With a total of 150 boats from 40 countries, it strongly emphasizes the growth and potential of the sport of sailing in Thailand on the global stage. The race will also support tourism in Phuket and Thailand as a whole, with an expected economic contribution of around 300 million Baht.
Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King's Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organizing Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket. The region’s largest regatta includes dinghies (International Dinghy Classes), keelboats and multihulls amongst its competitive classes, and will feature a sail pass to celebrate His Majesty the King's birthday (scheduled to be held on the morning of 5th December). The Royal Awards Ceremony is to be held on 6thDecember.
Competing sailors come from USA, Australia, England, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Cyprus, along with renowned Thai sailors of exceptional ability, including Ithinai Yingsiri, Radab Kanjanavanit and MR Biranubongse Bhanubandh.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee, said, “We are proud to organize this world class sailing event featuring sailors from around the world competing for our King’s trophy. This year, the sailors will come from over 40 countries, making it one of the most internationally diverse rosters in the competition’s history. Thai sailors were last year victorious in many classes, building on a wave of national pride resulting from the country's 2014 Optimist World Championship win in Argentina.”
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2014 is sponsored by Kata Group Resorts Thailand, PTT Global Chemical, Jaguar Land Rover, FINCA de MALPICA by Siam Winery, Singha Corporation and Haadthip PLC, as well as enjoying the strong support of local authorities and Phuket province who work together with organizers to make the Regatta an annual success for everyone on the Island. When travel, excursions and repeat visits during the year are factored in, the economic contribution of the event is likely to be in the region of 300 million Baht.
Keelboats and Multihulls are scheduled to compete firstly between 1-3 December, with 4th December to be reserved as a reserve day for competitors to adjust their strategies or fix their boats. The race will continue on 5-6 December. The full complement of classes for the 2014 race year include IRC Zero (international 'Grand Prix' boats), the highly competitive IRC 1, IRC 2, IRC 3, along with Sport Boat, Modern Classic, Premier, Open Charter, Bareboat Charter, Classic, Cruising, Firefly 850 Sports, Multihulls Racing, and Multihulls Cruising.
Winning boats from last year are also registered to defend their honor this year, including Pine-Pacific (Thai) from Premier class, Foxy Lady (Singapore) from IRC 1, Twin Sharks (England) from Firefly 850 Sports, Minnie (Japan) from MultihullsCruising, and Remington (Thai) from Modern Classic.
Ithinai Yingsiri, Skipper of Pine-Pacific and overall winner in last year’s Premier class, said, “We believe we will be successful again this year. Typically, the wind is not strong in Phuket compared to other regattas, but nowadays the technology we have available to us allows us to make the competition more exciting for all. I actually believe this year’s race will be even more competitive than last year. The boats that I see as competitors for my class include Zuhrah@151 racing team from Malaysia, Starlight from Singapore, and Zefiro from Cyprus.”
International Dinghy Classes will race from December 1 – 5 at Kata Beach. Its inclusion in Phuket King’s Cup Regatta has played a part in the development of youth sailing in Thailand, encouraging more young sailors to take up the sport, and empowering the development of talented and aspiring skippers. The race is divided into Optimist class (also sub-divided into Boys and Girls born in 1998 or later) and Laser class.
CDR Pornprom Sakultem, International Dinghy Classes Event Manager, said, “The race this year is receiving stronger interest with up to 40 dinghies including over 10 sailors from the Thai national team, and also from China. We believe the weather and wind will be fine for the race, similar to the conditions we enjoyed last year. This year’s International Dinghy Class issponsored by PTT Global Chemical for the second year. We strongly believe that with this partnership will grow the sport of youth sailing in Thailand.”
Media Partners of the 2014 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta include Phuket Gazette, Sail-World.com, SEA Yachting, YachtStyle Asia, Prestige, Real Life Magazine, The Guide Phuket, Image Asia, Art & Culture, and Phuket Marine Guide.