In a thrilling finale at the 35th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalaksh graced the seas aboard Vayu THA 72, leading the TP52 to victory in both races of the prestigious IRC Zero class on the final day. This triumph marked a significant moment in the eleven-race series.
Ray Roberts’ TP52 Team Hollywood, despite finishing second in both races, clinched the class and overall King’s Cup title for an impressive fourth consecutive year. The IRC Zero class also saw strong performances from James & Kate Murray’s Callisto, a Pac 52, and Steve McConaghy’s Aftershock Syndicate, a Davidson 55, finishing third and fourth respectively.
The event was a spectacular showcase of sailing prowess, featuring fair conditions, tight competition, and a blend of world-class sailors. The regatta was further enhanced by excellent weather and vibrant onshore festivities, culminating in a royal touch with Her Majesty’s participation and her role in presenting the awards at the Royal Awards Ceremony.
In the Premier class, Ithinai Yingsiri’s Pine Pacific, an X-Yacht 55, dominated by winning all seven races. Peter Cremers’ Shatoosh, a Warwick 75, consistently finished second, while Hans Rahmann’s custom-built JV 72 Yasooda faced setbacks but secured third place overall. Bernard Huybens’ Aphrodite, a Vitters 92, ended fourth in the class.
The IRC One class witnessed a close contest with Nick Burns’ Witchcraft narrowly outperforming Rolf Heemskerk’s The Next Factor, replicating their recent success at the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta. Witchcraft led the class with seven wins out of ten races. Craig Nichols’ Alright and Susurnu Kurose’s Char Chan also delivered notable performances, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The Bareboat Charter Class was dominated by Dean Peng’s & Tiffany Khoo’s Dragonborn, winning five out of seven races. Mike Downard’s Piccolo and Toshihiko Iijima’s Hippocrates followed closely, with only a point separating them.
In the Monohull Cruising class, Philippe Dallee’s Swan II emerged victorious, narrowly defeating Steve Maine’s Enavigo and Jianhao Yang’s Isabella, which faced a setback due to a disqualification.
The Multihull Racing class saw Dan Fidock’s Kata Rocks Parabellum outpace its sole competitor, John Newnham’s Kata Rocks 2, winning seven of nine races. In the Multihull Cruising class, Andrew McDermott’s Trident triumphed over Frank Kastelein’s Team No Escape.
The International Dinghy Classes added to the regatta’s excitement, with Patcharaphan Ongkaloy leading the Optimist class, followed by Pailin Jaroenpon and Karit Phrammanee. Anandi Chandavarkar dominated the Open Skiff class, while Thailand swept the ILCA4 class with Nanvatorn Supaamphonwit at the helm.
Notably, Noppakao Poonpat, the 2010 World Optimist champion, joined Her Majesty on Vayu THA 72, adding to the event’s prestige.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the Regatta Committee, highlighted the event’s significance in promoting Phuket as a premier yachting destination and its contribution to Thailand’s tourism and economy. The regatta, supported by esteemed sponsors, not only showcased top-tier sailing but also served as a platform for young Thai sailors to hone their skills against international competitors.
Asia’s legendary yacht race under Royal Patronage, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta is organized by the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta Organizing 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.
Photos courtesy of Guy Nowell