International fleet line up for 16th Samui Regatta
Published: Wednesday, 10 May 2017
More than 500 sailors will participate in the 16th Samui Regatta, held from May 20-27. Based at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui on Chaweng Beach and with the support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the festival of sail attracts participants from more than 20 countries.
(Photos: Samui Regatta)
The regatta acts as the final event in the season-long AsianYachting Grand Prix championship and the sailors from Hong Kong, Singapore and around Asia, as well as from as far afield as Australia and Europe, will come together for five days of competitive sailing in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Frank Pong and his multinational crew on the 76-foot Jelik are up against a trio of TP52s in IRC 0 including defending champion THA 72 (ex Provezza), skippered by Kevin Whitcraft, Team Hollywood (AUS), skippered by Ray Roberts, and Freefire (HKG), skippered by Sam Chan. Taking on the bigger boats is 2011 winner Marcel Liedts, who will be racing his Ker 46 Zannekin (HKG) at the regatta for the first time.
In the fast forties division, IRC 1, the Ker 43 Black Baza (HKG) is looking to place well in an attempt to protect its AsianYachting Grand Prix lead and defend its 2015/16 title, though it is up against some formidable competition in the likes of the Sydney GTS 43 EFG Mandrake (HKG), who will be competing at their 16th Samui Regatta this year, the Club Swan 42 Loco (USA), Farr 40 Ramrod (AUS), Sydney 40 Emagine (AUS), Beneteau First 44.7 Fujin (AUS), and an all-Chinese entry on the Beneteau First 40.7 Ocean Night (CHN).
Joining the racing fleets is a Cruising class dominated by top Thailand-based boats – Lady Bubbly (AUS), SailQuest Hi Jinks (USA) and Nawin Sri Kham (THA) – and a revived Multihull class fleet including two Corsair Pulse 600s Pixalux and H30 Multihull Solutions.
James added: “Not only do we have some top boats and skippers entering again this year, the crew lists are littered with names with CVs including America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour and more.”
The regatta will kick off with youth sailing on the opening weekend on May 20-21, followed by the opening party at Zico's Brazilian Grill & Bar. Five days of racing are scheduled for the keelboats and multihulls with daily prize-giving on the beach and a Reserve Day on Thursday May 25. The regatta will wrap up on Saturday May 27 with a lavish Gala Dinner presented by Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Simon James, Race Director, commented: “Samui Island is known for its excellent sailing and onshore hospitality. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui is the perfect host for the regatta, providing an unmatched venue for post-race celebrations and the ever-popular final night Gala Dinner, while on-the-water sailors will be in for some very competitive sailing.”
The regatta headquarters at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, and is organised by Regattas Asia in conjunction with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipal of Koh Samui and the Sports Authority of Thailand.