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Top of the Gulf Regatta still sailing strong

Competition is expected to be fierce at the 10th anniversary Top of the Gulf Regatta from May 1-5 in Pattaya, Thialand
Competition is expected to be fierce at the 10th anniversary Top of the Gulf Regatta from May 1-5 in Pattaya, Thialand. Photo Supplied

Top of the Gulf Regatta still sailing strong

Top of the Gulf Regatta celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with top sailors from around the world heading to Pattaya, Thailand, to compete in Asia’s largest multi-class regatta from May 1-5 at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club.

Regularly attracting in excess of 250 boats and more than 600 sailors from over 30 countries, Top of the Gulf Regatta is known around the world for its competitive sailing across a diverse fleet of boats, and this year organisers expect one of the most competitive fleets yet with boats and crew from Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and from as far away as England and the United States.

“We have a strong line-up of international boats and crew who will be racing a large fleet of local talent across 12 classes this year,” William Gasson, chairman of the organising committee, said.

An iconic event in Pattaya’s sporting calendar, the regatta has become a “Festival of Sail”, bringing together a large fleet of keelboats and multihulls, dinghies, beach catamarans, windsurfs, the prestigious Coronation Cup and the Thailand Optimist National Championships.

With one of its aims being the promotion sailing in Thailand, organisers have worked closely with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand for the past decade, supporting grassroots sailing in the country and giving thousands of young Thai sailors the opportunity to develop competitive sailing skills in an international-standard competition.

Local youngsters have gone on to compete in regional and world sailing championships in recent years, as well as the Olympics.

Having introduced windsurfing to the regatta a few years ago, organisers have this year brought the RS:One Asian Championship to Thailand – the first time the regional championship has been held in the country.

“We are expecting over 30 national team sailors and Olympic hopefuls from around Asia to compete [in the RS:One Asian Championship],” Gasson said.

Top of the Gulf is the only regatta in Thailand to be operated from a marina, and Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Southeast Asia’s largest marina and home of the regatta since the beginning, provides an ideal in-water and onshore base.

“Ocean Marina Yacht Club have been instrumental in the development of sailing in the Gulf of Thailand and in the success and growth of the Top of the Gulf Regatta over the past ten years,” Gasson added.

“We look forward to working together and promoting sailing in Thailand for many more years to come.”

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