The 25th annual Phuket King's Cup regatta runs from December 3 to 10 in Phuket, Thailand and this year’s event has attracted one of the most diverse international fleets of any keelboat regatta in the world.
Andaman Sea Club’s Firefly 850 The Frog, raced by a team from Cowes, England, skippered by John Newman at the Phuket King’s Cup
Thailand is a perfectly located sailing paradise, and in the year this event celebrates its quarter century, it has attracted skippers from 15 countries in the keelboat class of the regatta alone, while 75 percent of the skippers have listed home ports outside Thailand.
Russia has the largest international representation with 12 skippers listed to participate. Eight of the 19 bareboat charters will have Russian crews.
Australia has ten entries including Matt Allen’s Beneteau 44.7 Ichiban and Dr. Jon Wardill’s Australian Maid, the long campaigned Cassidy 55.
Singapore’s nine skippers are sailing some of the very newest boats on the block including Walawala 2 Steve Manning’s brand new Sydney GTS 43, and David Ross’s Ker 40 KukuKERchu.
The United Kingdom's eight representatives include Richard Dobbs’ beautiful Swan 68 Titania of Cowes, which sailed very prominently in the 2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart.
Hong Kong representatives include three of the four IRC division 0 Grand Prix boats; Frank Pong's 75 footer Jelik I, Sam Chan’s TP52 FreeFire, Neil Pryde's Welbourne 52 HiFi and IRC Division 1 stand out, Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth’s Mills 40 Custom EFG Bank Mandrake.
This year there are three China crewed boats, which include Wang Bin’s 82 foot Swan 82, Chao Ren Plus One.
Two boats entered are from Austria while Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, U.A.E. and the U.S.A will also be represented.
Under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand 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.
Inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the event originally had a mixed fleet of dinghies, boards and keelboats. In it’s 25th year the regatta is returning to back to its roots, with approximately 50 dinghies competing in a three day series, commencing December 3rd.
For the very first time a select fleet of 20 kite boards will race over five days from Dec 5 –10, with Thursday 8th being a reserve day.
With more than 90 keelboats and multihulls, dinghies and kite boards, the total sailing fleet is expected to top 170 entries, all sailing the spectacular waters off Phuket’s Kata Beach.
Over the years the King’s Cup Regatta has grown in size and stature and is now the premier regatta on the Asian keelboat racing circuit.
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Director Simon James said ‘As Asia’s premier regatta we undertake a lot of pre-event boat and sail measurements and this task has already commenced.
‘We are looking forward to celebrating our largest ever event with a very diverse fleet. And this year, for the first time, the Royal Salute 'Sail Past' of the Royal Thai Navy vessel will take place on the first day of the major regatta, Monday 5th December.
Please visit the Phuket King's Cup official website for more news and information http://www.kingscupscom