Preparations for the 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta are well underway. The organising team have been working hard on promoting the regatta starting with a campaign in October 2011. Advertisements in leading yachting publications overseas and in Thailand, combined with an active campaign to marinas and yacht clubs in the region distributing posters, flyers, and having a presence at regional regattas... and now our direct email campaign to sailors around the region and beyond.
All these promotions and communications are starting to pay off as entries are coming in strong and include a number of new entries that have signed up to take part in the Regatta this year. A number of on-water and on-shore changes are planned this year, and the organisers are happy to announce Jerry Rollin will return as PRO this year on the keelboat and multihull course with Simon James attending in his IRC capacity.
The Racing Class looks to be competitive again with Neil Pryde planning to return and try again for the class title. Sports boats are also looking strong with two new Shaw 6.5's expected to add to the fleet. And the all-new, never-before-seen Soto 30 will be racing as part of its worldwide launch. More on this in a future newsletter.
Ocean Marina expansion?Ocean Marina recently announced expansion and renovation plans in-the-water in response to increased demand and the growing size and needs of the Top of the Gulf Regatta each year. The components are due for delivery this weekend.
Ocean Property, the parent company of Ocean Marina in Thailand, has confirmed an expansion of 100 new floating marina berths (13m and 20m), and an upgrade to 100 larger existing berths – the single largest expansion since the marina was built 18 years ago.
Scott Finsten, Harbour Master at Ocean Marina, said: 'The marina is not only a boost to Thailand’s boating industry, but also a boost to the local economy given the amount of jobs that will be created,' adding, 'We have dredged the marina to 3.5m so we can accommodate the deeper draft vessels that visit Thailand. The new marina completes the investment, to ensure we can cater for long-term demand.'
Boom of the 40-footers?
The growth of the Asian 40-footer fleet has been evident for a while now, and continuing its upward growth trend, the Top of the Gulf Regatta are expecting its largest 40-foot fleet this year, and arguably its most competitive. 2011 Phuket King's Cup Regatta winner, Karasu, the Summit 40 skippered by Yasuo Nanamori, will be racing at the Top of the Gulf Regatta for the first time, against another regatta newcomer KukuKERchu, the Kerr 40 from Singapore. More pledged entries are expected to make this a very competitive class on-the-water, including a Mills 40, Swan 42 and GP 42 amongst them.
Coronation Cup record??
Thailand Platu Class representative, Kevin Scott, has confirmed 15 Platus from the Ocean Marina-based fleet are entered, with more crews on a waiting list to charter. Arguably the most competitive class, the one-design 25-foot Farr Platus produce some close racing where one mistake can drop you down the rankings and out of the competition. This year the fleet looks to be one of the largest yet, and very multinational, with crews from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand competing for the prestigious Coronation Cup.
Online entry is open
If you haven't entered already, go to http://topofthegulfregatta.com/entry_form1.shtml and complete the entry form. Organisers expect up to 70 boats on the keelboat and multihull course, 30 or more dinghies, 20+ beach catamarans and over 100 in the Optimist Class, competing for the Thailand Optimist Nationals. Over 500 sailors are expected to take part in total.
PayPal and credit card payment facilities will be available online. Participants are urged to use these facilities.
The 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta will take place fourth to 8th May. Hosted at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, racing will take place in the waters off the marina, Jomtien Beach, Gulf coast of Thailand.
For more information:?
Next up is Samui Regatta
Next on the Asian regatta circuit, after the TOG Regatta, is the Koh Samui Regatta – the 'Tropical Island Regatta'. Held 28th May to 2nd June off Chaweng Beach and headquartered at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, the Koh Samui Regatta is one of the region's favourite boutique regattas and attracts boats from all around Asia to take part each year. 2012 is the 11th year of the Regatta and organisers are expecting a strong fleet. NOR and further details are on the event website, www.samuiregatta.com.
by TOG Media
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12:30 PM Sun 4 Mar 2012GMT
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