What do four women from the Balmain Sailing Club, a current S80 Australian state champion, a winemaker and Farr yachts have in common? Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek 2017 is the answer as two crews from Australia are heading up to Phuket for some warm weather sailing 19-23 July at the 14th edition of this award-winning Raceweek.
Con Macarlino, who has competed at Phuket Raceweek before, noted “We sailed a few regatta's on BeauX Esprits with Keith Garry and then started to charter all sorts of charter boats from various outlets in Phuket, with some success.”
“The budget is always a factor when choosing a boat for the regatta, but this year we have been lucky in being able to sponsor Plus 16 who is owned by an old friend of mine, Johnny Holder.”
John will be sailing the Farr 11.06 Plus 16 from Darwin to Phuket especially to take part in Raceweek and then will likely stay on in Phuket to do some of the other regattas.
With a core nucleus including five S80 skippers on board as well as the current state champion, Macarlino says “the chatter on board may get interesting.”
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek has seen a growing number of charterers and sailors from Australia taking part each year and this is in large part due to the excellent regatta experience and also to the fact that Phuket Raceweek offers a warm weather alternative to the cold of Australia in July.
“The weather in Perth has just turned bloody cold, so we are all looking to get over there to enjoy ourselves and thaw out for a few days,” added Macarlino.
Hailing from Sydney's Balmain Sailing Club are Lyn Evans, Wanda Carter, Karen Abel and Celine Rousseau – the Balmain girls – and they are joining a group of Phuket ladies to race on the Farr 1104 Farrgo Express. Lyn has been sailing since she was six years old, Wanda is a self-confessed “boat tart”, Karen a Carpenter and Celine a winemaker, and together they have sailed at regattas all over Australia including Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and it was at the 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that they decided to give Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek a go.
“The Balmain girls had been recommended to Phuket Raceweek by club members who had taken part in the event before, and who had a great time. They got in touch with me and after a few emails, I put them together with a group of experienced Phuket-based female sailors,” said Stuart Compton of Phuket charter company Sailescapes, who firmed up the charter.
“Together they will be competing as an all-female team on the well presented Farr 1104 Farrgo Express which has podiumed at every Raceweek it has competed in so far, so there's plenty of pressure on the ladies to deliver the goods!”
With strong support from the Phuket and Thailand sailing community, participants are coming from around Asia and as far afield as Russia and the UK to compete in what has become a “must do” destination regatta, and the opening event of the 2017/18 AsianYachting Grand Prix championship.
“The response from Australian sailors who have competed at Phuket Raceweek has always been positive. Happy sailors are going back home and telling their friends and we can see how the regatta's awareness in Australia is growing. In addition to Con and the all-female team, we have two more Australian-chartered boats confirmed this year, as well as many individuals from Australia and around the world flying in to compete,” said Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services Co. Ltd.
Organised by Media Business Services, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place 19 – 23 July, 2017 headquartered at Cape Panwa Hotel.
For more information, visit www.phuketraceweek.com