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All change for Phukets favourite regatta

July 17, 2012

On Wednesday July 18, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2012 opens its doors with a glittering first night party, sponsored by Mount Gay Rum, followed on Thursday morning by the first day of racing in what is forecast to be perfect ‘champagne sailing’ conditions.

Raced across seven classes and divisions, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek incorporates four intense days of yacht racing around the spectacular islands off Phuket’s southeast coast – and four nights of superb parties on Cape Panwa Hotel’s beachside lawn.

The regatta’s new home, Cape Panwa Hotel, is abuzz with activity in the lead up to Wednesday, as the regatta organisers’ and the hotel’s teams work together to ensure the onshore side of the regatta keeps up with its reputation as Phuket’s favourite yachting event.

Entries, at 33 yachts, are slightly down on last year – on a par with this year’s Koh Samui Regatta and the main fleet at the Top of the Gulf Regatta – a reflection of the global economic scenario.

Yachts racing in Phuket Raceweek include the never-before-raced, Reichel Pugh design, Aquila RP45, Katsu, which arrived in Phuket only a few days ago. Built in China by Sino-Eagle, this 45ft yacht is an all-carbon, high tech pure racing machine.

Another first is the super-lightweight catamaran, Hurricane, launched on Monday and heading straight for the start line.

Coming by road from Pattaya, the smallest yacht in the fleet, at just 25ft and aptly named Brace! Brace!! Brace!!!, is a high tech Welbourne 25 sports boat that has raced only one other regatta and managed a third place on its first time out. They’ll be looking to better that result and are sure to provide some nail-biting moments for crew and spectators alike.

A youth sailing team, 91.5 FM-Sunsail Youth Racing, comprised of Thai youngsters aged between 10-15, from Sunshine Home in Phuket, will compete for the first time. These youngsters have been learning to sail and race on small dinghies, but this will be their first time on a ‘big boat’ in an international regatta.

Participants are coming from all four corners of the globe, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, England, Netherlands, Germany, USA. Coming from the furthest corner is the skipper of the classic yacht, Idiom, who is flying in from Alaska to take part in the Seraph Classic Invitational Class, sponsored by the regatta’s oldest ‘lady’, the 106-year old Danish schooner, Seraph.

The regatta venue, Cape Panwa Hotel, is fully booked during the regatta – as is its sister hotel, Kantary Bay – as the yacht owners, captains and their crew bring along families and friends for a great week of sport and partying in Phuket, along with sponsors’ representatives, media and celebrities.

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