Asian Regatta Forum at Top of the Gulf

The Asian regatta calendar is a full-on affair - there’s something happening practically every month of the year. The principal events are loosely referred to as the ‘Asian Regatta Circuit’, even though there are no formal organizational link between the events.

Those that attract both local and overseas competitors on a regular basis include -

Thailand: Top of the Gulf, Phuket King’s Cup, Phuket Raceweek, Koh Samui Regatta, The Bay Regatta
Hong Kong: China Coast Regatta, China Sea Race (San Fernando Race), Vietnam Race
Malaysia: Raja Muda, Royal Langkawi Regatta, Borneo Cup
Philippines: Commodore’s Cup, Boracay Race, Boracay Cup
Singapore: Singapore Straits Regatta
China: China Cup

On Wednesday, after the Top of the Gulf Regatta, TOG Chairman Bill Gasson invited a number of interested parties to an informal forum to discuss regatta timing and race content, mainly with a view to making the events more ‘inclusive’ for qualifying yachts, especially with regard to the Asian Yachting Grand Prix league table run by Capt Marty Rijkuris. This championship has over recent years become a two-boat event.

Subjects discussed included uniformity of race formats and classes, regatta scheduling (for the most part, now well-established), and a notional split of the AYGP-listed events into ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ circuits.

‘Inclusiveness’ and encouragement of participation was the most widely discussed subject. There are a great many boats all over Asia that do not participate in the regional regattas. It was noted that a fair number of boats from – especially – Hong Kong make the trip south to compete in regattas in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, but few, if any boats from those countries make the opposite voyage. Capt Marty reiterated the intention of the AYGP to “reward the boat and skipper that has run the best overall campaign in Asian waters”.

Other ideas aired included - the creation of multiple AYGP classes; extraction of results from similarly-banded and therefore comparable regattas; a points-recognition of participation in, as well as performance at, AYGP listed regattas; differential points scoring based on divison sizes; points scoring for home/away regattas; fully amateur crews; a centralised database and website system aimed at promoting all the regattas on the circuit; the role of the media in promoting Asian events.

Present at the forum were:

Bill Gasson (Chairman, Top of the Gulf Regatta)
Jun Avecilla (Commodore Subic Bay Yacht Club and Chairman, Subic Bay Commodore’s Cup, Boracay Cup, Boracay Race)
Grenville Fordham (Chairman, Six Senses Phuket Raceweek)
Wicky Sundram (General Manager, Royal Langkawi Yacht Club)
Zack Bashah (Operations Manager, Royal Langkawi Yacht Club)
Tudor John (Chairman, Neptune Regatta)
Alex Voss (Safety Officer, Neptune Regatta)
Matt Allen (Past Commodore, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia)
Jason Lim (Singapore Sailing Association)
Guy Nowell (Asia Editor, Sail-World.com)
Capt Marty Rijkuris (AsianYachting.com)
Roger McMillan (Editor, Australian Sailing)
Simon James (IRO)
Jerry Rollin (IRO)
Duncan Worthington (Infinity Communications)
Paul Poole (Paul Poole South East Asia Ltd)
Stephen Marsh (MRI)
Scott Finsten (Harbourmaster, Ocean Marina Yacht Club)