PHUKET, Thailand – Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek welcomed 41 boats and over 500 sailors and friends for its 14th edition which was held 19 – 23 July, 2017 and saw four days of excellent warm water racing off Phuket’s southeast coast.
Headquartered at the exclusive 5-star Cape Panwa Hotel, the regatta put on an excellent onshore programme of activities over four nights, culminating in a last night Gala Dinner attended by sailors and yachting and government dignitaries, which was matched by a top quality racing programme managed by a World Sailing International Race Officer and an experienced team of on-water professionals.
Spread across seven classes, the 41-strong fleet included the largest ever number of multihulls at the event, 21, as well as regional yachting luminaries and a diverse mix of sailors from more than 25 countries, including many charter teams from Australia, Japan and around Asia, as well as an all Chinese team chartering at the event for the first time.
“We had an excellent, high quality fleet of boats and sailors this year ranging from a Swan 55 competing for the first time and the TP52 Team Hollywood (ex Origin) through to sports boats, as well as a very competitive group of 40-footers who enjoyed some close racing throughout.
We broke our own multihull record this year with 21 boats competing over four classes, including the newly introduced Multihull Cruising. This year definitely had one of the most competitive fleets ever at Raceweek,” said Byron Jones, Managing Director of the regatta’s owner and organiser, Media Business Services Co., Ltd.
After three days of idyllic tropical sailing, it came down to a final day shoot-out to decide many of the podium places and while Ray Roberts’ Team Hollywood (AUS) dominated IRC I, it was a close tussle for second and third, which went to East Marine Emagine (AUS) and Loco (SIN) respectively.
In IRC II, Phoenix (DEN) were the clear winners, while the all ladies team on Sailescapes Farrgo Ladies (AUS) managed to claim second over Krabi Boat Lagoon Piccolo (GBR). In the Cruising class it was Lady Bubbly (AUS) who claimed the honours, while a fast finishing BeauX Esprits (AUS) leapfrogged into second ahead of Who Dares Wins (GBR) in third.
Asia Catamarans Hurricane (AUS) defended their title in Multihull Racing while the trimaran Thor (GBR) finished second ahead of Phantom V (AUS) in third. In Multihull Cruising it was an Australian top three: DaVinci, Mojo, Siesta in first, second and third respectively.
Another to defend their title, and in the process set a record for winning five consecutive years, was John Newnham’s Twin Sharks (GBR) in the Firefly 850 class. Although winning the last race of the series, the all-Japanese crew on Natsuki Motoyoshi’s Mil Grace (JPN) had to settle for third behind Blue Noze (GBR).
The one-design Corsair trimarans racing in the Pulse 600 class went down to the wire with Java Racing (GBR) edging out Multihull Solutions H30 (AUS) for the win, and SuDu Red (AUS) placed third.
Preparing to celebrate its 15th year next year, the award-winning Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek has a well- deserved reputation for delivering top quality racing, both competitive and fun, amongst the stunning island-scape off Phuket’s southeast coast, while hosting a beachfront social scene unmatched by any other regatta in Asia.
“With the 2017 event being one of the best yet, we are already working hard to raise the bar further and make 2018 even better,” added Jones.
Add next year’s dates to your diary: 18 – 22 July, 2018.