The Samui Regattasailedfrom 25 May to 1 June this year at a new venue, Synergy Samui Resort. Knownforits high-calibre racing and tropical-chic parties, Samui Regattais pop- ular with sailorsfrom around Austral-Asia and organizers welcomed competitors of more than 20 nationalities for the season-endingfinale of Captain Marty Rijurkis’ 2018/19 AsianYachting Grand Prix.
“The regatta has a new home this year. We are headquartered at the stunning Synergy Samui Resort, which has welcomed us with open arms and was our base throughout the event, providing us with abeachfront hub from which to operate the regatta as well as hosting a number of daily prizegiving,” said Kae Wattana, Regatta Director.
“The resort is just afew hundred metres from our previous home on Chaweng Beach
so the popular anchorage remains unchanged, as does the stunningsailing area off the east and north coasts, and our many repeat sailors cancontinue to enjoy their favourite hangouts onshore.”
Speaking of their involvementin the regatta, Sukhatat Chokkanapitak, Deputy Managing Director of Synergy Samuisaid, “Growing up, seeing Koh Samuidevelopinto a world class destination was something we always dreamed of. We believed and realized
in the potential of this home island of ours, and today we are here; being once again picked
as one of afew places in Southeast Asiafor an internationalregattasuch as this.”
“On top of that, as third generation members of this smalllocalbusiness, we cannot overstate how much this event means to us. We are ecstatic to not only bea partner of this great eventlike many years prior, but to be trusted and givenachance to host the eventfor the first time. We promise to do our verybestinensuring asmoothrunning of the whole regatta period. We sincerely hope that guests, participants and everyone associated with this regattaenjoyed their time on this island we lovesodearly.”
Competing were some of the best IRC yachts and crewsin the region. The ever-green Jelik(HKG), which has a new bulbconfigura- tion, gave the region's top TP52 crewsarunfor their money including Kevin and Tom Whit- craft's THA72 (defending champions), Team
Hollywood (AUS) and Freefire(HKG), as well as WindSikher II (SIN) and Zannekin (HKG) in IRCZero.
Returning to the regatta this year was the Premier Cruising Class with MoonBlue 2 (HKG), Bella Uno (HKG) and Lawana (THA) towing the startline.
Meanwhilein IRC 1, last year's regatta and 2017/18 AYGP winner, Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth's MandrakeIII(HKG), were up against some tough competitionfrom the likes of Fujin(AUS), Tenacious(AUS) and OverHere (THA).
Leadby Samuiveteran Mick Grover, the “new” MoonShadow2 raced all-comers in IRC Cruising, includinga number of boats
based around the Gulf of Thailand as well as the Pattaya-based SailQuest Hi Jinks (USA), sailed bystudentsfrom the SailQuest Sailing School.
Samui Regatta, however, isn't all about the racing. The socialsceneisabig part of
the Tropical Island Regatta's appeal for the internationalcrews and the boost to the local communityfrom accommodation and on-is- landspendby the 500-plus participants and friends, is significant.
“While the racing isimportant, so are the onshore activities. Our daily social pro- grammeincludeda number of events at Synergy Samui Resort as well as some official offsite functions nearby. The final presentation dinner format was new this year– acollaboration with local resorts and businesses to host a new expe- rience alongside Chaweng Lake. We encourage participants, families and friends to enjoy Samui and its facilities while here, and in the process contribute to the localeconomy,” concluded Khun Kae.
Needing to win the final day’s races, the pressure was on TeamHollywood.
THA72got off to the worst possible start at the back of the pack while TeamHollywood screamed off the line and lead them up the first leg, with Jelikand Zannekin(HKG) also in the mix. Allchanged on the downwindleg and the next leg upwind as THA72, with Noppakao Poonpat back at the helm after missing yester- day's races, hauled places back and passed all in front to take the lead and sail acleanrace to the finish. First across the line and a win on correct- ed time was the perfect outcome for THA72.
Elsewhere in the class, Zannekin (HKG) got the better of Freefire(HKG) to finish third and fourthrespectively, while Jelik corrected out in fifth.
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