Asia's best head to 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta

A top quality fleet of racers from Asia and beyond are expected to line-up at the 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta. Photo by Top of the Gulf Regatta/ Infinity Communications. - Top of the Gulf Regatta
Infinity Communications
The fleet line-up for the 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta, held 4-8 May off Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand, is set to be one of the most competitive yet.

Over 600 participants in 300+ sailing craft, from more than 30 countries will compete in 12 classes over four days of racing at Asia's largest multi-class regatta – the Top of the Gulf Regatta (TOG Regatta).

A record fleet is expected on the keelboat and multihull courses this year. Growing year-on-year, the highly competitive fleet includes boats from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Thailand and beyond, and will be managed by experienced Principal Race Officer Jerry Rollin.

'We expect over 70 boats on the keelboat and multihull course this year, with an increase in interest from Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila, particularly in the 40 foot keelboat range,' said William Gasson, Founder and Chairman of the Regatta Organising Committee.

Asia's 40-foot fleet continues to grow and top boats from around the region are heading to Pattaya to test their skills against one of Asia's most competitive fleets, at the TOG Regatta. 2011 Phuket King's Cup Regatta winner, Japanese-entry Karasu, skippered by Yasuo Nanamori, will be competing for the first time this year and will be up against KukuKERchu, the Kerr 40 from Singapore, Walalwala 2, a Sydney GTS 43 from Singapore, and the Mills 40 EFG Bank Mandrake from Hong Kong – all newcomers to the Regatta this year. They will be up against Thailand teams Wan Marang (GP42) and Katsu (Swan 42), amongst others.

Add to the 40-footers the Singapore Kerr 32 Foxy Lady IV, skippered by Asian regatta veteran Bill Bremner, and the all-new, never-before-raced Soto 30, which will be making its worldwide debut at the Regatta, and the Class is wide open.

The pedigree of sailors at the 2012 TOG Regatta is exceptional, with winners of all the major Asian Regattas in the last 12 months, taking part, as well as national and regional champions competing in the Optimist, dinghies and beach catamaran classes.

The Racing Class will again be competitive with Neil Pryde and his HiFi crew returning to try again for the elusive class title – one of the few in the region he has yet to win.

The Sports Boats Class is set to grow with two new Shaw 6.5's launched recently and expected to join the fleet, together with Hong Kong newcomer the 25-foot Brace Brace.

The Prestigious Coronation Cup, competed for by the one-design Platu fleet, continues to attract attention from sailors in Asia and beyond. With 15 Platus already confirmed and more crews wanting to take part, the Class looks to be one of the biggest yet in the Regatta's eight-year history. Crews from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand have currently signed-up.

'The standard of competition looks set to be very high at this year's Top of the Gulf Regatta. We're expecting one of the most competitive line-ups of any regatta in Asia and are looking forward to some exciting racing,' added Gasson.

The 2012 Top of the Gulf Regatta will take place fourth to 8th May. Hosted at Ocean Marina Yacht Club, racing will take place in the waters off the marina, Jomtien Beach, on the Gulf coast of Thailand.

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