Asian Sailing & Boating Events Calendar 2012
by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia on 2 Jan 2012
A quick look at what's on for the coming year. Of course there are gaps in the list - if you think you've been left out, please email email@example.com and we'll put it right. Alternatively, click on the orange-and-yellow 'Upload News, Photos, Results, Events' button on www.sail-world.com/asia. We look forward to hearing from you!
Rolex China Sea Race 2010 Guy Nowell © http://www.guynowell.com
04-11 Jan Philippine Hobie Challenge (Philippines)
A ‘Raid’ event which takes competitors from island to island to island. There are plenty of them in the Philippines, so there’s a different route every year. Camping on beaches etc.
09-14 Jan Royal Langkawi Int Regatta (Malaysia)
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club’s signature event. Big boats and keelboats. Beautiful scenery, sea eagles, islands, great parties.
26-29 Jan Singapore Straits (Singapore)
Jointly organised by Raffles Marina, Changi Sailing Club, SAFYC and RSYC. It ought to be Singapore’s premier sailing event, but in recent years most (and sometimes all) of it has been sailed outside Singapore waters.
23-25 Jan COA Macau Race (Hong Kong-Macau)
The annual HK Cruiser Owners’ Association trip to Macau to stock up with port and let off Chinese New Year fireworks.
01-05 Feb The Bay Regatta; Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi (Thailand)
Formerly known as the Phang Nga Bay Regatta. More of a rally than a regatta on account of severely light breeze – a big comfy boat with aircon is a good idea. Different anchorages each night. Takes in some eye-poppingly beautiful parts of Phang Nga Bay. Bring your camera.
04-05 Feb ABC 4 Peaks (Hong Kong)
An event that really deserves a great deal more exposure and popularity. Teams sail around the islands of Hong Kong and climb four mountains along the way. ‘Assault landings’ on beaches. It can be cold, and frequently is. Hard work, good fun, 'Iron Man by land and sea' sort of stuff. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
05-11 Feb Neptune Regatta (Indonesia)
Cruise/race through the Riau Archipelago, Cross the Line, meet King Neptune, camp on Neptune Island, drink at the most isolated regatta bar in Asia, play football against the locals. It’s an adventure from kick off to final whistle. Not to be missed. Sailors and powerboaters all welcome.
11-12 Feb RHKYC Class Regatta (Hong Kong)
When all the one-design fleets in Hong Kong race against each other.
16-25 Feb Asian Sailing Championships (Malaysia)
17-19 Feb Horsburgh Challenge (Singapore)
Out to the Horsburgh lighthouse and back, and more. Organised by the Singapore Armed Forces Yacht Club
24 Feb Subic-Boracay Race (Philippines)
There are two ways to get to Boracay – Mindanao to port or to starboard, and it’s a very big island. So far nobody has left it to port. Maybe it’s the challenge of the Verde Island Passage they can’t resist? It’s only 200nm – a hop, skip and a gybe – but what a fabulous destination!
28 Feb-03 Mar Boracay Cup (Philippines)
And when you arrive somewhere as nice as Boracay, with the turquoise water, palm trees, sugar white beaches and 20+ kts of wind every day, of course you have a regatta, right? Some say it is the very best regatta in Asia…
11 Mar Nations’ Cup (Hong Kong)
An excuse for Hong Kong sailors to dress up in ridiculous outfits and become outrageously nationalistic. Great fun.
29 Mar-01 Apr PIMEX (Thailand)
After a couple of years in a January slot, the Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX) has moved. Definitely one of the best boat shows in the region.
04 Apr Rolex China Sea Race (Hong Kong-Philippines)
The 50th anniversary of the original Asian offshore race. A real ‘classic’. Boats get to the Philippines a lot quicker than they did in 1962, and the destination is Subic Bay instead of Manila, but the cold blast out of Hong Kong and the warm arrival in The Pines is still fraught with tactical difficulty. That’s why it’s so hard to win, and why they keep coming back again and again. Now part of the Rolex portfolio of Good Races.
05-08 Apr Hainan Rendezvous (China)
Superyachts/jets/jewellery bling-fest. Some say it’s great, some say it’s awful. We haven’t been, so won’t comment. But suspect that with ‘lots of money’ and ‘China’ put together, taste will not be high on the menu.
11-14 Apr Subic Commodore’s Cup (Philippines)
If a fleet of racing boats has just arrived from Hong Kong, it makes a lot of sense to have a regatta. This is now the de facto no 1 big boat regatta in the Philippines, the MYC’s President’s Cup having fallen off the chart some while ago.
12-15 Apr Boat Asia (Singapore)
AKA the Singapore Boat Show. ‘Marina at Keppel Bay’ is a bit of a mouthful, but it is a very pleasant location. It’ll be hot, literally – it always is.
19-22 Apr China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (China)
The biggest of the Chinese boat shows in terms of numbers of exhibitors and attendees. But it still feels more like a B2B affair than a real boat show. And up until now there has been no real in-water exhibition space although that is set to change as the event moves this year to the old Expo site on the Whang Poo River.
27-29 Apr Singapore Yacht Show (Singapore)
‘Yachts’ as opposed to ‘boats’. Check out any Mediterranean port and you will realise that superyachts and megayachts are still not a ‘big numbers’ item in Asia, regardless of what the press releases and overcooked stories say. But, yes, numbers are growing. So it makes sense to have a regional show, and the Informa Yacht Group are in at the ground floor - or at the pontoon, if you prefer – with this one.
