The winds are gusting, the anticipation is building, and 200-plus sailors are ready to take to the water on the southern coast of Phuket as the Phuket Raceweek 2022 at Cape Panwa Hotel is about to get underway.
Before the opening ceremonies of the Phuket Raceweek 2022 at Cape Panwa Hotel, crews from 22 participating boats spread across six classes eagerly awaited their sailing instructions from PR0 Simon James. He told the sailors that continual 24-knot winds would see him put the racing on hold.
With the sailors given their instruction, and the winds gusting, it was time to open the regatta officially. That is just what regatta organizer Byron Jones did, thanking all participating sailors and the dignitaries in attendance.
The Australians are in Town
All four crew in the IRC Zero class have flown up from Australia to participate in the event. What better signal to send to the world that Phuket is now open for business again than to have some of the region’s best sailors competing off the southern shores of the island. The regatta, which is a huge boost to the local economy, brings with it a huge wave of positivity as the sailors with swagger and can-do attitude visit the locals, bars and restaurants during their stay on the islands.
VIPs attending the opening dinner included Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew; Nantasiri Ranasiri, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phuket Office; Mr Nachapong Pranit, Director of the Phuket Regional Harbour Office; Miss Ratchadaporn OIn Director of Phuket Provincial Tourism and Sport; and Mr Pongvarut Pangsrivongse, Executive Director New Project Development.
Is Phuket Raceweek Unique?
Every regatta has its unique selling points and advantages, and Phuket Raceweek it has to be Summer Season sailing and its host venue, the Cape Panwa Hotel, which offers a sumptuous buffet on four different nights.
The location is so spectacular that heaven forbid there is an AP on shore or a race postponement. Sailors will gladly lounge on the private beach, swapping tales and taking in the pristine environment that is Cape Panwa Hotel.
The event has become so popular that three Australians (Dave Cole, Con Macarlino & Bruce Wallace) flew up to Phuket just to be part of the regatta even though they won’t be sailing.
Craig Nichols and James Bury purchased Emagine and renamed it Alright and have flown in ten crew from Sydney to sail her. And Garry Holt became so enamoured of Jessandra II when he sailed her to victory in the Bay Regatta five years ago that he decided to purchase her, clinching the deal a couple of weeks back when he took possession and renamed her Let’s Get it On.
Regatta organizer Byron Jones said,
“After such a horrendous time through the pandemic, it’s great to be able to resume action, put this event back on the calendar and be back at the Cape Panwa Hotel. This is the first time a sailing event of this size has taken place in two-and-a-half years.”
Phuket Raceweek 2022 started with registration on Wednesday, 29th June, followed by four days of racing in and around the Islands on the Southeastern part of Phuket from Thursday, 30th June through Sunday, 3rd July.