The event was honourably attended by Admiral Rungsarit Sattayanukul, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Fleet, Representative of the Commander-in-Chief, the Royal Thai Navy; Norrapat Plodthong, Phuket Governor; Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee; Pramookpisitt Achariyachai, Chairman of Kata Group Resorts; Admiral Varong Songcharoen; the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee, and dignitaries, hundreds of sailors, VIPs and honored guests.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee, spoke of the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta this year, saying, “I would like to thank our honoured guests for attending the Royal Award Ceremony, and I’m really pleased to congratulate the winners competing in all classes during this year’s King’s Cup.
“The 31st Anniversary builds on the success of previous years with a strong sense of continuity and future relevance. The Phuket King’s Cup is known as Asia’s most prestigious regatta, and we appreciate that the program has such powerful international magnetism, drawing sailing teams internationally which return year after year to race here.”
He summarised the week, noting, “This year, the first three days featured strong winds and very good weather conditions, with lighter air returning later in the week. This allowed sailors from 20 countries to use their skills and tactical knowledge to best leverage advantages where they present themselves.
“It’s been a fantastic week, and especially so for our Dinghy fleet, which has grown over four years from 20 sailors to 109 this year. It is an invaluable cornerstone for growing the sport of sailing in the future.”
Gov Norrapat added, “The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is the most prestigious sailing event in Asia. On behalf of Phuket Province, we were glad to welcome over 2,000 sailors and supporters from around the globe during the race week each year.
“This event improves the province’s tourism industry, with especially strong benefits for hospitality and F&B operators, and for the sports tourism and marine tourism sectors. We expect the 31st Anniversary to have raised B250-300 million for the economy of Phuket. This very special sporting event reaffirms the reputation of Phuket Island as a Mecca for marine and sports tourism.”
Winners of 31st Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2017
Keelboats and Multihulls (11 Classes)
IRC Zero: Team THA72, Tom & Kevin Whitcraft (THA)
IRC 1: Team Otonomos Mandrake, Nick Burns/ Fred Kinmonth (HKG)
IRC 2: Team Kata Rocks (Madam Butterfly), Peter Dyer (GBR)
Premier: Team Pine-Pacific, Ithinai Yingsiri (THA)
Bareboat Charter: Team Phailin, Igor Ginzburg (RUS)
Cruising: Team Uminoko, Urii Firsov (RUS)
Modern Classic: Team Mermaid (Mas Allegre), Xiong Ting (CHN)
Multihull Racing: Team Thor, Henry Kaye/ Fergus Wilmer (GBR)
Multihull Cruising: Team Mojo Multihull Solutions, Rick Fielding (AUS)
Firefly 850 Sport: Team Twin Sharks, John Newnham (GBR)
Pulse 600: Multihull Solutions H3O, Nattapon Thongtoam (THA)
The International Dinghy Race (six classes) sponsored by Haad Thip PCL results follow: Jedtavee Yongyuennarn (Optimist Boy), Patcharee Sringam (Optimist Girl), Keerati Bualong (Laser Standard), Suthon Yampinid (Laser 4.7), Manat Phothong (Laser Radial), Nattapong Yoang-ngam (Topper) and Terada Fakkaew & Piyaporn Kaemkaew (420cm class).
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta this year presented 10 Optimist sailing dinghies to Songkhla Sailboat Training Centre to support the skills development of youth sailors. The initiative was created by the Phuket King’s Cup Organising Committee, under the Presidency of Kevin Whitcraft.
The Optimist is an ideal introductory sailing vessel for children due to its size and easy handling. Children as young as 7-8 years old can sail Optimists and develop their skills through to the age of 15 years old. It is hoped they will then go on to progress to larger sports sailing boats like the Pulse 600, before joining the crews of full size keelboats and multihulls.