Phuket King’s Cup welcomes over 100 sailing entries
Published: Tuesday, 05 December 2017
The Opening Ceremony of Phuket King’s Cup Regatta (December 2-9) hosted at Beyond Resort Kata hoisted the flag on this year’s race and honoured the entries of a strong fleet of over 100 keelboats, multihulls and dinghies from around the world.
(Photo [from Left]: M.L. Tridhosyuth Devakul; Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee; Norapat Plodthong, Phuket Governor; Rear Admiral Arkom Tang-on, Deputy Commander, Third Naval Area Command, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand representative and Chairman of Kata Group Resorts Pramookpisitt Achariyachai)
This year’s race has a strong focus on growing the sport of Youth Sailing in Thailand and building a sailing future for the country.
The Ceremony was joined by Phuket Governor Norapat Plodthong, Rear Admiral Arkom Tang-on, Deputy Commander, Third Naval Area Command, the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand representative, M.L. Tridhosyuth Devakul, Chairman of Kata Group Resorts Pramookpisitt Achariyachai, sponsors, sailors and crews, along with VIP attendees and media guests.
Norapat Plodthong, Phuket Governor, spoke of the importance of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta for the island of Phuket: “This sporting event reaffirms the reputation of Phuket Island as a Mecca for marine and sports tourism.
“We are also proud of our island’s reputation for offering world-class hospitality services for visiting guests. We continue to grow in stature as one of the world’s best destinations for watersports, yachting and competitive sailing”.
President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee Kevin Whitcraft said, “The 31st Phuket King’s Cup Regatta features a grand fleet of keelboats, multihulls and international dinghy racers. It’s great to see familiar names and faces returning year after year to compete in what has become Asia’s most coveted yachting trophy.
“The Regatta endures as a big attraction for sailing teams from around the world; this year’s race has successfully received strong fleet entries from over 100 competitive teams. We are now positioning the race so that it remains highly relevant to future generations and the on-going development of the sport.”
The Regatta welcomes the return of some familiar teams and boats which have already proven their pace, pedigree and performance in regattas past.
Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood and Sarab Singh’s Windsiker are to head up IRC0. Team Mandrake, which has dominated in previous years, will go up against a highly charged pack consisting of Karasu (JPN) and Madame Butterfly (GBR), whilst Premier class sees the return of the pace-setting Pine-Pacific (THA) team.
Both the bareboat charter and cruising classes comprise large fleets, and the cruising multihull fleet continues to grow. A smaller but competitive Firefly 850 grouping features familiar names Twin Sharks and Voodoo, whilst the One-Design class this year runs with the Pulse 600 design.
“For 2017, we have a special focus on growing the dinghy components of our overall regatta, as we in the sailing community in Thailand can feel the positive effect this is having over the years as the sport of sailing continues to grow in popularity here”, said Whitcraft.
“The International Dinghy fleet is a fast-growing racing program designed to promote and encourage youth sailing in Thailand. The program continues to be highly successful in furthering the sustainable growth of the Thai marine industry in the years to come.
“Many of the young sailors competing will go on to join the crews of full-size keelboat racing teams, and compete in the larger Phuket King’s Cup Regatta in future regatta years.”
The International Dinghy racing is sponsored by the Government Lottery Office and is divided into the following classes: Optimist Boy and Girl, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Laser Standard and Topper.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta won the 2016 Asia Boating Awards – Best Asian Regatta. The award recognises the efforts of organisers of Asia’s regatta in the past year, in terms of its organisation, promotion, course quality, entry size, competitiveness and social aspects.
The Phuket King's Cup Regatta is organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.