Thanks to Saard's Water Sports we were invited aboard the Kindred Spirit to experience the thrill of racing aboard a catamaran in the 2012 Samui Regatta.
We were hit with some serious weather, many boats retired from the race, some voluntarily, others weren't so lucky with sails being torn and one boat actually lost its mast! It was our first experience at race sailing and being hit with a huge storm that whipped up 35 knot winds and 2 metre swells added to the excitement!
Here are some photos taken aboard the Kindred Spirit during the final day of racing.
The 90 foot "Genuine Risk" the biggest yacht in the race sailing out to the start line from Chaweng Beach. This was a super fast yacht, serious racer. Look our for her in the "Sydney to Hobart" race late December.
Boats came from all over South East Asia and beyond to compete, boats registered in the UAE, GBR and USA all took part.
Purpose built to race.
The calm before the storm apporaching on the horizon over Koh Phangan.
We were truly in awe of this yacht, big, fast and suprisingly manoeuvrable.
20 plus boats circle the start line awaiting the start time in their respective classes.
This was an amazing start to the IRC 1 class race, "Foxy Lady" hit the start line cutting across 3 other yachts on a totally different strategy and direction. It looked super close from where we were, but these guys really know what they are doing and they pulled it off.
We were in the multihull class, here you can see are competitiors ready to hit the start line. The closet to us here is "Sonic", notice the boat is fully intact, about an hour later she lost her mast. Thankfully no one was injured.
Dramatic skies as the imminent storm approached.
The beautiful contrast of calm turquoise seas with dark weather.
"Mandrake" the eventual winner of the IRC 1 title.
Balancing the boat to gain maximum speed.
Moments before the wind picked up and the skills of skippers and crew were truly tested.
Finally the storm hit us!
Team Kindred Spirit, we battled on through the storm, kept racing in testing conditions and managed to finish the final day in 3rd! A happy bunch.