Top Of The Gulf Regatta To Offer World-Class Sailing
Published: Wednesday, 06 April 2016
The 12th Top of the Gulf Regatta (Apr 30-May 4), presented by Ocean Marina, will showcase the Gulf of Thailand's world-class sailing credentials when sailors from around the world descend on Pattaya's Ocean Marina Yacht Club for the penultimate regatta in the AsianYachting Grand Prix series of championship events.
(Photo: Guy Nowell/Top of the Gulf Regatta)
Asia's largest multi-class regatta brings the region's top racing boats and sailors to Southeast Asia's largest marina, Ocean Marina, to compete across 12 classes ranging from keelboats to multihulls, dinghies, optimists and windsurfs.
With entries being received almost daily, the fleet is expected to be large. Leading the IRC boats is the TP52 Tha 52, which having arrived in Thailand at the end of 2015 and is being raced by the locally-based Whitcraft sailing family.
Joining the five keelboat and multihull classes is Asia's largest one-design competition, the Platu Coronation Cup, which currently sees entries from Russia, United Kingdom, Holland, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.
Having been the first ever to defend his title, Australian Scott Duncanson returns in 2016 aiming for the three-peat while both 2012 winner, Team Easy Tiger lead by Chris Way, and 2004 and 2007 winner, Wiwat Poonpat, are looking to break Duncanson's dominance.
A stand out feature of the regatta is the large dinghy fleet. International and local rivalries are renewed each year in the Laser, 420 and 470 divisions while the Thailand Optimist National Championships – incorporated in the Top of the Gulf Regatta – has been the training ground for many Thai sailors and in co-operation with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand will see more than 100 young sailors taking part.
Returning to the regatta for the fourth year is the RS:One Class of windsurfs. In co-operation with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand and sanctioned by the International Windsurfing Association, the RS:One Asian Championship will be held as part of the regatta and attract the region's best windsurfers to compete for the Asian crown in what will be the final regional showdown before the Rio Olympics in August 2016.
The region's largest and most diverse regatta of its kind, over 200 boats and more than 600 sailors are expected at the Top of the Gulf this year, with the keelboats and multihull classes racing over four days and the dinghies, Thailand Optimist National Championships and RS:One Asian Championship racing over three days.