the King’s Cup Regatta in Thailand.

Keith wrote,

“I took (these) photos this AM on Kata Beach on the west coast of Phuket, the day after the disaster. I sat on the beach and watched the (whole) scenario unfold before my eyes, watching anchor rodes snap in the pounding surf after 12 boats dragged their anchors (2 tris, 3 cats & 7 monohulls. Included in the mayhem was Miss Saigon & SeeBees, both of whom won their class in the week’s racing, Ichi Ban came 2nd in class).

The weather forecast was ignored and put the whole fleet of 98 anchored boats at risk from a very unusual NW 20 knot blow onto a lee shore. We had very light winds virtually the whole week and I got horribly burnt doing race committee duty on a 47′ Moorings power cat. I even got dragged
over the side in the 2 knot current off the most southerly tip of the island,  wrecking my cellphone but saving my glasses!

Happy sailing,

Keith”

Here are Keith’s Photos:

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In an early morning issue of the Phuket Wan Tourist News online a reporter wrote: “A savage squall swept a dozen expensive vessels ashore in the early hours of Saturday morning, preventing a day of Phuket racing for the first time in the long history of Asia’s premiere sailing event. 

Owners could only look on at the five yachts still locked in water and sand on Phuket’s popular Kata beach this afternoon. Several of the 10-million baht or more vessels will never sail again.

Plans to lift some boats free with cranes did not eventuate today, but owners and insurance assessors were busy along the beach, where the presence of the sand-stuck yachts made for an added tourist attraction.

Coming out of the blue, the late monsoon storm caught some of the region’s finest sailors unprepared when it swept in on Saturday before dawn. Skippers had clearly not expected such a storm out of clear skies. 

One Phuket King’s Cup Regatta official said that some yachts had clearly anchored too close to shore. Some had probably also chosen light anchors, better for racing in terms of weight, but less resistant to the Phuket October storm that waited until December to arrive.

More attention to weather forecasts can be expected for the sailing of the 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta next year.”

This Video of the actual event was just posted to YouTube by SailTV:

Update: Dec. 13, 2010:

Tonight as the final Phuket regatta award ceremony and party began, expensive yachts were being pounded as high tide reached up the Phuket beach.

At least one owner of a broken vessel was too distraught to talk as he literally picked up the pieces of his beautiful, expensive yacht. Others were more fortunate.

King’s Cup series winners Miss Saigon, Ichi Ban and Team Sea Bees, were storm-tossed, with Team Sea Bees faring worst.

Other boats beached or left to wallow included Thai Navy 1, Thor, Walwala, Pagatoon, Rapscallion, Zhic, Sudsakorn Too and Silk Purse.

From phuketwan.com.

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