PHUKET: After a hiatus of more than two years years, the Andaman Sea Rally – a race from Phuket to Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and back – has been revived, with the next race scheduled to take place between January 13 and 27 next year.
“We are happy that 2007 will see the return of the Andaman Sea Rally,” said organizer Gareth Twist of Yacht Solutions. “We have continued discussions with the Andaman Islands throughout the [intervening] period and they are fully behind the 2007 rally.”
Mr Twist said that there has been much interest in reviving the rally, with regular enquiries since the 2004 event. “Interest in the rally remains strong. It is a unique event – an offshore race for sailing yachts and an ocean cruise for power boats – hence we expect a good turnout,” he said.
The rally will come after the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta but before the Phang Nga Bay Regatta.
“The rally is timed for best sailing conditions and slots in between current regattas. It will resume its place on the Asian sailing calendar,” Mr Twist said.
He said that proceeds from the rally would be donated to charity. “We are currently looking at a number of charities and have not yet finalized which one [will receive funds]. We want to give something back to both destinations [Phuket and Port Blair], which have been so good to the rally and to sailors in the region,” he said.
The first Andaman Sea Rally, in 2003, drew just nine boats. The following year, the number increased to 15, and 21 entries were received for the 2005 event, which was canceled after the tsunami hit.
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