Published: Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A large and competitive fleet is set to compete this week in the 12th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek off Phuket, Thailand’s southeast coast (July 16-19).

Phuket Raceweek 5

Racing over four days, the 38-strong fleet will see two TP52s competing in IRC Racing I, one of the largest multihull fleets ever assembled in local waters and a 68-foot former Whitbread Racer.

Split over seven classes, the fleet is diverse, with crews flying in from as far as the UK and Australia to compete in the award-winning regatta and season-opener of the 2015/16 AsianYachting Grand Prix.

“We're very pleased with this years entries, both in quality and quantity,” says Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co Byron Jones. “There are some top crews from around the world coming to race this year and the class splits will ensure close competition for all.”

Phuket Raceweek 3

A clear sign of the popularity of multihull racing in the region, at 17 entries this year they make up nearly half the fleet, and are split into three classes: Multihull Racing, Firefly 850 and the Corsair Class.

Multihull Racing sees five locally-built catamarans up against three trimarans – Danny Moore's Three Itch, Mark Horwood's 40-foot Andrenalin and Henry Kaye's Sweet Chariot – while the Firefly 850 and Corsair Class are both one design with five and four entries respectively, including the recently-launched four Corsair Pulse 600's making their first appearance at the Regatta.

“The popularity of multihull racing in Phuket has grown significantly in recent years. We have actively encouraged the multihull fleet and this year welcome one of the biggest multihull fleets we've ever had,” says Jones.

Outnumbering the multihulls by just five boats, the monohull fleet is split into four classes, namely IRC Racing I, IRC Racing II, IRC Cruising and Charter/ Bareboat.

Phuket Raceweek 4

“The weather forecasts indicate varied conditions later this week which I'm sure will keep everyone on their toes, while onshore we have some great parties and entertainment lined up for sailors and friends,” commented Jones.