Phuket top sailing destination in Asia: Survey

PHUKET: Phuket was voted as top in Thailand, while Thailand as a nation was voted the favorite sailing venue and best regatta location in Asia, according to a survey of international sailors from around the world conducted at the 2011 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.

The survey was undertaken by the Top of the Gulf Regatta in co-operation with the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.

The aim was to find out the sailing trends in the region, to provide useful information in helping to attract more sailors to the region, and to improve facilities and services in the region.

The survey found that of the sailors who came to the 25th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, 53% were resident in Asia while 47% lived outside of Asia.

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More than 27% of the respondents were found to have been sailing in Thailand for more than 10 years, while 53% were relative newcomers, sailing in Thailand for only one to three years.

The survey found that Thailand is a popular sailing destination for international sailors, with many returning many times to enjoy the cruising grounds and sailing events Thailand has to offer.

There are five major regattas in Thailand that local and international sailors are aware of and have participated in, including the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Top of the Gulf Regatta, Phuket Raceweek, Samui Regatta and the Bay Regatta, centered around Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.

Thailand’s Andaman Coast, home of the Phuket King’s Cup, Phuket Raceweek and the Bay Regatta, is well established as a cruising and regatta destination.

Over in the Gulf of Thailand, the Top of the Gulf Regatta continues to grow, attracting a large mixed fleet of more than 200 boats each year.

Entrants in the Gulf Regatta range from youths sailing in dinghy classes, to beach catamarans, multihulls and the big boat monohull fleet.

Of those surveyed, 62% had, at some point, brought their boat to Thailand from another country. The most popular ports of entry were found to be, in order of popularity: Phuket, Samui and Pattaya.

Of the yachts brought to Thailand from abroad, 60% stayed about one month while the remaining 40% stayed about six months.

Sailing in Asia continues to grow in popularity, the survey found, with 32% of the respondents saying they had been sailing in Asia for more than 10 years, 14% for four to six years and 40% were newcomers, having sailed in Asia for only one to three years.

Asked how they found out about regattas and sailing events in Asia, 74% of respondents said “Friend / Sailing community”, followed by 54% who said “specific event website”.

One of the aims of the survey was to find out what kind of people, and from where, attend the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, and other sailing events in Thailand.

The survey also confirmed the long-standing common knowledge that the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is truly international, with 32% of participants coming from Europe, 23% from Australia and New Zealand, and 20% from Asia, as well as strong participation from the United States and Russia.

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