Sailing in Thailand

Posted: December 13, 2010 in sailboat, sailboat race, sailboats, sailing, sailing race, yacht, yacht race, yachting, yachts
Sailing in Phuket Thailand

Sailing in Phuket Thailand

With high winds bringing the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta to a slightly premature end participants were left toasting what has been one of the most competitive series of races in Thailand sailing regatta history.

The global financial downturn did not stop an incredible 108 boats from entering the 24th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. The fleet featured entrants from all over the world with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, England, Holland, Spain and Canada all represented.

The last day’s racing had to be abandoned in the interests of safety. Some unusually high winds created dangerous sailing conditions but fortunately the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta series had already been concluded the previous day. Unfortunately it means the IRC and OMR Challenge Trophies, new for this year, were unable to be sailed.

The Racing Class tends to dominate the headlines and once again Ray Robert’s Evolution Racing and Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi went head-to-head. The competition between the two boats was so intense that race six actually ended in a dead heat once the times had been adjusted. In the end, however, it was Evolution Racing which prevailed but competition throughout the class was competitive with a number of new entrants including Song Xia Qun and her all Chinese crew on Jelik V. They have only been sailing together for a few months and as they gain valuable race experience are sure to be even more competitive in future regattas.

The IRC 2 Class is always guaranteed to provide plenty of thrills and spills and this year was no exception. Once again Peter Dyer’s Madame Butterfly, racing as Sea Bees, and CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat’s Royal Thai Navy 1 went head-to-head. Last year Royal Thai Navy 1 took the series after a dramatic final day but this time around it was Sea Bee’s turn to taste victory courtesy of a first place finish in the penultimate race.

The Phuket King’s Cup also provides a much needed boost to the local economy and gives tourists a unique opportunity to enjoy a week’s competitive sailing off the coast of the beautiful Andaman island. The bareboat charter class continues to grow from strength-to-strength and this year attracted an impressive 22 entrants. Ilya Ermakov’s Sarawadee, one of a number of boats in the class chartered by Russians, was the overall winner.

While no expense is spared in optimizing the performance of many of the ultra modern boats the classic class featured some more old fashioned and elegant entrants. Richard Macfarlane’s Aida was the series winner finishing ahead of Barry Elsbury’s Apsara courtesy of a bullet in the final race.

Veteran journalist Peter Cummins has covered all 24 Phuket King’s Cup Regattas and his reports this week have been appearing every day in the Bangkok Post. He is amazed by how quickly the event has grown, “I remember the first regatta. There were only a handful of entries and they were almost all local, I don’t think anyone could have imagined that this event would one day grow to become the biggest and best regatta in all of Asia. The racing seems to get more exciting every year and this year’s parties were some of the best in memory. The sailing has barely finished and I am already looking forward to next year’s regatta and the 25th anniversary,” he said.

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