(date tba) Gold Coast Boat Show (Hong Kong)
This show calls itself 'Asia’s biggest boat show' but has been unable to tell us what, exactly, this claim refers to. Number of boats? Number of visitors? Unknown.
05-06 May RHKYC Spring Regatta (Hong Kong)
The event that marks the end of the sailing season for Hong Kong’s no 1 sailing club. One design classes and big boats welcome, as are entries from the other clubs. Up to 100 boats racing in Hong Kong harbour always looks good.
05-08 May Top of the Gulf Regatta (Thailand)
Step off the pontoon and go racing. Ocean Marina provides the berthing and the backdrop, and the sunshine, blue sky and cold beers do the rest. The TOG includes the Coronation Cup, the Thai Optimist Nationals and beach cats divisions, making it – by number of boat entries - 'the biggest regatta in Asia.'
28 May-03 Jun WMRT Korea Match Cup (Korea)
The no-holds-barred professional match racing is great. The venue isn’t. When the tide drops 10m or so, the boats are left sailing in a tiny puddle in the middle of the amazing mudflats of the Korean west coast.
30 May-03 Jun Korea Int Boat Show (Korea)
Korea (and specifically Gyeonggi Province) is trying to kick-start a marine leisure industry. Infrastructure investment is huge, and KIBS is the shop window.
28 May-02 Jun Koh Samui Regatta (Thailand)
'The Tropical Island Regatta.' Bring a loud shirt. The usual Thailand mix of white sand beaches, cold beer and light-to-variable breeze.
10 Jun HHYC Typhoon Series (Hong Kong)
The off-season series for Hong Kong sailors, raced over eight alternate weekends. Cans racing and islands courses in the very best and prettiest sailing waters Hong Kong has to offer. It keeps hundreds of people occupied all through the summer, and deserves its excellent reputation.
(date tba) Borneo Int Yachting Challenge (Borneo)
Principally famous for paying people to enter, which just about says it all. Borneo is know as ‘The Land Below the Wind’ with good reason.
18-22 Jul Six Senses Phuket Raceweek (Thailand)
Thailand’s ‘green season’ regatta. Based at the really-rather-nice Evason Phuket. Racing around the islands to the south and west of Phuket is very scenic, and you can usually rely on a monsoon blow to crash the party on at least one day.
28 Jul-11 Aug Olympic Regatta, Weymouth (UK)
Probably not many of you competing in this one, but you need to know when it’s happening. Sail-World will be running extensive coverage.
(date tba) Western Circuit (Singapore)
Rapidly turning into Singapore’s no 1 sailing event. Raffles Marina's signature event jointly organised with SMU (Singapore Management University) has received a youthful injection of energy in the last couple of years.
(date tba) China Coast Regatta (Hong Kong)
RHKYC’s flagship event. This is definitely a no-frills event where its all about the sailing, the sailing and the sailing. 2011 was a bit on the soft side, but you can usually count on 20+ kts and a healthy swell to make the racing exciting as well as exhausting.
(date tba) Macau Yacht Show (Macau)
Where better to show off a few superyachts than a place where there’s lots of money? Like Hong Kong, Macau is accessible (in terms of regulations), but it has the same problem with lack of berthing spaces.
26-29 Oct China (Shenzhen) Int Boat Show (China)
Squeezed into the Shenzhen Marina at Da Mei Sha, but that’s set for expansion. Not quite as splashy a show as it claims.
02-05 Nov China (Xiamen) Int Boat Show (China)
Growing rapidly. Xiamen has the space, the moorings, the pontoons, a fast-expanding marine leisure industry sector, and a very supportive city government. PR claims are always a bit overstated (what’s new?) but this is definitely a major event on the China Coast.
16-24 Nov Raja Muda Selangor Int Regatta (Malaysia)
The regatta with a difference. Three passage races up the west coast of Malaysia, two days of cans racing, and even rickshaw races in Penang. All packed into one week – it’s a marathon in more ways than one, and very very hard to win. Try it – you won’t regret it.
18 Nov Around the Island Race (Hong Kong)
Absolutely Hong Kong’s biggest annual waterborne event. 200+ boats race around Hong Kong. Watch out for the infamous Pok Fu Lam hole!
(date tba) WMRT Monsoon Cup (Malaysia)
Pro sailors only, so you can’t enter this one. But if you enjoy watching the big guns go head to head just metres from the pontoon, it can’t be beat. Hard core match racing. Brilliant.
(date tba) HK Int Boat Show (Hong Kong)
Otherwise known as the Marina Cove Boat Show. There are two boat shows in Hong Kong, which is one too many. This one has the same boats and the same faces as the other one, just a different location.
03-08 Dec Phuket King’s Cup (Thailand)
Often touted as ‘Asia’s Premier Regatta’, the King’s Cup was inaugurated in 1987 as a tribute to the King of Thailand, on his birthday. 26 years later and still no other event gets close in terms of entries (around 100) and general ambience. 2011 was a vintage year with great breeze, blue skies and sunshine, and the best-looking Premier Cruising division ever.
16-18 Dec Asian Superyacht Rendezvous (Thailand)
Invitation only, and you’ll need to have a boat 100+ feet. Power and sail, mostly power. Boat-hopping parties, cocktail parties, silly games, a treasure hunt, sailing and cruising, and a top notch Gala Dinner. A great way to entertain guests on board your new Feadship the week before Christmas.
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