Referred to as the “Tropical Island Regatta”, Samui Regatta attracts sailors from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia every year, as well as many from around Thailand
THE standard of this year’s fleet was one of the highest yet and this was no clearer than when two yachts tied for first place on corrected time. If that wasn’t enough, it happened to two yachts in IRC Zero class and two in IRC One class, and it was in the same race – the penultimate race of their respective series.
Five days of high octane sailing and six nights of beach parties culminated in the last night Gala Dinner – a fitting finale to an excellent regatta and also the final event of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix season of 12 events covering Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the
In IRC Zero, it was the Thailand-based TP52 ‘THA72’ of Kevin and Tom Whitcraft who defended their title in style with eight wins, one first place tie and a third over the series. Second place went to the Kerr 46 ‘Zannekin’ from Hong Kong and third to fellow Hong Kong entry, the TP52 ‘Freefire’.
In the IRC One class, six of the seven entries made it onto the podium during the week and five claimed at least one race win. It was the consistency of the Singapore-based ‘Loco’ that saw David Dimmock and his crew secure the win at their second time of trying.
Despite starting the series with two wins, ‘Fujin’ added three six places and a seventh to their 10-race tally – it was too much for them to come back from and they had to settle for third overall, leap-frogged by the well-campaigned Hong Kong boat, ‘Mandrake III’, whose second in the last race secured them second overall.
In the Cruising class, the Naut 40 ‘Lady Bubbly’ won comfortably, while in the Multihull class it was the Corsair Pulse 600 ‘Multihull Solutions H3O’, skippered by Thai sailor Nut Thongtoam, who sailed best to claim the victory. After a hiatus of a few years, the return of a multihull class was welcomed and organisers are looking to build on this for future years.
The Samui Regatta is where the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Skipper and Yacht of the Year is awarded, and for the 2016/17 season the winners were Anthony Root/ Steve Manning, and their custom Ker 42, Black Baza.
The dates for the 2018 event have already set: 26 May to 2 June at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Chaweng Beach.