In this episode of Go Yachting: Phuket’s Green Season Regattas.
Located in southern Thailand, Phuket Island and surrounds are famed for their cruising grounds, home to some of the most idyllic islands, beaches and secluded bays in the world.
Phuket has two distinct seasons. The Northeast Monsoon runs from November to April and brings dry weather and consistent breeze. This is known as the High Season when tourist numbers are at their peak. The Southwest Monsoon between May and October is the tourism Low Season, also referred to as the Green Season. This time of the year conditions vary and can include glorious blue skies, lumpy seas, storms and everything in between.
It’s this time of the year when Phuket’s Regatta Season really shows its true colours, hosting a series of top events attracting sailors from around the world. From large keelboats to multihulls and dinghies, action is plenty and the Low Season can throw up some of the best – and some of the most challenging – conditions of the year.
Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2011 - Sailed every year in Phuket’s Low Season, the award-winning Six Senses Phuket Raceweek is held off Phuket’s Southeast Coast, and attracts top boats from Thailand and the region. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Windy Regatta’, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek has become renowned for great sailing in a diverse range of conditions.
2011 continued true to form, serving up the full range of wind and sea conditions over the four days of competition. Sailors were tested tactically and physically throughout. One of the big attractions of sailing in Phuket’s Low Season.
Six Senses Phuket Raceweek saw 38 boats take to the startline, eager for some intense competition. In the Racing Class, Neil Pryde, one of the top sailors on the Asian circuit, chartered the TP52 Team Premier to challenge, amongst others, the Phuket-based Swan 42 Katsu, Jing Jing from China, and the all new Kerr 40 KukuKERchu – the first Kerr 40 in Asia.
In the Multihull Racing Class, six boats were racing under OMR and saw an interesting tussle between Sidewinder and DaVinci throughout the four days. DaVinci was skippered by Paul Larsen, whilst on another class competitor, Six Senses Nina, acclaimed Round-The-World Yachtswoman Dee Caffari was trying her hand at multihull sailing for the first time.
SEA Property Multihull Championship 2011 – Phuket and surrounds are ideal sailing grounds for Multihulls. And the regatta scene on Phuket, is no different. Phuket’s Low Season welcome’s the Island’s very own mini America’s Cup – a multihull only event and first in Asia.
2011 saw the third hosting of the SEA Property Multihull Championship, attracting 14 boats. A mix of racing and cruising multihulls joined the one-design Firefly 850 Sport fleet for two days of challenging conditions in Chalong Bay.
Thailand Tasar Championship 2011 – Phuket is famed for its big boat events and during the High Season is home to Asia’s largest big boat regatta, the Phuket King’s Cup. However, the dinghy scene on Phuket is growing rapidly and after hosting the Tasar Worlds in 2007, a core group of sailors recently took part in the inaugural 2011 Siam Surveyor’s Thailand Tasar Championship.
Organised by the Phuket Yacht Club and sailed in Chalong Bay off the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, the national championship saw capsizes, dramatic wind shifts and the full gamut of racing conditions over the two days.
After 10 races over the two days, it all came down to the final race of the series. A tough battle saw G-String take the honours from Slipstream with Lady Pie in third.
Brought to you by the Go Yachting team.