With just a few weeks to go until this year’s Phuket King’s Cup Regatta gets underway, many teams are undergoing their preparations to get their boats ready for what could be some of the tightest racing in years.
Some are fine tuning their boats and racing skills at the Raja Muda International Regatta whilst others are checking their rigging and getting their sails sorted out onshore.
One such boat is Titania of Cowes, a beautiful Swan 68 who will be making her first appearance at the Regatta this year and is currently down in Langkawi collecting her racing sails.
The crew, lead by skipper Richard Dobbs, who is also making his first appearance at the Phuket King’s Cup, are looking forward to some exciting racing but are pragmatic about their chances of a podium place as at 50 tonnes she needs strong winds to fulfil her potential and the winds can be a lottery during the Phuket King's Cup.
Nevertheless, the crew are looking forward to a great week’s racing and partying, and when asked stated that their aim for the week was just to have fun. Whilst the crew have a depth of experience – many of them having competed in the Sydney to Hobart race in recent years – this is their first regatta together and some early training is going to help.
On the bow and main trimmer are a pair of experienced Phuket King’s Cup Regatta racers. Their knowledge of local wind conditions is going to be invaluable as they make their way around the courses.
Built in 2010 and most likely to compete in the Premier class against two other Swans – the Swan 82 Chao Ren Plus One and the Swan 55 Big A, as well as a host of other boats – Titania of Cowes is certainly going to find her first excursion to Thai waters a hard one.
Although not confirmed, it is thought that Silandra V, a Swan 76, will also be competing in this class.
A fifth Swan will be competing in IRC 1 in the shape of Katsu, a Swan 42 and a regular at the Phuket King’s Cup, who is expected to be challenging for some podium finishes this year.
Not a common site in Asian waters, but five Swans could well be the largest number yet seen in any Thai regatta.