The 2011 Asia Superyacht Rendezvous hosted some of the world’s most impressive superyachts in Phuket from 16th to 18th December, offering a weekend of exceptional fun and friendly competition.
With high season weather smiling on the eleventh Asia Superyacht Rendezvous in Phuket, the stunning superyachts moored up in Surin Bay provided a spectacular backdrop as their captains gathered for their briefing at the luxurious, newly launched Surin Hotel.
This year’s guest list featured an impressive display of marine magnificence, with Phuket based boating beauties Andara, super yacht Celebrity and Happy joined by a parade of global motor giants that included motor yacht Onyx, Maverick superyacht, Aveline, luxury yacht Hye Seas 2 and Cavallino, as well as two elegant sailing yachts, Ciliam and charter yacht Silandra V that would later take centre stage in two days of racing on the Andaman Sea.
Event organizers Gordon Fernandes, general manager of Asia Pacific Superyachts, and Captain Charles Dwyer of S/Y Yanneke Too welcomed the gathered owners, skippers, crew and media before event manager Nina Larsson ran through fun filled schedule that included an exciting array of activities both on and off the water.
“We are delighted to welcome all these fabulous yachts to Phuket,” said Captain Dwyer, “The Asia Superyacht Rendezvous is a unique event for this region and it’s great to see some vessels returning and also being joined by some new faces this year.”
The on-board welcome cocktail party that evening provided a fitting start to the proceedings, with invited revelers yacht-hopping between the salubrious vessels to mingle, enjoy the yachts and toast the starlit tropical evening.
Ed Sheilds, Captain of M/Y Aveline summed up the event’s appeal, “It’s a pleasure to be here,” he said, “Asians are developing a liking for the yachting industry and the Superyacht Rendezvous will naturally evolve into something bigger. As long as the boats keep coming the event and the industry has a bright future in the region.”
On the first of two days’ action packed sailing, the 76 ft Swan S/Y Silandra V competed in a friendly race with the Lago 92 catamaran S/Y Ciliam on a course set by race directors Andy Dowden and Simon James. Both yachts took full advantage of the steady winds, while guests enjoyed the spectacle either helping out aboard one of the competing vessels or lounging in cushioned comfort on one the glistening motor yachts that followed the contest. Silandra V, fresh from racing at the King’s Cup, took the line honors in style, while their equally striking adversary cruised to an honorable second.
As the sun set over Surin, the Rendezvous guests then gathered around the Surin Hotel’s hexagonal pool to enjoy a delicious Thai buffet and take part the second competition of the day – the traditional “Feadship Challenge”. Named after the event’s principal sponsors, the Feadship Challenge requires teams to construct a model sailboat from basic materials which they then race up and down a trough of water using only their breath to power the sails. This year, after an intense design and construction session followed by a hotly contested series of races, the team from M/Y Andara took the trophy, their designated captain clearly delighted by the victory. The party then continued until the early hours until everyone head home to their cabins and suites ready for the next day’s adventures.
Back to the ocean
Day two of the Feadship Asia Superyacht Rendezvous saw Silandra V and Ciliam take to the waves once again, the two vessels tacking their way through the course on a morning blessed by perfect sailing conditions. The Swan 76 claimed the bragging rights for the second time. Immediately after the race, the full fleet of attending superyachts converged off Surin Beach in a spectacular formation that offered guests and the shutter snapping media a rare display of nautical splendor. “Events like the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous are an important part of growing the yachting industry in the region,” said Arthur Tay, owner of One°15 Marina Club at Sentosa Cove in Singapore who attended the Rendezvous aboard his pristine Azimut 116 M/Y Hye Seas II. “Things are definitely moving in Asia so it’s important to include a strong local element. We are pleased to be part of this new era for luxury sailing.”
Back onshore, the yacht owners and crew then took part in a new event on the schedule called The Rendezvous Booty, a fun filled Treasure Hunt on the land and in the water designed for kids and adults alike to make the most of Phuket’s fabulous beaches and bays. Starting aboard their vessel, owners, their kids and crew were dropped at Surin Jetty and ran to the beach bar at Pla Seafood restaurant where they downed a refreshing fruit cocktail before collecting a clue. This sent them off down the sand to the Jolly Roger bar to dig for buried treasure before they then rushed back to the tenders with a map to guide them on their way to clear waters off the Surin Hotel. There, with a little Thai translation, they were guided to the booty, which included prizes for the kids and a complimentary dinner and spa treatment at the hotel for the grown up pirates. The hunt added a fun, family element to the Rendezvous weekend and is set to become a regular highlight in years to come.
A glittering finale
With the action on sand and sea complete, invited guests and VIPs gathered at the Surin Hotel on the final evening for a lavish international feast hosted by media sponsors Boat International and laid on by Antonio Saponara, General Manager at the Surin Hotel, and his accomplished and efficient food and beverage team. Thai dancing and live music performances added to the extravagant ambiance, while a slideshow of professional photos was projected onto a big screen to showcase the weekend’s highlights. During coffee and dessert, Master of Ceremonies Martin Carpenter thanked all the sponsors and participants for their support in making such a magnificent sailing event possible. The crew of Silandra V were then honored with the traditional “Spirit of the Rendezvous” award and the assembled throng joined them in looking forward to setting a course for Phuket to take part in the 12th Feadship Asia Superyacht Rendezvous next year. “When we learnt about this event 11 years ago we immediately came onboard as principal sponsor,” said Bas Nederpelt, Marketing and Sales Director for Feadship. “Instead of opening offices here we decided it would be more fun hold a regular event and since then it has grown organically without becoming too commercial. We certainly intend to continue supporting the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous in the future.”