Close action is expected as the monohulls compete on a level-playing field in the IRC Combined Fleet Race on the last day of the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. Photo by Guy Nowell/Phuket King’s Cup Regatta.
With IRC and OMR fleets growing in Asia, the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta introduces the IRC Combined Fleet Race and OMR Combined Fleet Race on Saturday 11th December – the final day of the Regatta. With separate start lines off Kata Bay on Phuket Island’s West Coast, the two-class-only race allows cruisers to take on the ‘grand prix’ racers on a level-playing field.
“This is the first combined fleet race of its kind in Asia,” announced Simon James, Race Director.
The number of IRC rated boats globally is approximately 7,500 in 40 different countries, 7% of which are in Asia and of those, 15% are in Thailand. Growing in global popularity, the IRC rating system is operated by Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), UK. The 2010 RORC IRC National Championship in the UK had 54 entries while in 2009 the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta saw 87 IRC rated boats take part.
“Each year the fleet of IRC rated boats grows. To my knowledge, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta attracts the largest IRC fleet in the world,” added James.
Since 2007, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta has seen a 65% increase in IRC rated boats, in part due to the growing number of IRC boats in the region. Japan, for example, has seen an increase of 133% 2007-2009, significant for the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta as an independent survey by Infinity Communications & Consultant found that almost 10% of the 2009 Regatta fleet were Japanese.
The Asian multihull scene is seeing similar growth with a record 21 multihulls in the 2009 Regatta. Popular one-designs such as the Australian-designed Phuket-built Firefly 850 Sports, and the opening of a factory by Corsair Marine in Vietnam, further contribute to growth of the regional multihull fleet and number racing under OMR.
For the first time in Asia, the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta will include one IRC Combined Fleet Race and one OMR Combined Fleet Race. Both will take place Saturday 11th December – the final day of the Regatta. Each class compete for a separate trophy and the bragging rights of being the ‘IRC Winner’ or ‘OMR Winner’. The final day’s race does not count to the overall Phuket King’s Cup Regatta series which will be raced over four days instead of the traditional five days, this year.
“The IRC Combined Fleet Race on the final day of the Regatta is a great idea which will give the cruisers and cruiser/racers a chance to have a go at the flat out racers. IRC is firmly aimed at all types, sizes and styles of boat and so this is an ideal use of the rule,” commented Mike Urwin, Technical Director RORC Racing Office.
“While the spread of TCCs and range of boat types will inevitably mean that conditions on the day will potentially have a significant effect, I look forward with great interest to seeing the results.”
Attending the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta in official capacity are Jenny Howells Technical Manager RORC Rating Office, Emma Smith Ratings Secretary RORC Rating Office, Malcolm Runnells Official Measurer, a representative of the Thailand IRC Measurement Authority, and the official OMR Thailand representative Mark Pescott.
Jerry Rollins is Race Officer for the IRC Combined Fleet and Ross Chisholm Race Officer for the OMR Combined Fleet. Both starts are off Kata Bay.
“We decided to shake things up a little on the final day this year, and think competitors will enjoy it. It’ll be great to see all IRC’s compete against each other and all OMR boats against each other. I’m sure we’ll see some interesting results,” commented James.
The Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is now in its 24th year, first sailed in 1987 to celebrate His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 60th birthday. Under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organised by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.
Sponsors of the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta include Kata Group Resorts Thailand, Chang Beer, Siam Winery, Mom Tri’s Boathouse and The Moorings. Media Partners include Blue Wave 90.5FM, Helm Superyacht Asia Pacific, Indigo Media, Multihull World, The Nation, Phuket Gazette and YACHTstyle.
New dinghy race series for young sailors before Kings Cup Regatta 2010
Phuket Kings Cup committee members told Phuketindex last month that they are again considering arranging a series of races for junior or youth sailors, especially to encourage Thai students, probably in the dinghy Optomist class, similar to the Enterprise designed by HM the King and OK in which HM won the 4th South East Asia Peninsular Games (now known as the South East Asian (SEA) Games). The dinghy races will probably take place over several weekends near Sarasin Bridge in October and November before the main Kings Cup Regatta takes place 4th-11th December 2010, off Kata Beach in Phuket.
To see presentations to the young winners of last year’s first dinghy races before the Kings Cup regatta 2009