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2018/19 AY Grand Prix Event

AY Pre-Regatta Report

Much to celebrate at the 18th Samui Regatta...
By AY MultiMedia
May 26th, Koh Samui, Thailand: It never ceases to amaze me, how International teams rally around after a busy year and come to the Samui Regatta, for the 2018-19 Season ending shoot out. With the lure of some fun in the sun, on a tropical Thai island, both on and off the water, is hard to resist and continues to attract top level International teams, from Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Thailand, that over the years have transformed Samui Island into a world-class sailing and sports tourism destination. The regatta has a new home this year and headquartered at the stunning 5-star Synergy Samui Resort, which have welcomed everyone with open arms, to a beachfront hub from which to operate the regatta, as well as hosting a number of daily prize giving's.

This is also the grand final for the 2018-19 AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP) Ranking events and although Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood, are already declared winners of the 2018-19 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year titles and will don the Trend Fashion navy blue blazer for the fourth time, in the illustrious 17 year history of the AYGP Awards, at the combined Samui Regatta prize presentation. The other teams are taking the last opportunity, to finish higher up the order, in the Overall AYGP Rankings this season.

The grudge match between Ray Roberts TP52 Team Hollywood and Kevin Whitcraft's defending champion THA72 has just got bigger and more inclusive. After a couple years away, Frank Pong's Custom Dibley 75 Jelik, returns with a new keel/bulb configuration to improve performance. Hong Kong's Sam Chan's TP52 Freefire and Sarab Singh's Welbourn 52 Windsikher II out of Singapore, return for another tilt at the title. While the big boats crank up the pace, Marcel Liedts Ker 46 Zannekin has a knack of beating them in the handicap stakes.

The graceful Premier Cruising Class also return to the regatta this year, with Peter Churchhouse's Warwick 64 MoonBlue 2, Michiel Brinkers Andrews 70 Bella Uno and Pana Trungkabunchar's all Thai crew on the X512 Lawana, are going head to head, with some comfort on their side.

As there is no Multihull Class this year, Meitatsu Fukumoto / Seng Huang Lee’s flying ORMA 60 SHK Scallywag FUKU skippered by David Witt, will be making an appearance and lumbered in with the Premier Cruisers and hope the conditions are favourable for the Round the Island race to go ahead and make an attempt at the race record.

Dramatic change in the IRC 1 class, with Fred Kinmonth and Nick Burns GTS 43 Mandrake III defending champions, taking on a variety of boat designs. Timothy Fox has chartered the Beneteau 44.7 Fujin, Max Palleschi's well traveled Farr 40 IOR Prime Factor has competed with distinction on the AYGP circuit, Hugh Halliburton's Adams 10 Tenacious started the Top of the Gulf Regatta in style and Morton Jackobsen/Neil Semple's VX One Over Here, are more akin to a sports boat class. It probably will come down to the weather conditions, to favour one or more of the yachts.

The only Samui based yacht to enter the regatta, Mick Grover has traded his former Elliot 7 Moon Shadow for the bigger Davidson 35 Moon Shadaw 2 but will have to overcome arch rivals, Tim McMahon with the sailing school crew, onboard his X99 SailQuest Hi Jinks, Andre Den Braven's Whiting 36 Graffiti and Michael Spies/Garry Holt's latest creation and alleged rating beater, Seaway 25 Holding Patten, keeping everyone in suspense.

During the week the Wind Guru prediction for next week has progressively got better. The first few days is predominately from the West South West, in the mid-teens and probably the best time to hold the Round the Island Race. The prevailing South West Monsoon returns for the rest of the regatta but is dropping in strength and regularly changing direction.

Organised by Regattas Asia, a good mix of windward-leeward's and passage races are planned, that rely on good crew work and boat preparation, to succeed.

Run in conjunction with the Samui Yacht Club Regatta, under the auspices of the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Municipal of Koh Samui, the Sports Authority of Thailand and the Tourism Association of Koh Samui.

More information, photos and results at: http://www.samuiregatta.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamuiRegatta
Twitter: http://twitter.com/samuiregatta

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