PHUKET, Thailand – Combining travel with sport, The Bay Regatta is a four-day circumnavigation of Phang Nga Bay that takes in three of southern Thailand's most scenic provinces – Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi – and where the emphasis is on fun. Attracting the serious, the not-so-serious and the not-at-all-serious “racing” sailors, the regatta appeals to an international mix who enjoy the stunning sailing grounds of the area and a different destination each evening.
Starting from Phuket on 15th February, organisers Regattas Asia are expecting a large fleet to celebrate this milestone 20th Anniversary edition.
“The successful event format hasn't changed much over the years, but the sailors, types of boats and demographics have. We are seeing more international sailors flying in and chartering boats to take part and we are also seeing more people opting to stay ashore each evening, rather than on their boats,” said Ms. Kae Wattana, Managing Director of organisers Regattas Asia.
The Bay Regatta is an excellent example of how sports tourism works to the benefit of communities and local economies.
“Each evening we anchor at a different venue and the sailors go ashore. Those staying ashore – more than 60% of the fleet – book accommodation and either eat in the local restaurants or enjoy the official event functions which engage with the local community. Most of the expenditure of the regatta goes directly into the local economies of the areas we visit – this has been the case since the regatta was launched and it will remain so for the future,” commented Ms. Wattana.
Held from 15th to 19th February, The Bay Regatta is a series of passage races – an event format that has caught the attention of sailors around the world with participants coming from as far afield as Australia, Russia, the UK and Canada to compete in six classes (Racing Class, Cruising A, Cruising B, Bareboat Charter, Racing Multihulls and Cruising Multihulls)
The 2017 programme is as follows:
- 15th February: Registration and Opening Party at Chandara Resort and Spa, Ao Po (Phuket).
- 16th February: Day 1 – Race from Ao Po to Paradise Koh Yao with prize giving at Paradise Koh Yao Resort (Phang Nga).
- 17th February: Day 2 – Race from Paradise Koh Yao to Krabi. Free night (Krabi).
- 18th February: Day 3 – Race around Krabi's islands with prize giving at Railay Bay Resort & Spa (Krabi).
- 19th February: Day 4 – Race from Krabi to Ao Chalong. Prize giving and Closing Dinner at Kan Eang II, Ao Chalong (Phuket).
Moving gear and personnel around the three provinces, and providing evening social events at different destinations each evening, The Bay Regatta is a logistical challenge that requires a dedicated team to make everything go smoothly.
“To organise and operate the regatta is no small feat. My team work very hard to make the event a success for the participants but we couldn't do it without our sponsors and the excellent co-operation we get from the relevant authorities and local businesses along the route,” added Ms. Wattana.