Sunday, 27 April 2008


Online registration is now open for Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 — anticipated to be the best Raceweek yet — offering a reduced entry fee for early registrations. Phuket’s ‘Green Season’ regatta, now in its fifth year, sees a mixed fleet of yachts race in the southwest monsoon breezes off Phuket’s south coast every July, this year from 23-27 July.

While retaining the same one-regatta-one-venue format, combining four days of competitive racing with five nights of grand waterside parties — a format that has met with unanimous approval from competitors — this year’s event brings a host of new dimensions.

Evason Phuket’s ‘Into the Beach’ venue, Asia’s favourite waterside regatta party spot, is undergoing an extensive upgrade. Returning to join the newcomers on the sponsorship front are avid supporters of Thailand’s regatta scene, Raimon Land, who are firm in their conviction that up-market property development and yachting are part of the same premium ‘lifestyle’ scene.

Media partners throughout Asia and Australia will take Raceweek news and views to a wide readership in the boating, business, entertainment, travel, lifestyle, national and local Phuket press, while — a first for Raceweek — a special Raceweek programme, commissioned by the organisers, will be televised worldwide on sporting and lifestyle channels such as CNN Mainsail, Eurosport, Star Sports, the European Sailing Channel and many more — a total potential audience of 140 million households.

In an exciting move that’s a first for Thailand’s regatta scene, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 will incorporate the inaugural ‘NRG Cup’, providing more party space for the ever-growing number of competitors, while Six Senses Title Sponsorship means a massive leap forward in catering, with copious 5-star full buffet spreads at every party.

On the racing scene, early indications are of a strong sport boat class, the eye-catching Firefly racing catamarans in greater numbers than ever, a solid club/cruising class and the mainstay of this region’s yacht racing, one or two highly competitive IRC classes. And, of course, the old ladies of the regatta, the striking classic boats competing for the Seraph Perpetual Trophy.

While the Firefly skippers are wondering if Thailand’s newly-arrived Corsair trimarans will dare to mount a challenge in Firefly home waters, the faster monohull boys would welcome some competition from Malaysian yachtsmen who, according to Mata Hari skipper, Vincent Chan, “… are at a disadvantage because of the lack of competitive practice…” With the usually consistent strong breezes off Phuket in July, the ‘practice’ doesn’t get much more competitive... but beating the local boys is another matter altogether. Then, the dark horse on the water this year — making its racing debut after breaking up in a 40-knot squall during the 2006 Koh Samui Regatta — is the super-fast F28 catamaran, rebuilt at Latitude 8’s Phuket boatyard. According to the owners, “Our primary objective at Raceweek is to take line honours in every race.”

Demonstrating that event sponsorship brings tangible benefits directly to participants, the first-time support from Rodenstock, Mont Clair Wines and Johnny Walker will fund a late afternoon Rodenstock Happy Hour and a free-flow open bar throughout all the official regatta parties.

an event-within-an-event, where participants in the Oil & Gas Industry can compete for this brand new trophy against their colleagues and business associates from around the region, whilst still racing in the main event against all-comers. "Our industry is competitive, fearless and spirited, and this first edition of the NRG Cup should be no different," said Benjamin Dupal, CEO of NRG Engineering, who conceived the idea for the NRG Cup. The NRG Cup is expected to attract at least 10 boats and crews that have never before competed in Phuket's ‘Green Season’ regatta. For more information, contact

Attracted by excellent sailing in mostly reliable breezes of 15 knots upwards and a hard-to-beat social scene, entries are expected to top previous years, although organisers Image Asia are not yet predicting numbers.

“Experience has shown us that it is simply not possible to know in advance how many boats will take part,” said Image Asia MD, Grenville Fordham. “The racing community is notorious for leaving their registration until the last minute, so — while we’ll start to build a picture as Raceweek gets closer — we can’t be absolutely sure who’s coming until registration day,” he added, noting that that the early-bird registration incentive was aimed at tackling this problem.

With formal backing from the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek 2008 is solidly supported by Thai authorities, demonstrating their advancing commitment to yacht racing. The regatta is run under the auspices of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club.