Anurak Thailand Tourism The tourist website about Thailand by Thaiways magazine, the most comprehensive guide to Thailand.
Contents : Hotels, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hua Hin, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang-nga, Phuket, Samui, Maps
Cover story : 10 Jan 06 / Vol. 22 No. 19

By Dararai

HM King Bhumibol and Princess Ubolratana shared the gold medal in sailing in 1967.

Apart from cultural attractions, Thailand also has natural resources, both terrestrial and marine, in abundance. As the country borders on both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, it serves as a premier destination for cruising, boating, sailing, diving and other aquatic sports. Moreover, the excellent climate and the beautiful surroundings are important factors that make sports enthusiasts think of Thailand when they are looking for a playground for such water sports, especially sailing regattas which are held frequently at different places in Thailand.

Sailing is not only a popular water sport but is also an ideal one that allows you to fully admire the beauty of the sea without making any pollution. Then, wouldn't you like to join one of the events in the embrace of the sunlight, wind and water?

HM King Bhumibol, a keen sportsman
(Photos by royal courtesy)

Sailing History In Thailand
Sailing has been one of His Majesty King Bhumibol's favourite sports. It was in sailing that His Majesty's name as a sportsman became internationally known. On 29 April 1966, His Majesty sailed his OK Dinghy named Wekha, with a length of 13 feet, from Klai Kangwon Summer Palace, Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province to Sattahip Bay, Chon Buri Province. The sail consumed 17 hours. It can be said that HM the King is the initiator of sailing in Thailand.

Phuket King's Cup Regatta
(Photo by courtesy of TAT)

Then in 1967, the King and his eldest daughter Princess Ubolratana, aged 16 then, shared the gold medal in the OK Dinghy class of the sailing event in the 4th Southeast Asian Peninsular Games organized in Thailand. Regarding the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, it was established in 1964. Later, on 31 March 1987, it was taken under His Majesty's Royal Patronage.

At that time, people who could access sailing were mostly officers in the Navy because of the expensive costs. The playgrounds for sailing, therefore, were around the naval base at Sattahip Bay, Chon Buri Province.

Not long after that, in order to turn sailing into a more exciting activity, local regattas were organized in this country. They gradually became international, with an increasing number of participants from several countries each year. The earliest regatta in Thailand was Phuket King's Cup Regatta which was first held in Thailand in 1987 in Phuket. Up to the present time, there have been seven regattas held in Thailand in different months from January to December as follows:

January: Andaman Sea Rally
Sailers from all corners of the world come yearly to Phuket to participate in this sailing event and to witness the spectacular sailing grounds of the nearby Andaman Islands. With careful planning and targeted promotion of the rally, the number of boats participating each year increased by 100% or more. In 2006, the competition is scheduled to be held from 13 to 27 January 2006.

February: Phang-nga Bay Regatta
If you are looking for a less serious race or a race for families, the Phang-nga Bay Regatta is your perfect event. This regatta offers you a joyful experience while racing in between the islands of beautiful Phang-nga Bay. Parties on beaches will be arranged each night for your relaxation. The programme is scheduled to be organized around the Chinese New Year tentatively from 27 to 31 January.

Phang-nga Bay

April: Top of the Gulf Regatta
Newly inaugurated in 2005, this is a series of races sailed in the beautiful Gulf of Thailand just off Jomtien Beach, Pattaya. It is hosted at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club with full-scale facilities.

Pattaya (Photo by courtesy of TAT)

The regatta combines multiple racing classes from dinghies to keelboats. Parties in each evening will add colour and joy to the regatta apart from sailing in the sunny tropical weather conditions with flat seas and good winds. The 2006 schedule is still not available.

Jomtien Beach, Pattaya

May: Samui Regatta
Chaweng Beach on the "coconut island" is a wonderful base for racing. Samui Regatta draws a growing number of keelboats each year. Social activities at the end of each day are what will assure you of a memorable impression during the racing. In addition, Koh Samui Regatta Club Weekend Racing has recently been introduced to sailors in the period of 27-28th August 2005 as the first event in this new series.

This weekend racing features location transfer around the island of Samui to take advantage of the seasonal weather conditions and allow you to see more beautiful island scenery. The 2006 schedule for Samui Regatta is not yet announced.

Phuket King's Cup Regatta
(Photo by courtesy of TAT)

July: Phuket Race Week
Hosted at the 5-star Evason Resort and Spa on the sheltered side of Phuket Island, the regatta aims at demonstrating that you can have a good time in Phuket all year round, not just in the high season. It was first held in 2004 and is expected to attract an increasing number of racers. Beachside parties will no doubt be as relaxed and breezy as you would expect from Phuket. This year it was organised from 28 to 31 July. The 2006 schedule is not yet available.

Hua Hin Beach

August: Hua Hin Regatta

This regatta is organized by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand at Hua Hin Naval Yacht Club in the vicinity of Klai Kangwon Royal Summer Palace in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.

Chaweng Beach

Here, you will sail side by side with many of Thailand's top sailors in the embrace of the breezy wind and beautiful scenery. The race was from 3 to 7 August 2005. The 2006 schedule is still not available.

Nai Han Beach, Phuket
(By courtesy of TAT)

December: Phuket King's Cup Regatta
This is Asia's biggest and most popular high class regatta. In 2005, which was its 19th year under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, Phuket King's Cup Regatta drew as many as 80 to 100 boats and around 900 sailors for a 7-day-event and heart-warming parties. Racers enjoyed themselves sailing along Phuket's west coast and taking part in the closing Royal Awards Ceremony. The year-end regatta also highlighted a long-tail boat race which attracted a large number of the locals to join. The tentative schedules for the future are as follows:
2005: 4-10 December
2006: 3-10 December
2007: 2-9 December

Patong Beach

Now that you learn about these regattas, you may find that it is difficult to make a decision as to which regatta to participate in. Further information on attractions in these provinces holding regattas can be obtained from Travel News & Coming Events Section in different months specified in each regatta.

For the correct pronunciation of romanized Thai words, see
Romanization System of the Thai Language.

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Thaiways : Bangkok, Thailand / Ear & Hearing Aids Center
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