Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012: Go Yachting Episode 9

The Go Yachting team were recently onsite in Pattaya, Thailand covering the action at the Top of the Gulf Regatta. Billed as “Asia’s largest multi-class regatta”, more than 200 sailing craft in 12 classes took to the waters for some high-powered competition.

From Thailand we head to Hong Kong and the Asia Boating Awards – the region’s preeminent marine awards. And finally, we head to China for the latest stop on the Kiteboard Asia Tour, bringing you all the tricks and racing action from Pingtan Island.


Top of the Gulf Regatta
Billed as “Asia’s largest multi-class regatta”, more than 200 sailing craft in 12 classes took to the waters for some high-powered competition.

Over 600 people in more than 200 sailing craft took part in the eighth Top of the Gulf Regatta this year. A ‘Festival of Sail’ in Thailand’s Gulf, the Regatta is a truly multi-class and multinational event.

Classes from Optimists to dinghies, beach catamarans, sports boats and upto large keelboats and multihulls make up the fleet, with participants coming from more than 20 countries to enjoy the tough competition.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta attracts sailors from around the world, as well as a large number of home-grown Thai sailors. National, Asian and World Champions mix freely on and off the water. Being the only marina-based regatta in Thailand, the event is unique. The Ocean Marina Yacht Club, hosts since the Regatta’s inception in 2005, provide marina and shoreside facilities for participants, and host the final Gala Dinner.

2012 saw a mixed bag of conditions and action. There were thrills and spills with 20 knots of wind gusting to 26 on the first today, seeing one capsize and a number of breakages, through to glorious champagne sailing on day 3. And finally, on the last day, there was no wind causing the racing to be cancelled.

A strong keelboat and multihull fleet on the outer course saw four days of fierce competition.

The one-design Platu class in particular went down to the wire. Competing for the Prestigious Coronation Cup, the winner was decided on count-back and ‘The Ferret’, sailed by an all Australian crew took the honours.

In the monohull dinghy and beach-launched multihull classes, the competition was no less fierce.

After their three day series, the Thai team of Navee Thumsontorn and Tanapong Kamolwat won the Double-handed Monohull Dinghy Class, Supakorn Pongvichien the Single-handed Monohull Dinghy Class, and Thai sailing superstar Damrongsak Vongtim and Michapa Weiwai won the Open Beach Multihull Class.

Since the beginning, the Regatta has supported grass roots sailing and helped many Thai sailors on their way to greater things. And a first for this year was the introduction of windsurfs. The Regatta welcomed the NeilPryde Racing Series – a worldwide one-design windsurf tour – to take part alongside the Regatta.

After only eight years, the organisers of the Top of the Gulf Regatta have established Asia’s largest multi-class regatta, and one that is firmly established on the Asian and International sailing calendars.

As both dinghy and big boat sailing in Asia continues to grow, and with ongoing marina expansion plans at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, the Top of the Gulf Regatta looks set to continue its growth and is well positioned for the future.

2012 Asia Boating Awards
The Asia Boating Awards are the preeminent boating and marine awards in Asia, and after eight years have become coveted by many in the industry. Organised by Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating magazines, a total of 19 awards were presented at the Hong Kong gala dinner attended by VIPs and industry leaders.

Hong Kong was a big winner this year with the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club winning double honours. The Club won Asian Regatta of the Year for their annual China Coast Regatta, and also Asian Yacht Club of the Year.

Nestled within the exclusive Sentosa Cove enclave, ONE°15 Marina Club is part of the emerging hip, upscale luxury neighbourhood and waterfront lifestyle community. And they won the hotly contested Asia Marina of the Year award this year.

KTA Tour China, Pingtan Island 2012
The season-ending event for the 2011/ 2012 Kiteboard Tour Asia was recently held in China, on Pingtan Island.

KTA China saw record numbers of riders and spectators, with tens of thousands turning out to watch the 100 plus riders compete in Freestyle, Course Racing and Twin Tips Racing. And the riders experienced a complete mix of conditions over the five days.

The men’s Twin Tip Racing was won by Jay Oritz. In the Race Board division, Salih Alexander beat two-time Asian Champion Narapichit Pudla into second to take the Men’s title, while Germany’s Kathrin Borgwardt took the female honours. Nanette van der Snoek won the Female Freestyle title with Thailand’s Narapichit Pudla winning in the Men’s division.

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