The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is to reintroduce windsurfing as one of its competitive classes this year, representing an exciting ‘roots’ style rebirth of an early component of the classic race. The newly announced Windsurfing Class is held in cooperation with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand (WATH), with races taking place over four days from 2 to 5 December 2012.
In the early years of the Phuket King’s Cup, the Regatta included a broad range of watercraft, yet over time it has developed into the foremost big boat race in Asia. In 2009, the organisers reintroduced dinghy sailing to the event, and last year saw kitesurfing added to a diversified competitive roster.
Siriporn ‘Dao’ Kaewduanggam. (Photo courtesy Phuket King’s Cup Regatta)
About 14 sailors from the Thai national team will join the windsurfing competition, including Ek Boonsawad, and Siriporn ‘Dao’ Kaewduanggam. Ek recently represented Thailand at the 2012 London Olympics, while Dao won the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore. There will also be six Thai sailors from the Royal Thai Navy Base in Satthip joining the event, in addition to 20 sailors from abroad.
WATH President and Pattaya Mayor, Ittipol Kunplume, said, “The Windsurfing Association of Thailand is very pleased to see our sport form part of such a prestigious regatta. It is great for the sport of windsurfing in Thailand, a country in which it enjoys strong levels of participation from Thai nationals, and also from visiting guests; there are a lot of tourists and visitors who take advantage of Phuket’s superb sea conditions for getting to grips with this enjoyable and challenging sport.”
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Phuket King’s Cup Organising Committee, said, “We’re pleased to welcome a new generation of windsurfing competitors to the 2012 Regatta. This is an exciting and fun addition to the ‘classes of 2012’, and so sits well with the thrilling spectacle of big boat racing during the 26th Phuket King’s Cup. Phuket could be considered something of an ultimate location for the sport for both professional competitors and also for novices wishing to explore a high-energy water sport.”
The 2012 Phuket King’s Cup Windsurfing Championships will gather top competitors from across the region, with racers using Starboard 2013 Phantom Race 295 windsurfing boards provided by Starboard, ensuring a parity of equipment for close racing. Quicksilver Thailand joins as a sponsor, providing accommodation for sailors, and Amara Watersports Thailand also provides sponsorship support. Thai windsurfers are expected to perform well in the competition due to the sport’s popularity in the country, and given Thailand’s exceptional international reputation in the sport.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta itself will run from 1 to 8 December, 2012, and will host the largest and most competitive fleet of any regional regatta, with the top competitors from around the region and beyond, plus cruising sailors from around the world, taking part.
(Source – King’s Cup Regatta media)