Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket boating: Like sailing? Join the club

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Often the boats and the lifestyles featured in this boating column highlight how the “other half” lives. Well, not exactly the “one percenters”, but more like the “eight to 12 percenters”. Yet what lies behind all the luxury is the same common ground: the lure of the sea.

What many people don’t know, including many long-term Phuket residents, is that a slice of that experience can be enjoyed in Phuket waters for just 200 baht – the race fee for non-members at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) for joining one of the races in its annual series.

“People come from around the world to enjoy sailing the Andaman and see the splendors of Phang Nga Bay. For people living in Phuket, that experience is right on their doorstep,” said life member and former Commodore, Grenville Fordham.

“What amazes me is how many people sail here on their boats, and then rarely venture out to sail in local waters. The ACYC Sunday race series has for years proved a valuable way of learning the local waters and where rocks and shallows lie, and for yachties to network and learn about what marine services are available on the island.

“It is also a great way to learn from expat sailors what the local regulations are and what is required to make sure your stay in Phuket remains legal.”

Steve Lawrence, 63, from England, has been sailing for 25 years. He finally ventured out for his very first ACYC race just weeks ago.

“I’ve known about the ACYC since I arrived here, but this was my first race,” he said. “I’m really a cruising sailor. I’ve spent eight years cruising throughout Southeast Asia – Borneo, the Philippines. Essentially, I’m a cruising yachtsman.”

image

Yet, Steve had never joined an ACYC race in his 10 years’ living in Phuket. The tipping point was friendship. “I’ve known Grenville a long time. I respect the contribution he’s made to sailing in the country,” said Steve.

“This was the first time I’ve been on a boat with Grenville… He made an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he laughed.

Steve’s verdict on his first foray racing in Phuket was simple: “Absolutely fantastic.”

“If you want to go racing, you want challenging conditions – you want wind, choppy conditions and poor visibility. Today we had all that,” he said.

“It was the kind of experience I wanted, and it makes me feel like I want to do more racing. It was my first race and the boat I was on came first.”

“On handicap,” chortled ACYC stalwart Bob Mott sitting nearby.

“Every cruising yachtsman should go racing,” Steve admitted. “It sharpens your skills. Everything must be done quicker, sharper. You must pay attention to everything you do.

“For a cruising sailor to turn up to a mooring or anchorage 10 minutes late is nothing – but today we won by six minutes, and in racing that is a huge margin.”

The topsy-turvy conditions last Sunday brought topsy-turvy results. Regular first-place in the monohulls Aqua came third on the day, testament that the handicap system used by the club levels the playing field for all competing crews, whether they be novices or competent racers (click here for the race report).

For years the ACYC race series has proved a valuable training ground for local sailors competing in the mid-year Phuket Raceweek regatta (click here) or the annual King’s Cup Regatta, which this year begins on November 29 (click here).

And that’s where the ACYC stalwarts shine, regularly notching up victories against professional crews.

“It is the range of weather conditions that make it perfect for race practice. Last week we had gusts of up to 15 knots and one-meter waves on the bay. The previous two races saw light winds that tested racers’ skills and patience – and pretty much resulted in a pleasant jaunt around the course,” said Bob.

In recent years the club has also made strides in developing its new clubhouse (click here) into a family-oriented venue suitable for parents and children – not just salt-spattered yachties.

On race-day Sundays, the clubhouse serves a roast that is fast gaining a reputation as a feast to be conquered and provides live music. During the past year, the club has also organized local dinghy sailing lessons for beginners.

“We encourage all people – from sailors with decades’ of experience to people who have never been on a sailboat before – to join the series. It’s simply one of the best ways to enjoy an essential part of being in Phuket,” concluded Grenville.

For more information about the ACYC, its race series and other events, visit the official website (click here).

— Chris Husted

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport9 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand10 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand10 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime11 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of12 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand12 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of15 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket15 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending