Silver Jubilee a milestone year for Phuket King's Cup Regatta

Top Quote The 25th Anniversary of Asia's most prestigious yachting event will go down in history as a true landmark event. Not only was the Phuket King's Cup Regatta celebrating its quarter centenary to coincide with His Majesty the King of Thailand's 84th birthday, but the Regatta welcomed its biggest ever fleet comprising of 91 keelboats and multihulls, 38 dinghies, and 19 Kiteboards, representing one of the highest quality gatherings of international vessels ever at the Phuket King's Cup Regatta. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 07, 2012 - With such a strong collection of craft from all corners of the globe, it was no surprise that the racing thrilled from beginning to end. UAE entry "Team Premier" skippered by Hannes Waimer eventually proved to have the fastest and most consistent form, but of more regional significance was the level of competition seen from Asian entries. IRC Zero Class welcomed Frank Pong's Custom "Jelik II" racer from Hong Kong which competed with regatta regulars "Team Premier", "FreeFire" and "Hi Fi".

    Thailand emerged victorious in the IRC 2 Class after a solid win by "Royal Thai Navy 1" skippered by Chief Petty Officer First Class, Wiwat Poonpat. In the tough and open IRC 1 Class, Japanese boat "Karasu" skippered by Yasuo Nanamori reaffirmed Asia's mounting influence in this legendary Regatta by becoming the first Japanese entry to win in the Phuket King's Cup Regatta.

    This year, the event also welcomed the magnificent Swan 82 from China, "Chao Ren Plus One", skippered by Wang Bin, who was competing with two more Swans in the Premier Class - "Silandra V", captained by Riccardo Denoni, and "Titania of Cowes" crewed by a team from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, which ultimately won.

    The Regatta kicked off with an official Opening Ceremony, presided over by President of the Organising Committee, Kevin Whitcraft, who welcomed representatives from Phuket Province, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), the Third Fleet of the Royal Thai Navy, sponsors and participants. The joint ringing of the ship's bell and hoisting of the Flags at Kata Beach Resort & Spa formerly signalled the commencement of the evening's party, and five subsequent days of world-class racing.

    Highlights included the candle-lit ceremony and sail past of the Royal Thai Navy fleet ships on the first day, which completed a magical salute to His Royal Highness the King of Thailand. Additionally, H.E. Admiral M.L. Usni Pramoj, Privy Counsellor to the King awarded final honours to each Class of winner at the end of the week.

    Kevin Whitcraft said, "This particular Regatta was truly an auspicious occasion. It's our silver jubilee which is a unique milestone in its own right, and this year we saw one of the most impressive collections of boats in the competition's history. Everyone has raised their game to the point where it is difficult to predict a winner until halfway through the final day of racing, and by this point, racers were enjoying winds of up to 18 knots. We saw strong levels of competitiveness in the International Dinghy Class, a class in which Thailand has very good representation. We're also proud to welcome professional Kiteboarders from the KTA Pro Tour who added yet more visual spice to proceedings. We are happy to be the first major regatta to feature Kiteboards as a unique class. We have received excellent support form all of our sponsors which helped to make the on-shore activities something that people will remember for a number of years to come. Our challenge now is to continue innovating, to build upon the progress we have made over the last quarter century."

    The social scene is a big part of the lure for many participants and the Phuket King's Cup Regatta is famed for its beachside happenings. There were six nights of parties with partygoers enjoying great hospitality, diverse food and vivacious live music at Kata Beach Resort & Spa, Boathouse, Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa and Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket. Sponsors hosted the nightly prize giving ceremonies, and guests were treated to an endless supply of wines, beers and soft drinks provided by Siam Winery, Singha Corporation and Haadthip PLC. Weather remained perfect during the course of the beach parties, and spirits were high as revellers enjoyed the best the Regatta had to offer.

    Ultimately, 2011's Regatta was notable for the boats and teams from all over the world with the event welcoming over 1,000 participants with a strong showing from Asian sailors in in the international fleet.

    Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the event has since been held every successive year during the first week of December. With the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, the 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.

    Sponsors of the 2011 Phuket King's Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts Thailand, PTT Group, Siam Winery, Singha Corporation, AIA Thailand, PTT Global Chemical, PTTEP, Thaioil, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, Boathouse and Sunsail. Media Partners include 91.5FM, Helm Superyacht Asia Pacific, The Nation, Phuket Best Group, Phuket Gazette, Phuket Magazine,, SEA Yachting and YachtStyle Asia.

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