Running from 26th May to 2nd June and headquartered at Centara Grand Samui Beach Resort, Chaweng Beach, the 11th edition of Samui Regatta will host once again yachts as well as sailors from around Asia. With prevailing South-West/ West-South-West and relatively flat seas, forecast for the week ahead brings winds of 24 knots on the first day of competing, with winds varying from 8 to 12 knots for the rest of the week.
2011 class winner - sailing yacht Elektra
Pre-registration the entry list looks impressive with a good spread of yachts from around Asia and across all classes.
The entries in IRC Zero class reads like a who’s who of Hong Kong sailing with four of the five boats from the country. Largest in the class is the 90-foot Dubois sailing yacht Genuine Risk (Hong Kong), who will be up against four 52-footers: three TP52′s and 2011 Samui Regatta class winner Neil Pryde and his Welbourne 52 Custom yacht HiFi. Non-Hong Kong entry, Marcus Blackmore and his predominantly Australian Crew on ‘Hooligan’ (the chartered TP52 ‘Team Premier’), bring with them an almost unblemished record of regatta successes in Australia and are determined to make their mark at their first Samui Regatta.
The IRC Premier class currently sees three entries: Peter Churchouse and his crew on the Warwick 64 sailing yacht Moonblue 2 (Hong Kong) will be up against two Thailand-based boats ‘Lawana’, skippered by Pana Trungkabunchar, and Gary Baguley’s ‘El Coyote’.
The continuing growth of 40-footers in the region sees a large fleet converge on Samui and the IRC One class looks set to be a tight battle. 2011 class winner ‘Elektra’, skippered by Marcel Liedts, is back to defend its crown against in-form yachts ‘Walawala 2′ (winner 2012 Singapore Straits Regatta) and ‘KukuKERchu’ (third place 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta), and perennial top-performer ‘EFG Bank Mandrake’ from Hong Kong.
The class line-up includes an international mix of boats and crews from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Thailand and more, including ‘Jing Jing’, ‘Siren’, ‘Windsikher’, ‘Fox Lady 6′, ‘Sell Side Dream’, ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi’ and ‘Dynamite’.
Thailand-based boats look set to dominate the Sports Boats, IRC2, Bareboat Charter and Multihull classes. One to watch out for in IRC 2 is ‘Royal Thai Navy 1′, skippered by CPO 1 Wiwat Poonpat, who comes hot on the heels of a win at the 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta at the beginning of this month.
“The pre-registration entries look very strong this year and include a multinational mix of boats and crews from Asia and beyond. Of particular note is the large IRC One fleet and the large number of Thailand-based boats spread across the classes taking part,” commented Simon James, Samui Regatta Race Director.
Andrew Stransky’s 50-foot self-designed-built multihull Fantasia has taken the South East Asian regatta scene by storm since arrival last year, but Stransky and his predominantly family crew are unlikely to have it their own way in Samui. 2011 class winner ‘Sonic’, skippered by Kirati Assakul, will not give up their title easily and the tuned-up SeaCart 26 ‘Sweet Charriot’, skippered by Henry Kaye, will hope to carry their winning form from the Top of the Gulf Regatta to Samui, while regular top placer Radab Kanjanavit and his crew on ‘Cedar Swan’ have their eye on the podium.
The 2012 Samui Regatta is organised by leading regatta services provider, Regattas Asia, with strong support from Samui businesses and staff.