Boats and crews from around Asia are arriving on Samui Island to take part in the 11th Samui Regatta, held 26th May to 2nd June, headquartered at Centara Grand Samui Beach Resort, Chaweng Beach. Forecast for the week ahead is winds gusting to 24 knots on the first day of racing and then averaging 8 to 12 knots for the rest of the week with prevailing South-West/ West-South-West and relatively flat seas.
Pre-registration the entry list looks impressive with a good spread of boats from around Asia and across all classes.
The entries in IRC Zero class reads like a who’s who of Hong Kong sailing with four of the five boats from the country. Largest in the class is the 90-foot Dubois ‘Genuine Risk’ (Hong Kong), who will be up against four 52-footers: three TP52′s and 2011 Samui Regatta class winner Neil Pryde and his Welbourne 52 Custom ‘HiFi’. Non-Hong Kong entry, Marcus Blackmore and his predominantly Australian Crew on ‘Hooligan’ (the chartered TP52 ‘Team Premier’), bring with them an almost unblemished record of regatta successes in Australia and are determined to make their mark at their first Samui Regatta.
The IRC Premier class currently sees three entries: Peter Churchouse and his crew on the Warwick 64 ‘Moonblue 2′ (Hong Kong) will be up against two Thailand-based boats ‘Lawana’, skippered by Pana Trungkabunchar, and Gary Baguley’s ‘El Coyote’.
The continuing growth of 40-footers in the region sees a large fleet converge on Samui and the IRC One class looks set to be a tight battle. 2011 class winner ‘Elektra’, skippered by Marcel Liedts, is back to defend its crown against in-form boats ‘Walawala 2′ (winner 2012 Singapore Straits Regatta) and ‘KukuKERchu’ (third place 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta), and perennial top-performer ‘EFG Bank Mandrake’ from Hong Kong.
The class line-up includes an international mix of boats and crews from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Thailand and more, including ‘Jing Jing’, ‘Siren’, ‘Windsikher’, ‘Fox Lady 6′, ‘Sell Side Dream’, ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi’ and ‘Dynamite’.
Thailand-based boats look set to dominate the Sports Boats, IRC2, Bareboat Charter and Multihull classes. One to watch out for in IRC 2 is ‘Royal Thai Navy 1′, skippered by CPO 1 Wiwat Poonpat, who comes hot on the heels of a win at the 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta at the beginning of this month.
“The pre-registration entries look very strong this year and include a multinational mix of boats and crews from Asia and beyond. Of particular note is the large IRC One fleet and the large number of Thailand-based boats spread across the classes taking part,” commented Simon James, Samui Regatta Race Director.
Andrew Stransky’s 50-foot self-designed-built multihull ‘Fantasia’ has taken the South East Asian regatta scene by storm since arrival last year, but Stransky and his predominantly family crew are unlikely to have it their own way in Samui. 2011 class winner ‘Sonic’, skippered by Kirati Assakul, will not give up their title easily and the tuned-up SeaCart 26 ‘Sweet Charriot’, skippered by Henry Kaye, will hope to carry their winning form from the Top of the Gulf Regatta to Samui, while regular top placer Radab Kanjanavit and his crew on ‘Cedar Swan’ have their eye on the podium.
The 2012 Samui Regatta is organised by leading regatta services provider, Regattas Asia, with strong support from Samui businesses and staff.
The Regatta is supported by Host Sponsor Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. Event Partners include Mont Clair wines, Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa, Beach Republic, PTT Group, Hertz Rent a Car, and KC Resort & Over Water Villas. Official Suppliers include Singha Beer, Haad Thip, Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Neil Pryde, and TOT. Island Supporters are Seascape Beach Resort, Mittare Insurance, Tradewinds Cottages, The Sea Samui, Samui Villas & Homes, Bank of Ayudhya, Q-Bar Samui, Samui Ocean Sports & Yacht Charter, Trend Fashion, The Kala, Electrical Marine and A Plus Italia. Official Photographer is SamuiPics.com. Media Communications are by Infinity Communications. Media Partners include Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Samui Holiday magazine, SEA Yachting, and HELM Superyacht Asia Pacific. Organising and Supporting Authorities include the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Samui Yacht Club Regatta, Tourism Authority of Thailand and the International Sailing Federation.
For more information, visit www.samuiregatta.com.