29th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta welcomes 1,500 international and local Thai sailors to Phuket, Thailand’s top sports and marine tourism destination
One of the standout international sporting events in the Asia region, the 29th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta under Royal Patronage hosts the official opening ceremony at Kata Beach Resort & Spa, attended by the Governor of Phuket and high ranking representatives from the Royal Thai Navy, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and over 1,500 international, local sailors and participants.
The opening ceremony hoists the flag on what has long been recognized as one of the top events in the yachting world, both regionally and internationally. Over 168 keelboats, multihulls and dinghies from over 40 countries registered for the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2015 take part in a beautifully orchestrated sail pass, saluting His Majesty the King of Thailand on the glorious occasion of his 88th birthday. The sail pass takes place before the start of the first day of racing on Monday 7th December, as teams compete for one of sailing’s most prestigious trophies, bestowed by His Majesty the King of Thailand.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee, said, “We are incredibly proud that the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is able to take a regional role in contributing to the growth of the Thai sailing community and the yachting industry in Thailand. The King’s Cup gives Thai sailors a superb opportunity to experience international competition, and raise the cachet of Phuket as one of the world’s premier sports sailing destinations. The Regatta is hugely beneficial for Phuket, a part of Thailand already famed for its beautiful surroundings, legendary hospitality and suitability for hosting Asia’s ultimate regatta. We would like to thank all of the sponsors that support the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, working together to make the race an annual success for Phuket Island.”
Consisting of five days of racing on scenic courses amidst the beautiful Andaman Sea islands, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta draws sailors and support crews from over 40 countries, including USA, Australia, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and China. This international gathering is a key event for Phuket tourism, generating over 400 million Baht for local businesses, and offering residual value as it helps to grow theIsland of Phuket brand as a premier sports paradise on the world stage. Sailing in Thailand also enjoys a great boost from the regatta as young Thai sailors are able to develop their sailing skills in dinghies, and go on to join international keelboat crews competing for class honors.
Chamroen Tipayapongtada, Phuket Governor, spoke of the benefits the Regatta offers to Phuket’s marine tourism that both hotels and restaurants which enjoy a surge of custom before, during and after Regatta Week:
“The seven-day regatta not only provides a direct boost to the local economy; it creates global media attention at the beginning of the high season, ushering in the holiday season with stirring images of the competition. It is a massive drive for sports and marine tourism throughout the island. Most importantly, this is the event that Phuket people have been very proud of as all international and local sailors are vying for the trophies, bestowed by ourHM the King of Thailand”
As well as bringing some of the world’s fastest independent racing teams, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is famed for its beachside party series. Revelry and camaraderie to the backdrop of fireworks and live music form a big part of the attraction for competitors – and for sponsors also; a draw for Thai companies and international brands keen to grow their presence on a cosmopolitan platform, the parties are an essential event on the Phuket social calendar. The regatta offers sponsorship and media engagement opportunities as well as premier networking opportunities hosted across the party venues each night following conclusion of the day’s racing.
Keelboats and Multihulls are scheduled to compete firstly between 7-9 December, with 10th December to be reserved as a lay day for competitors to adjust their strategies or fix their boats. The race will continue on 11-12 December. The full complement of classes for the 2015 race year include IRC Zero (international ‘Grand Prix’ boats), the highly competitive IRC 1, IRC 2, along with Sports Boat, Modern Classic, Classic, Premier, Open Charter,Bareboat Charter, Cruising, Firefly 850 Sports, Multihulls Racing, Multihulls Cruising and Performance Catamaran.
Winning boats from last year are also registered to defend their honor this year. Ithinai Yingsiri, Skipper of Pine Pacific, the winner in Premier Class, Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2014, said, “Pine-Pacific aims to win Phuket King’s Cup Regatta trophies for the third year in the Premier class. This is a great honor and source of pride to all members of the team. We’ve upgraded the boat’s speed and have also joined racing in the Keelboat 25 fleet (PLATU 25 models). Throughout this year we have been training our crew on the fundamentals of sailing as well as enjoying great coaching byRoyal Fleet Yacht Club to make us more accomplished in racing.”
Patinyakorn Buranrom, Skipper of Windstar, winner in Modern Classic Class, Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2014, said, “Over the last 12 months, our team has spent a lot of time to prepare and intensively practice in both domestic and international competition in order to create a newhistory of racing in Thailand. For this year’s competition, our goal is to win for a second consecutive year.”
For regular visitors to the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, the event is associated with top class racing and is an unmissable event on the world sailing schedule each year. For guests who have never experienced the excitement and highly charged competitive atmosphere, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2015 is a must-visit showcase for the sport of sailing and for the Island of Phuket.
International Dinghy Classes will race from 7-10 December at Kata Beach Resort and Spa. Classes are divided
into Optimist Boys, Optimist Girls, Laser Standard, Laser 4.7 and Topper. Its inclusion in Phuket King’s Cup
Regatta has played a part in the development of youth sailing in Thailand, encouraging more young sailors to take up the sport, and empowering the development of talented and aspiring skippers.
Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing 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. The prestigious event is now in its more than Quarter Centenary year (29 years), after first sailing in 1987 to celebrate His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 60th birthday; five days of exceptional racing conclude in the Royal Awards Ceremony on the final Saturday 12th December. The region’s most prestigious regatta includes dinghies (Phuket Dinghy Series, and International Dinghy Classes), Keelboats and Multihulls amongst its competitive classes.
Sponsors of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta include Principal Host Sponsor Kata Group, and Strategic Partners: The Government Lottery Office (GLO),Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Co-Sponsors: Central Pattana, PTT PLC, Siam Winery & Montclair and Haadthip with SINGHA Corporation as supporting sponsor. Media Partners includes Phuket Gazette, PGTV, Prestige, SailWorld.com, Yachtstyle, Sea Yachting, Phuket Magazine, Image Asia, RL Magazine, The Guide Phuket, Phuket Marine Guide, and Art & Culture.
Official website – http://www.kingscup.com/
Contact information: Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Office T/F: +66 (0) 7627 3380.