Australians heading to Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
Published: Thursday, 01 June 2017
Two crews from Australia – Plus 16 and Farrgo Express are heading to Phuket for the 14th edition of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, organised by Media Business Services and held from July 19-23.
(Photos: Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Plus 16)
Con Macarlino, who has competed at Phuket Raceweek before, noted: “We sailed a few regatta's on BeauX Esprits with Keith Garry and then started to charter all sorts of charter boats from various outlets in Phuket, with some success.
“The budget is always a factor when choosing a boat for the regatta, but this year we have been lucky in being able to sponsor Plus 16 who is owned by an old friend of mine, Johnny Holder.”
Holder will be sailing the Farr 11.06 Plus 16 from Darwin to Phuket especially to take part in Raceweek and then will likely stay on in Phuket to do some of the other regattas.
With a core nucleus including five S80 skippers on board as well as the current state champion, Macarlino said: “The chatter on board may get interesting.”
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek has seen a growing number of charterers and sailors from Australia taking part each year. It offers a warm weather alternative to the cold of Australia in July.
Macarlino said: “The weather in Perth has just turned cold, so we are all looking to get over there to enjoy ourselves and thaw out for a few days.”
Hailing from Sydney's Balmain Sailing Club are Lyn Evans, Wanda Carter, Karen Abel and Celine Rousseau and they are joining a group of Phuket ladies to race on the Farr 1104 Farrgo Express.
Evans has been sailing since she was six years old, while Carter is a self-confessed “boat tart”. Abel is a carpenter and Celine is a winemaker. Together they have sailed at regattas all over Australia including Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and it was at the 2016 edition that they decided to give Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek a go.
Stuart Compton of Phuket charter company Sailescapes, who firmed up the charter, said: “The Balmain girls had been recommended to Phuket Raceweek by club members who had taken part in the event before, and who had a great time. They got in touch with me and after a few emails, I put them together with a group of experienced Phuket-based female sailors.
“Together they will be competing as an all-female team on the well presented Farr 1104 Farrgo Express which has podiumed at every Raceweek it has competed in so far, so there's plenty of pressure on the ladies to deliver the goods!”
With strong support from the Phuket and Thailand sailing community, participants are coming from around Asia and as far afield as Russia and the UK to compete in the opening event of the 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship.
Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd., said: “The response from Australian sailors who have competed at Phuket Raceweek has always been positive. Happy sailors are going back home and telling their friends and we can see how the regatta's awareness in Australia is growing.
“In addition to Con and the all-female team, we have two more Australian-chartered boats confirmed this year, as well as many individuals from Australia and around the world flying in to compete.”