Published: Wednesday, 01 February 2017

The Bay Regatta is a four-day circumnavigation of Phang Nga Bay that takes in three of southern Thailand's provinces – Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi from Feb 15-19. Organiser Regattas Asia is expecting a large fleet to celebrate this milestone 20th Anniversary edition.

The Bay Regatta In Thailand To Celebrate 20th Anniversary

(Photos: The Bay Regatta)

The Bay Regatta is a series of passage races – an event format that has caught the attention of sailors around the world with participants coming from Australia, Russia, the UK and Canada to compete in six classes – Racing Class, Cruising A, Cruising B, Bareboat Charter, Racing Multihulls and Cruising Multihulls.

“The successful event format hasn't changed much over the years, but the sailors, types of boats and demographics have,” says Regattas Asia Managing Director Kae Wattana. “We are seeing more international sailors flying in and chartering boats to take part and we're also seeing more people opting to stay ashore each evening, rather than on their boats.”

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The Bay Regatta is a case in point on how sports tourism works to the benefit of communities and local economies.

“Each evening we anchor at a different venue and the sailors go ashore,” comments Wattana. “Those staying ashore – more than 60% of the fleet – book accommodation and either eat in the local restaurants or enjoy the official event functions which engage with the local community. Most of the expenditure of the regatta goes directly into the local economies of the areas we visit – this has been the case since the regatta was launched and it will remain so for the future.”

Moving gear and personnel around the three provinces, and providing evening social events at different destinations each evening, The Bay Regatta is a logistical challenge that requires a dedicated team to make everything go smoothly.

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“To organise and operate the regatta is no small feat. My team works very hard to make the event a success for the participants but we couldn't do it without our sponsors and the excellent co-operation we get from the relevant authorities and local businesses along the route,” adds Wattana.

The 2017 programme is as follows: 

Feb 15: Registration and Opening Party at Chandara Resort and Spa, Ao Po (Phuket)
Feb 16: Day 1 – Race from Ao Po to Paradise Koh Yao with prize giving at Paradise Koh Yao Resort (Phang Nga)
Feb 17: Day 2 – Race from Paradise Koh Yao to Krabi. Free night (Krabi)
Feb 18: Day 3 – Race around Krabi's islands with prize giving at Railay Bay Resort & Spa (Krabi)
Feb 19: Day 4 – Race from Krabi to Ao Chalong. Prize giving and Closing Dinner at Kan Eang II, Ao Chalong (Phuket)