Southeast Asia yachting events are growing. One of the few international regattas welcoming both power and sailing superyachts, the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous belongs on your calendar. It emphasizes camaraderie and equally friendly competition, beyond vying for the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup.
Now in its 18th year, the rendezvous takes place on Mai Khao Bay in Phuket, Thailand from January 18 to 20. It’s the longest-running regatta in Asia, as well as the only one there mixing the two types of vessels. