Sailing has been part of Phukets history for hundreds of years. However the creation of the ‘Kings Cup Regatta’ in 1987 to commemorate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, established Phuket as a key pleasure sailing location. There are now 4 major racing events annually which attract thousands of keen sailors and spectators alike. The Kings Cup Regatta takes place in the first week of December and features over 100 boats of different racing classes. According to Phuket folklore even windsurfers took part in the original races. However now the regatta is seen as a ‘big boat’ attraction with internationally recognised team members and boats from across the globe.
The ‘Ao Chalong Yacht Club’ formerly known as the “Ao Chalong Cruising Yacht Club’ was founded in the early 1990’s and has been organising major racing events since. In February of each year they host the 5 day ‘Bay Regatta’ in Phang Nga Bay on the east coast of Phuket. The area comprises stunning islets and pinnacles surrounded by emerald green waters. It expands across 400 square kilometers and is home to the famous James Bond island (Koh Tapu) which featured in the 1974 movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (Roger Moore).
The Phuket International Boat Show is one of Asia’s top exhibition events. This year PIMEX as it is known will be hosted in January (rather than March) at the ‘Royal Phuket Marina’. The 2014 event is already boasting of over 60 boats on display, 2,500 square meters of in-door exhibition space and numerous other events taking part at the marina from the 9th to the 12th of January.
For those not looking to compete or buy, there are numerous charter companies operating from Ao Chalong. Whether you are looking for a ‘Laser’ or traditional ‘Junk’, this is the place to find it. Many operators offer a multitude of packages taking you around nearby island and beaches. Many of the tours finish as the sunsets over the bay. A fantastic way to finish off a days sailing.
Our Guest Services team at Pier 42 will be able to advise you on which operators can fulfill your requirements. Book early if you are planning to attend any of the islands Regatta’s or boat shows to avoid disappointment.