PHUKET, Thailand – Billed as 'Asia's fun regatta', The Bay Regatta 2016 is set to welcome over 40 yachts and more than 250 competitors to the four-day inter-provincial regatta that starts and finishes in Phuket and races through some of the best sailing grounds in the world. Now in it's 19th year, the regatta will take place 17th to 21st February and is organised by Regattas Asia.
This year’s competition will be split into six classes: Racing Class, Cruising A, Cruising B, Bareboat Charter Class, Racing Multihulls and Open Multihulls, and racing will include a mix of “coastal passages” and “around-the-islands”. The Notice of Race can be viewed at www.bayregatta.com/nor.
Bareboat Charter Class sees a number of Russian entries lining up while in the Cruising classes local stalwarts such as Kevin Gillow and Jack Christensen are up against a multi-national fleet including Cedric Rimaud's 90 year old Selma, first launched in 1926 and recently restored at Krabi Boat Lagoon. In the multihull classes all entries but the 40-foot trimaran Adrenalin are built in Phuket, highlighting the strength and quality of local craftsmanship, while in the Racing Class past winner Phoenix is back and will be up against the all-female entry Farrgo Ladies Team, Scott Bradley's Sydney 40 Emagine and Mick Tilden's Fujin, amongst others.
“The entries are looking strong and diverse with many international charterers taking part again this year. The Bay Regatta is a truly unique event, bringing together the serious and the not-so-serious racers in a fun, casual regatta atmosphere. We welcome racers, cruisers, families and first-time sailors and each year sailors from around the world return and bring with them friends and newcomers who spread the word far and wide of what a memorable sailing event The Bay Regatta is,” said Ms. Kae Wattana, Managing Director of organisers Regattas Asia.
Starting in Ao Po on Phuket's east coast, after registration and an opening party at Chandara Resort & Spa yachts race north through the stunning rocky outcrops of Phang Nga Bay finishing off Koh Yao Noi where yachts anchor and enjoy a prize-giving party on the beach at Paradise Koh Yao. On Day 2, yachts again race through the stunning seascape east across the Bay to Krabi where they finish off Ao Nang and have a free night in Krabi. On Day 3 sailors race around the islands of Krabi finishing back at Ao Nang where competitors head to shore for the prize-giving party at Ao Nang Villa. The final day is a “downhill” spinnaker run back to Phuket with the evening's prize-giving and closing party at O2 Beach Club in Chalong. Detailed courses can be viewed at www.bayregatta.com/courses.
“The Bay Regatta takes sailors through the three provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi allowing participants to experience the best of southern Thai hospitality and the unrivaled sailing grounds of Phuket and surrounds. Where else in the world can you sail amongst 200 metre high karsts and past hidden bays on your way to a party under-the-stars on an idyllic beach?” commented Ms. Wattana.