Phuket King’s Cup Regatta

The King’s Cup Regatta, Phuket’s renowned international yachting event, takes place every year in December. The races are located on the Andaman ocean, near to the beautiful beach resort of Rawai, up to Kata beach and beyond. It is Asia’s largest and most popular sailing event of the whole sailing calendar.

The Regatta traditionally draws in huge crowds looking to enjoy the yachting races as well as partake in the associated party atmosphere with other yachting enthusiasts. This year sees the Regatta enter its 20th anniversary and so the celebrations will be bigger and more exuberant than ever!

Alongside the 20th annual Regatta we have the diamond jubilee of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who happens to be the longest reigning monarch in the world, so to have this celebration alongside the King’s Cup means that the whole event will be truly regal in every sense of the word!

In 2006, the King’s Cup Regatta was named ‘Yachting Event of the Year’ in the Cristofle Asia Boating Awards – a title it truly lives up to in terms of both sailing prowess and popularity. It genuinely deserves this title as it is by far the most prevalent sailing event in the whole of Asia. Visitors flock from all over the world to witness the amazing spectacle.

The event attracts the finest yacht sailors the world has to offer and they descend upon the Andaman ocean in droves to race their yachts in the presence of huge crowds of spectators. The area of Kata Beach is the most heavily populated during this time, with many awe-inspiring yachts located just off shore, whilst a great deal of spectators – both local and visiting – line the shores to witness the display.

The event isn’t all about the boats, however. Obviously it is a yachting regatta so they take centre stage, but once the prizes have been awarded at the end of the day, the real party atmosphere starts. Local musicians will take to the stage alongside international artists to perform well into the night, providing entertainment for those who have enjoyed the sailing that day. Other entertainment includes the likes of fireworks and performances by traditional Thai dancing troops.

One item on the event calendar which should definitely not be missed is the lighting of the candles in honour of the King’s Birthday. This takes place on Kata Beach at the boat house. It is a truly stunning sight as the captains of the yachtsmen and women and the boat crews themselves light up their candles and hold them aloft while the Thai National Anthem is sung.

If you’ve got a bit of sailing experience, then you may well be delighted to hear that visitors are encouraged to take part in the Regatta too. The sailing crews are often under-manned, despite the popularity of the event, so if you do have the relevant skills then don’t be shy – get yourself out on the ocean! Don’t worry if you don’t have sea-legs though – you can take part by staying ashore and partying with the other spectators!

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