Landlubbers (the author of this story included) call it the high season. As winter is coming, we brace ourselves for swarms of tourists about to descend on Phuket (Mother of Dragons, help us!), we anticipate hours spent stuck behind tour buses scaling Phuket’s steep hills and console ourselves with visions of clear blue skies all day long.
But that’s just one way of looking at things. Others have much wider horizons and they know the upcoming months under a different name; they call it the yachting season.
If you happen to be one of them - yachters, sailors, seadogs – get your boat out of the dry dock, dig out your oiler and stitch up your sails, there plenty of yachting events coming to Phuket in the upcoming months. But even if you prefer solid ground under your feet to a wobbly deck, dust off your binoculars, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to spectate, cheer and party. The Yachting season 2017/18 premises heaps of excitement not just on but also off the water!
If you thought that the 2016 Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous was big, brace yourself for the 2017 edition. There are plenty of new names joining the guests' list, but it’s the returning partners that are the best proof of the event’s repute. Amongst them are Feadship, Lee Marine, Burgess, Hemisphere Monaco, Northrop and Johnson, Bristol Charter, Benetti, Princess, and Seal Superyachts and The Surin Phuket. Guests can expect magnificent superyachts, bespoke activities and glamorous parties set in a relaxed and luxurious environment.
Rumor has it that what is already the third rendition of the Thailand Yacht Show might move from Phuket to Pattaya. But we don’t deal with rumours here so let’s stick to the facts. Created by the organizers of the Singapore Yacht Show, the Thailand Yacht Show (TYS) is a grand scale event supported by the Thai government, which combines the best aspects of yacht charter, boating industry and luxury lifestyle events. And by grand scale we mean Grand Scale - the Show is held at Ao Po Marina which grants access to Superyachts larger than 100m long. If you like it big, you’ll like the TYS.
While other yachting events focus on showing off yachts, this one is centred around the actual act of sailing. Formerly known as Phuket King's Cup Regatta it usually attracts more than 100 yachts that join in the racing events. They come in an array of shapes and sizes and compete in a selection of categories, which include IRC Zero, IRC 1, IRC 2, Premier, Firefly 850 Sport, Pulse 600, Platu One Design, Multihull Racing, Multihull Cruising and Open Charter. Launched back in 1987 the Regatta was named 'Yachting Event of the Year' at the Christofle Asia Boating Awards 2006and this year it marks its 31st radiation.
After 14 years in Phuket, PIMEX is no more. But there is something bigger and better to take its place. The inaugural Phuket Rendezvous will transform Royal Phuket Marina into a bustling hub for all things luxury. From gourmet cuisine to properties, watches to supercars, fashion and art, the Phuket Rendezvous will attract some of the biggest brands from all over the globe. 10,000 guests are expected who will get a chance to admire as many as 50 yachts and meet yacht brokers, high-end property developers, bespoke travel organizers as well as specialists within the hospitality and F&B industries.
Here’s yet another occasion to admire superyachts ascend on Phuket in numbers. Held at SALA Resort & Spa, Asia Superyacht Rendezvous brings together an assemblage of yacht owners, captains and crew who lounge and party together. But not just that. This year, for the very first time, two days of racing will see vessel owners and captains competing for the ASR “Winner’s Cup”, to be awarded at the closing VIP Gala Dinner. There will also be a Corinthian Class for those who prefer non-competitive fun sailing.
Last but not least is the Bay Regatta which is a fun-driven event in which sailors test their skills while circumnavigating the spectacular Phang Nga Bay – one of the most picturesque sailing destinations in the world. Details of the event are yet to be announced but if it keeps up the level of the last year’s, 20th edition, it’s definitely a yachting event to look forward to.