International Fleet To Compete in Samui Regatta
Published: Wednesday, 18 May 2016
To be held May 21-28 at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui on Chaweng Beach, the 15th Samui Regatta is set to welcome a world-class fleet of sailors including the largest line-up of TP52 boats ever in Asia.
(Photos: Samui Regatta)
The 15th Samui Regatta is organised by Regattas Asia in conjunction with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipality of Koh Samui and the Sports Authority of Thailand.
“This is possibly the best top-end racing fleet we've ever had at Samui Regatta, if not at any regatta in Asia,” says Simon James, Race Director of organisers Regattas Asia. “There have been a few boats dropping out at the last minute due to engine failure and similar in transit, however, this sometimes happens when more than 80% of the fleet are international. That said, the quality is there and we look to set for an exciting week of sailing.”
The largest boat in this year's fleet is Frank Pong's RP75 Custom, Jelik (HKG). A regular at Samui Regatta and a past winner, Pong is up against six 52-footers in IRC 0, including five of Asia's top TP52: Team Ulumulu (MAS), Freefire (HKG), Oi! (AUS), Millenium Racing (AUS) and the newest on the Asian TP52 scene, THA 72 (THA). Last but not least is the Welbourne 52 Windsikher II (SIN) of Sarab Singh who is back to defend his title.
A strong line-up in IRC 1 includes boats from Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, with crew from all four corners of the globe. Last year's class winner Jessandra II, skippered by Roland Dane, is looking to make it two in a row but is up against some stiff competition from Ambush (HKG), EFG Mandrake (HKG), Uranus (MAS), Loco (SIN), Fujin (AUS) and Black Baza (HKG), which was recently crowned winner of the 2015/16 AsianYachting Grand Prix.
International Race Officer Ross Chisholm returns for his 10th straight year and plans to provide a mix of courses over the five days of racing, and if the wind may surprise competitors with the Around Samui Island race which has only once before been attempted in the regatta's 15-year history.
Rounding out the fleet is the Cruising Class with a predominantly Thailand-based fleet competing for the honours, including El Coyote (THA), Moon Shadow (THA), SailQuest Hi Jinks (THA), Freewind (THA) and the 90-year old 6-metre Selma (THA) which is just completing her first season of racing on the Thailand circuit after her Owner shipped the 1926 classic from France to Krabi where she underwent renovations last year.
Returning after a few years hiatus is the dinghy fleet which includes more than 20 young sailors from Samui, Koh Phangan and Phuket competing over two days (May 21-22) in Optimist and the 420 double-handed dinghy.