On the evening of the 21st of January the 17th Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup (ASR Cup), held at the luxurious Sala Phuket Resort, came to a successful and thrilling end.
On this night the Owners and VIP grand finale Gala Dinner heralded the close of the event and during the Awards Ceremony Captain Simon Blundell of S/Y Aphrodite happily accepted this year’s 2nd ASR Winner’s Cup, claiming his victory for the second year in a row.
'What magnificent racing… we loved it. This is what we are here for, to have sailing like that with company like you guys. It’s just as good as it gets. We can’t look forward enough to next year,' enthused Captain Blundell.
The ASR Cup event, bringing together superyacht captains, their guests and captains and crews, welcomed an eclectic selection of Luxury Motor and Sailing Yachts for the 19-21 January social and racing event. Two days of intense racing followed an outstanding opening day cocktail party aboard S/Y La Numero Uno. Special social activities were woven into the race schedule, including the popular ‘ASR Challenge’ model yacht-building and racing party competition between superyacht teams.
On Day 1 S/Y Intrigue kicked things off by crossing the start line 2 seconds early, causing them to have to restart - incidentally at the opposite end of S/Y Aphrodite and S/Y La Numero Uno, giving them a big advantage with wind direction. By first mark, S/Y Intrigue was half a leg in front of the others, by second mark more than a leg ahead and by third mark had lapped S/Y La Numero Uno for the win.
The final standing for the first racing day was S/Y Intrigue, S/Y Aphrodite and S/Y La Numero Uno.
The final day of racing proved to be both exciting and unique, getting two races in just after 1pm with great wind and a few scattered showers.
Race 1 of day 2 started off fantastically, seeing a 4 second gap between S/Y Intrigue and S/Y Aphrodite by the second buoy. However, an unfortunate rip to the spinnaker of S/Y Intrigue allowed S/Y Aphrodite to catch up and maintain distance, coming in at the finish just 2 minutes behind. However, corrected time proved S/Y Aphrodite the winner, leaving both boats with one 1st and one 2nd place standing and S/Y La Numero Uno with two 3rd place standings.
The final race was run on a straight up and down course using the updated handicaps, which created quite the unique finish with both S/Y Aphrodite and S/Y Intrigue both coming in at 33:05.
However, because each boat had the same standings prior to the third and final race, and race three could not conclude the winner with an identical finish, a few quick phone calls were made to a World Sailing Technical Delegate, with confirmation that the winner of the second overall race would be named champion.
Leaving a final standing of S/Y Aphrodite, S/Y Intrigue and S/Y La Numero Uno respectively.
'Very rarely do we have boats finish in that closely. And I think the key is that it shows that we are making an effort to allow similar boats, which always can be different sizes, to compete,' race officer Simon James said of the extraordinary finish.
A little rain couldn’t stop the final Gala Dinner set on the beautiful lawns of Sala Phuket Resort on Mai Khao Beach where guests enjoyed a delicious 8-course meal as the sounds of Mai Khao Bay’s surf melded beautifully with the stylings of the Colin ‘Illy’ Hill Band.
Phuket Vice Governor Norraphat Plodthong joined in the celebrations, stating: 'I am very honoured to be here for this year’s ASR Cup Superyacht Rendezvous. I want to thank the owners and captains for bringing their superyachts to Phuket and am hopeful that they will return for next year’s event.'
At the ASR Winner’s Cup awards ceremony Captain Simon Blundell of S/Y Aphrodite accepted this year’s ASR Cup, claiming his victory for the second year in a row and jesting that the Feng Shui will now work better with two trophies gracing their salon, and that they’ll be back next year for a third!