Phuket December 3rd, 2023 – The prestigious Phuket King’s Cup Regatta returns for its 35th year, ready to unfurl its sails amidst the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea. This event, a jewel in the crown of Asian yachting, brings together an international community of sailors, spectators, and sports enthusiasts. The Regatta’s schedule is meticulously planned, with races from 4-9 December.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Regatta organizing committee, remarked, “We are excited to organize the 35th Edition of the King’s Cup Regatta. Welcoming international and Thai yacht racing sailors for Keelboat, Multihulls, and International Dinghy races is a privilege. Competing here, surrounded by the beautiful Andaman Sea and the scenic beauty of Phuket, is an exceptional experience unparalleled in the world of yacht racing. Seeing familiar names and faces returning year after year to compete in what has become Asia’s most coveted yachting trophy is fantastic. Our Regatta is more than a series of races; it is a key contributor to sports tourism and the development of sailing in the region.”
The Governor of Phuket, Sophon Suwannarat, speaking of the Regatta’s broader impact, said, “The King’s Cup Regatta not only underscores our maritime heritage but also contributes significantly to our local economy and tourism sector. The influx of visitors for this regatta week is a boon, and we eagerly anticipate welcoming them. The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta has established itself as an important event in the yachting calendar and plays a vital role in drawing attention to the unique charms of Phuket.”
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta has evolved from its inception in 1987 from a local contest to a globally recognized event. It began with Thailand’s yachting community uniting to honour His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, The Great’s Fifth Cycle Birthday. The inaugural event was set against the backdrop of the Andaman Sea’s crystal waters, with the Phuket Yacht Club Hotel, a recent addition at the time, serving as the venue. Founded by Royal Varuna sailors, including Commodore Chris King and M.L. Tridosyuth Devakul (Mom Tri), the Regatta has since burgeoned into a world-class outing for leading sailors.
Today, the Regatta hosts over 90 boats annually and is a key fixture on the Asian Yachting Circuit. The event features a range of classes, from the adrenaline-pumping Racing Class to live-aboard ocean cruisers. International-standard race management, coupled with lively beach parties, underscores the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta as a yacht racing extravaganza known for its hospitality and competitive spirit.
Pramookpisitt Achariyacha, Kata Group Resorts Founder and President, sharing insights said, “We are delighted to host sailors and enthusiasts at Beyond Kata, the venue of this prestigious event. The Regatta is a testament to the spirit of sailing, sportsmanship and camaraderie, and we are confident that this year’s event will further elevate Phuket’s status as a prime tourist destination. We hope for favourable winds and welcoming seas as we embark on yet another memorable edition of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.”
Keelboats and Multihulls will compete between 4-9 December, with 7th December as a lay day for competitors to adjust their strategies or fix their boats. The race will continue from 8-9 December. The full complement of classes for the 2023 race year includes IRC Classes, along with Premier, Bareboat, Multihull Classes , Monohull Cruising and Modern Classic. The International Dinghy Classes will race from 3-5 December at Kata Beach. Classes are divided into Optimist, ILCA4, Open Skiff, Monohull Dinghy handicap.
The event’s economic impact is profound. Local businesses, from hotels to restaurants and transport services, experience a significant upturn during regatta week. The festive atmosphere, coupled with the influx of visitors, substantially boosts the local economy. An economic impact study has shown that the Regatta contributes several million Baht to the local economy annually. The Regatta also serves as a platform for cultural exchange, fostering relationships between international sailors and the local community. Famous restaurant serving Southern Thai culinary special participate together with traditional Thai performances integrated into the event, providing visitors with a rich, immersive experience of Thai culture.
Added Kevin Whitcraft, “Our goal is to make the King’s Cup a sailing competition that is on the bucket list of boat owners around the globe. This family-friendly event allows adults to race yachts while their kids race dinghies. The King’s Cup Regatta is considered one of the most spectacular and well-organized events in the region. The Regatta is known worldwide for its diverse craft, international crews, and the best-after-sailing beach parties. We are very proud of its contributions to Phuket and Thailand and the sport of sailing.”
Under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the Regatta is organised by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.
The Regatta’s sponsors, including Host Sponsor Kata Group, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, RMA Group, Ford Motor Company (Thailand), Ricoh (Thailand) Limited, Haad Thip PCL, Pine Pacific Corporation Limited, Singha Corporation Co., Ltd., and National Telecom Public Company Limited.
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About the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta – Asia’s legendary yacht race under Royal Patronage
Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.