Sailors worldwide descend on Thailand for 2011 Top of the Gulf Regatta

The largest ever fleet of sailing boats in Thailand is set to sail at the seventh Top of the Gulf Regatta (TOG Regatta) held 29th April to 3rd May 2011 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Pattaya, Thailand. 251 boats and over 500 sailors of 30 nationalities, will race over three courses in what has become the largest annual sailing event in Thailand.

'The entry list for the 2011 TOG Regatta is looking very strong with many new participants and friends returning from around Thailand and the world to take part. The Regatta continues to grow and we are looking forward to the largest ever event this year,' said William Gasson, Founder and Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee.

Approximately 30 boats are expected to compete in the IRC classes with a likely three division split. The battle between Ray Roberts and crew on Evolution Racing, and Neil Pryde and his crew on HiFi, will be one to watch as they compete for the class title and also for valuable points in the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship. 10 boats in each of the Cruising and Ocean Multihull classes are expected to compete, while in the one-design Platu class, 16 boats will compete for the prestigious Coronation Cup.

The TOG Regatta attracts a diverse range of boats – from 7 to 70+ feet – making the event unique, a truly multi-class regatta. To accommodate the boat range, racing will take place on three courses, with the keelboats and ocean multihulls on course one.

The second course is for the largest fleet of boats with 125 Optimists expected, racing for the Thailand Optimist National title. Past winner and 2010 World Champion Noppakao Poonpat, having reached the class age limit, will not be contesting this year, leaving the title chase wide open. Held over three days, the Nationals will this year be followed by the inaugural Thailand Open Opti Team Racing Championship, on 3rd May. Organised together with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), teams expected to take part include the Thai team, Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Samui and Phuket teams, plus teams from other Asian countries including from as far away as India.

'The Top of the Gulf Regatta is a valuable training ground for junior sailors and we are proud to support Optimist and dinghy sailing. Introducing the Team Racing Championship this year will give Asian teams a chance to compete against the Thai team which won the 2010 World Team Racing Championship,' added Gasson.

On the third racing course, over 60 dinghies and beach catamarans are expected, with sailors from Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and other Asean countries taking part. Thai Optimist star, Noppakao Poonpat, is expected to make her first competitive outing in a 420.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta brings together local and international sailors – novices, professionals, regional and world champions alike – for some top class sailing in the Gulf of Thailand.

The Regatta is supported by the Principle Sponsor Ocean Marina as host venue. Co-Sponsors include Land Rover and Range Rover, Thai Airways, Gulf Charters and Mont Clair Wines as Co-sponsors. A large contribution was also made by an anonymous sailor this year. Other sponsors include Ocean Property Co. Ltd., PTT Exploration and Production Plc., Singha Corporation Group, Thai Numthip Co., Ltd., (Coca Cola), Ocean Glass, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Golden Foods Siam Ltd., Bank of Ayudhya Plc., Seat Boat Co., Ltd., Corsair Marine Thailand Co., Ltd., QBE Insurance (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Mõvenpick ice cream, Nivea and CAT Telecom. Media partners include Pattaya Mail, SEA Yachting magazine, Ensign Media and Mix 88.5 FM. The event is supported by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT), Royal Varuna Yacht Club and Pattaya City.

Website: www.topofthegulfregatta.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/TOG-Regatta/179908192379
Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/107994397421689332858
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