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Phang Nga Bay Regatta at Ao Chalong Yacht Club - Preview

by Ao Chalong Yacht Club 1 Dec 2010 13:57 GMT 9-13 February 2011

Ao Chalong Yacht Club to organise Phang Nga Bay Regatta

Tourism promotion in jeopardy: An event that does more to promote the allure of the Andaman Sea than almost any other is in danger of being lost and needs urgent support of local businesses. Read on…

Uncertainties over the future of the 2011 Bay Regatta (formerly Phang Nga Bay Regatta) were resolved recently when the Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) stepped in, albeit late in the day, to organize this massively popular ‘roving’ regatta. The Bay Regatta regularly attracts 40-50 yachts and 400-500 people from around the world. It is scheduled for Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th February 2011.

When it became clear that the 2011 regatta, the 14th event, looked like being cancelled, ACYC’s Commodore, Mick Kealy, called an emergency meeting to rally the troops; the decision was made to move forward.

“There is a lot of work to be done quickly,” said Kealy, noting that it is now late in the day to attract the sponsors needed to make the event work. “Events like this, and the images they project of Phuket and the surrounding areas, are of tremendous value in boosting the region’s image, not just as one of the best yachting destinations in the world, but also as a high value tourism destination across the spectrum,” said Kealy.

The Bay Regatta is unique amongst Thailand’s regattas in that it races through three provinces (Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi), capturing some of the most alluring images of the scenic wonderland that every visitor to Phuket makes a beeline for – the beaches, islands and limestone mountains of Phang Nga Bay, Krabi and Phuket.

Having only recently completed the 3m Baht relocation to its magnificent new waterside premises in Ao Chalong, the yacht club is not exactly awash with surplus funds to back the regatta. “Sponsorship is essential to keeping this terrific event alive,” noted Kealy, adding, “We’re hoping that marine leisure businesses – as well as other business in the three provinces targeting high-end clientele whose buying decisions are influenced by the lifestyle dream – will come forward and back the 2011 Bay Regatta. It would be great, too, if some ‘interested’ parties for whom the Andaman Sea is something of a ‘second sailing home’, could dip into their pockets for this critical year.”

To reassure participants, the organizing group within ACYC has confirmed that the basic format will remain unchanged; the racing will be planned and managed by the same team as in previous years; the regatta will move to a different location each evening. According to a spokesman for the group, however, there may be a couple of small changes for the better – such as not going quite as far north in the bay where the wind tends to die out and, perhaps, having one evening free to explore what that day’s anchorage has to offer onshore.

How you can help

Back to the sponsorship… the ACYC has three main target levels: (1) Two or three moderate-sized cash sponsors, (2) Product/services suppliers who can help take the heat off the expenditure side of the budget and (3) A whole host of local supporters at just 15,000 Baht each. The final party and prizegiving, to be held at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, will be dedicated to these local business supporters.

For more information about the Bay Regatta 2011 visit the event website.