Phuket

Six Senses Phuket Raceweek off to record start, before the first gun

PHUKET: A record more than 40 yachts are expected to cross the starting line for the eighth Six Senses Phuket Raceweek starting on July 21 in the waters off the Evason Phuket and Koh Bon in Rawai.

The regatta, recently bestowed the honor of Best Asian Regatta 2011, is the first event on the Asian Yachting Grand Prix (AYGP) circuit and the first opportunity for serious contenders to earn early points in the competition.

Neil Pryde will be competing in his second Raceweek. However, the Hong Kong yachtsman has surprisingly chartered the TP52 Team Premier, instead of competing on his own yacht Hi Fi. Pryde raced against Team Premier in his winning effort at the Sawadee.com regatta off Koh Samui in May this year.

Main rival and defending AYGP champ Ray Roberts has yet to confirm entry to this year’s Phuket Raceweek, at this late stage likely giving Pryde a clear head start in massing points for the 12-event AYGP circuit.

Also vying for top honors in the Racing Class will be David Ross on his new Ker 40 pure racing machine KukuKERChu with local skippers Mark Mizner on Babe, Ben Copley on Katsu and Scott Duncanson on Quantum Fusion M challenging their visiting rivals.

Multihull Class should provide exciting racing with Andaman Cabriolet Da Vinci in her second Phuket Raceweek. Da Vinci finished third in its class in last year’s King’s Cup Regatta, with just two points separating her and the King’s Cup winner.

Paul Larsen is taking a break from his current attempt for the outright World Sailing Speed Record in Namibia to skipper Da Vinci, which will be sporting a brand-new set of Quantum Racing sails, the lack of which likely cost the crew a King’s Cup trophy in 2010.

Round-the-world yachtswoman and record-holder Dee Caffari takes the responsibility of Yachting Ambassador for the event and will also race with Grenville Fordham on the Andaman Cabriolet Nina, which won its class at the regatta on its first outing in 2009.

Firing up the competition on land will be co-sponsor Franke’s Yacht Chef Cooking Competition, in which seven culinary experts who normally prepare their feasts on the water will cook off against the clock. Their furiously prepared fare will be judged by celebrity chef duo Chef Fang and Chef Faifoo of Channel 5’s Krua INDY fame.

The Six Senses Raceweek schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 20 – Registration and opening ceremony

10am-4pm: Registration

5:30pm: Skippers’ briefing

7pm: Opening ceremony and Mount Gay Rum Thailand Launch party with Caribbean buffet and live music from the Caribbean steel band

Thursday, July 21 – Race Day 1

10am: Racing off the east coast of Phuket

7pm: Off-site party: Prize giving. Pizza, pasta and salad party at Da Vinci restaurant, Nai Harn. Live music

Friday, July 22 – Race Day 2

10am: Racing off the east coast of Phuket

3pm-7pm: Free-flow all drinks at Regatta Party Bar

5pm: Prize giving

5:30pm: Buffet dinner

Saturday, July 23 – Race Day 3

10am: Racing off the East Coast of Phuket

3pm-7pm: Free-flow all drinks at Regatta Party Bar

5pm: Prize giving

5.30pm: Buffet dinner

Sunday, July 24 – Six Senses Race Day

10am: Racing off the east coast of Phuket

6:30pm Six Senses Resort & Spa’s Race Day prize giving

7pm: Overall Raceweek Series prize giving

7:30pm onwards: Buffet dinner and party. Live music from Big Bamboo

Six Senses Phuket Raceweek enjoys the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sports Authority of Thailand, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand and Ao Chalong Yacht Club.

For more information visit www.phuketraceweek.com or email raceweek@image-asia.com

The Phuket Gazette are proud media sponsors of the Best Regatta in Asia.

— Neil Quail

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