Sporties and Forties - the 'Forties' (40-footers) look to be out in force at the 2012 TOG Regatta with 15 already signed up. This class of boat is becoming very popular in Asia and that trend looks set to continue. And while the 40-footers are grabbing the headlines, TOG Regatta looks set to field a strong and growing Sportsboat Class, aka 'Sporties'. Over the years, it has proved difficult to have a consistent Sportsboat turnout at regattas in Thailand, but this appears to be changing.
Top of the Gulf Regatta 2011 - Team Weasel
Lead by two new Shaw 650s, the TOG Regatta looks set to have a six-strong Sportsboat Class this year. The Shaw 650s are being built in the Gulf of Thailand, and two new launches bring the number in the region to three, including the original Porn Star. All three are set to make the start line and will be up against the T650 CU Later, the Phuket 8 Surf Patrol and Brace Brace Brace from Hong Kong.It's great to see a resurgence in Sports Boats and long may it continue. Watch the results closely as it looks to be a tough class to win.
Sponsorship proves difficult for many events, be it sailing, other sports or non-sporting events. The TOG Regatta are pleased to again welcome back many long-term sponsors and supporters this year. Land Rover return as Co-Sponsor, after sponsoring for the first time in 2011, and are alongside Singha Beer and Siam Winery who will be supplying drinks to thirsty sailors, and Thai Airways.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand are on board, and Ocean Marina Yacht Club remain the host venue of the Regatta, as they have been since the Regatta's inception in 2005.
The Regatta needs sponsors to ensure the event is run professionally and is a success, so please take the time to see who the event's sponsors are by going to the website www.topofthegulfregatta.com.
Thailand Optimist Championship
36 years young and going from strength to strength, the Thailand Optimist Championship is the pre-eminent Optimist event in the Kingdom. Past winners have gone on to become Asian and World Champions.
2011 saw 130 youths take to the start line, and a similar sized fleet is expected again this year made up of sailors from Asia and beyond, and all corners of Thailand.
2011 winner, Chaninat Poolsirikot, will return to defend her title, oozing with confidence from her recent win at the Asian Sailing Championships.
Watch the youngsters – the future sailing stars of the region – battle it out over three days to see who will be crowned 2012 Thailand Optimist Champion.
When the Soto 40 arrived on the sailing scene, it turned heads. And when the Soto 40 joined what was previously called the Audi Med Cup Circuit in 2011, their profile flew through the roof. Now, again from the drawing board of designer Javier Soto Acebal, comes the Soto 30. This pocket-rocket will make its worldwide debut at the 2012 TOG Regatta. Created as a one-design, it will be interesting to see how it performs with IRC Handicap amongst the mixed TOG Regatta fleet.
The UK Melges 32 'Re Sailing Team' will be racing the new Soto 30 at TOG Regatta... watch this space.
It's not too late to enter the Top of the Gulf - go to www.topofthegulfregatta.com for an on line Entry Form