COLOMBO to Galle Regatta  

The Inaugural Mobitel Colombo to Galle Regatta concluded on Sunday 14th December 2008 and was deemed a rousing success by all those involved. The regatta attracted over twenty competitive boats (forty entrants), which is a phenomenal number for a maiden race. Challenging for the title were some of Sri Lanka’s very own champions, former Asian Games Bronze Medalist Lalin Jirasinha, current 2008 Sri Lankan National GP14 Champion Devin Goonawardena, as well as the Navy’s own 2008 Enterprise Class National Champion Janaka. Sailors raced in two races each day over three days of off shore racing, having launched from Panadura on Friday the 12th Dec.

Day One found the sailors flying the spinnakers on a run towards Bentota. The fleet vied for positions and race dominance as they speed south, with limited match play needed as the fleet were swept with ease to their finish line. The conditions favoured the GP14’s over the Enterprises sailed by the Navy as the spinnaker gave a big advantage. Richard and Jeremy put in one of their best performances in the first race finishing 10 minutes 21 seconds ahead of the fleet.

The day’s sailing ended with first day victory honours and the prestigious Logan Cup going to Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga followed by Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam in second place and Stephen Giffin and Kylie Bickerstaff in third position. Individual race victories were gained by Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling in Race One and Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga in Race Two.

Day Two began with a bang as the fiercely contested start line saw a few minor incidents. A lot of on sea maneuvering throughout the race was needed to get the sailors to Hikkaduwa as the wind blew intermittently. The fleet beat into a mild headwind where helm and crew’s skill and finesse were tried and tested.

Day Two saw some great sailing by Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam who won the coveted RCYC Barker Bowl, they were closely followed by Ricahrd Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling in second place and Devin Goonawardena and Asanka Goonawardena in third place. Individual race honours went to Devin Goonawardena and Asanka Goonawardena in Race Three and Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling in Race Four.

Day Three found the sailors floundering at sea as the winds dropped away. Galle seemed a long way away as the fleet waited for over an hour for the breeze to settle in and carry them under spinnaker to their final destination. Janaka and Nishantha made the best start in their Enterprise and were soon a good distance ahead of the fleet. Half way through the first race, however, the winds picked up and the fleet race towards the first finish line. The second race saw the fleet begin two miles out from Galle. Supported by the arrival of a hearty wind the fleet speed towards the finish line in Galle Harbour, negotiating the harbour wall and creating a spectacular finish, as the fleet of seventeen boats finished within seconds of each other. Individual race victories went to Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga in Race Five and Race Six.

With a fleet comprising two boats classes, GP14 and Enterprise, and with twenty entrants in the regatta, the fleet was divided into its two class divisions for the final results.

After a total of 12hr 16min 24sec and covering a distance of 87.6km the Winners of the Mobitel Colombo to Galle Regatta 2008 were Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling (CSC/CMYC), second place: Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam (CMYC) and third place: Duncan Fraser and Gail Fraser (PtYC).

After three days of hotly contested racing the Enterprise victors and Anghie Cup winners were Krishan Janaka and W.A.R. Nishantha (NSC), second place: N.G.M.U.Ghanwardana and A.P.S.K. Soyza (NSC) and in third place: D.P Newton and J.H.J.C Appuhamy (NSC).

Celebrations continued after the race at the Galle Navy Base, as the fleet were guests of the Sri Lanka Navy. Presentations and thanks were made by the Southern Naval Area Commander: Commodore Ravi Wijegunarathe as well as the Regatta’s main sponsor Mobitel’s representative, Brand Executive Mobitel, Mr Sathya Amaratunge.

The Mobitel Colombo to Galle Regatta’s inaugural champion helm, Richard Estaugh from the Chase Sailing Club UK thanked the Sri Lanka Navy, Mobitel, the race organisers and the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club for all the hard work, effort and enthusiasm that went into making the Regatta a huge success, further stating “that he has always enjoyed sailing in Sri Lanka and that being a part of the first Colombo to Galle race was not only exciting but challenging.”

The Mobitel Colombo to Galle Regatta’s champion crew, Jeremy Bolling, of the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club was also hugely grateful to everybody involved in the organisation of the race and stated that ‘it was not only exciting, but an honour to be a part of such a historic race, and a thrill to have won it!”

Commodore of the Ceylon Motor Yacht Club Mr Stephen Giffin, further thanked both the Sri Lanka Navy for their support, advice and hospitality and highlighted the dedication and efficiency with which they assisted the race committee and the Regatta itself.

WINNERS

Day 1
Logan Cup.
1st Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga
2nd Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam
3rd Stephen Giffin and Kylie Bickerstaff

Race 1. Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling
Race 2. Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga

Day 2
RCYC Barker Bowl,
1st Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam
2nd Ricahrd Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling
3rd Devin Goonawardena and Asanka Goonawardena

Race 3. Devin Goonawardena and Asanka Goonawardena
Race 4. Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling

Day 3
Mobitel Colombo to Galle Regatta 2008
1st Richard Estaugh and Jeremy Bolling (CSC/CMYC)
2nd Joseph Kenny and Pramukshi Kariwasam (CMYC)
3rd Duncan Fraser and Gail Fraser (PtYC).

Race 5. Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga
Race 6. Per Svendsen and Kshamindra Weeratunga

Enterprise class
Anghie Cup
1st Krishan Janaka and W.A.R. Nishantha (NSC),
2nd N.G.M.U.Ghanwardana and A.P.S.K. Soyza (NSC)
3rd D.P Newton and J.H.J.C Appuhamy (NSC).