King’s Cup racing to start Monday

PHI PHI: An expected 80 entries are gathering today at Phi Phi in preparation for the 16th King’s Cup Regatta (KC). The week of racing begins Monday off Phi Phi, followed by a Phi Phi-to-Phuket race, then three days of racing off the west coast of Phuket. The regatta wraps up in Kata on Saturday. Pundits are tipping Linklaters Mandrake – entered in the Racing class by the KC regatta’s first president, Chris King, and his partners – as overall winner. Earlier this year the yacht won the 65th Hoya Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight, UK). Competing against a 1,735-strong fleet, the race’s second-largest number of entries ever, Mandrake completed the circumnavigation in five hours and 45 seconds to win one of the most coveted prizes in yachting, the Gold Roman Bowl. Mandrake has been shipped from the UK specially to compete in the King’s Cup. A last-minute withdrawal from the race is Gotcha Lagi!, one of the stalwarts of the Racing class and a former KC winner, which ran into tropical storms in the recent Raja Muda sailing race and was damaged by lightning. Due to crew cancellations at the eleventh hour, the Hobie Cats class will have to wait another year for its debut. The new Sports Boat category has also been canceled because the specially-designed boats being built in Phuket were not ready in time to compete. A remarkable nine out of 12 entries in the Racing class are clients of DK Yachts, the Malaysia-based high-tech yacht manufacturer. Hannes Waimer of DK Yachts, who will be racing in his own Farr 40, Jativa, in the KC, said, “I think this year the King’s Cup has the best Racing class ever.” Among the nine are last year’s KC Racing champion Hi Fidelity (Neil Pryde), sporting a brand new Whelbourn-designed hull, Pla Loma 4 (Keith Moore), Jelik (Frank Pong) and Luna Nova (Ray Roberts). Tickets for the regatta parties in Phuket will be available from Tuesday at the Regatta Office in Kata Beach Resort. Food, drinks and entertainment are included in the 1,000 baht/night fee. For a complete schedule of events, visit the King’s Cup website at https://www.kingscup.com .

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