The 13th Top of the Gulf Regatta will take place from 4-8 May 2017 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, Thailand. More than 250 boats and 700 sailors representing 25 nations will take part in the largest multi-class regatta of its kind in Asia.
The regatta is the only marina-based regatta in Thailand hosted by Ocean Marina Yacht Club, South East Asia's largest marina, supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, Pattaya City, Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the Royal Thai Navy.
Having received international acclaim in 2014 and 2016, the multi award-winning regatta has has earned a reputation for world-class sailing and race management, set in the idyllic Gulf of Thailand famous for its warm weather sailing and good winds.
The 2017 Regatta will include 12 classes for novice to professionals from six to 70 years of age. The Thai National SEA Games Team will also compete against other national teams ahead of the SEA Games in August, in Kuala Lumpur.
“2017 will be a milestone year for Top of the Gulf Regatta as we will welcome our 3,000th entry. Having started from humble beginnings in 2005 and marketed the event to yachting communities in Europe, Australia and Asia every year> Our aim has always been to provide an international quality sailing event for a diverse fleet of boats. Two awards in recent years are recognition of our efforts and as we enter our 13th year we are set to welcome a large fleet of more than 250 boats, including some of the region's best keelboat and multihull sailors.” said Mr. William Gasson, Co-Chairman of the Top of the Gulf Regatta organising committee.
Keelboat and Multihull Classes
The racing keelboat fleet will be split into three IRC classes with some of the region's best 40-foot and TP52 sailors battling it out, including Phuket King's Cup Regatta 2016 winner THA72, the Sydney 40 Emagine, winner of Phuket Raceweek 2016, and top sailors such as Ray Roberts (AUS), Steve McConaghy (AUS) and many more.
In the Cruising Class there will be local crews including the Thai team on Le Vent (Jeanneau 42i), and crews from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, while Kirati Assakul returns to defend his title in the Ocean Multihulls Class.
First raced in 1996, the Coronation Cup competition is for one-design Bruce Farr 25ft Platu sports boats. Thailand is home to the largest Platu fleet in Asia and the Coronation Cup has become the largest one-design competition in the region. This year will attract previous champions as well as 15 teams from the UK, Japan and Australia, and national champions from Russia and Singapore.
A fleet of 70+ Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7's will compete in the Single-Handed Monohull Dinghy Class while in the Double-Handed Monohull Dinghy Class there's a trong line-up of 420s and 470s. As a warm-up event for the 2017 SEA Games national teams from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will also be competing.
Thailand Optimist National Championships
Also featured is Thailand's premier youth sailing event which will again welcome sailors from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and across Thailand. A record fleet of 150+ is expected ahead of the 2017 Optimist World Championship in July at Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
IOM Class RC Yachts
The International One Meter (IOM) Radio Controlled Yacht Class also returns for a second consecutive year, with over 20 yachts returning.
“Being the only marina-based regatta in Thailand is as huge positive, especially for the international boats and crews. The in-water and onshore facilities at Ocean Marina Yacht Club are unrivalled and further expansion is planned later this year. This, together with recent changes by the Customs Department rulings in Pattaya last year, will result in more visiting yachts cruising the area, and bodes well for future regattas and marine tourism in general in the Gulf of Thailand.” said Gasson.
Last year Top of the Gulf Regatta received the acclaimed Silver Award for “Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand” at the 2016 Asian Sports Industry Awards, previously voted “Asian Regatta of the Year” at the 2014 Asian Marine & Boating Awards. It has also made the “Best Asian Regatta” shortlist at the Asia Boating Awards for three consecutive years.