Two significant sailing events in Asia this last weekend, and we are talking about 'local' events, not 'visitors' (VOR, WMRT etc). MatchRace Thailand attracted a hotter than ever fleet, and now looks like a 'fixture' on the calendar. That's a good thing. Match racing is pretty much an arcane corner of our sport, and you either love it or hate it. And it has to be a lot easier to love if you can watch the action just a few metres from the bar at the Royal Varuna in sunny Thailand!
In Hong Kong the new Phoenix Cup didn't share the Thai sunshine, but nevertheless a fleet of J/80s went racing in the harbour and were televised live in to China on the Phoenix satellite network. That's a lot of potential viewers. Next up, how about ferry boat parties on Saturdays, following the J/80 fleet around the harbour, with maybe a little flutter on the side? Like the 18-footers in Sydney, but a little slower. Now THAT would be a way to popularise sailing in Asia!
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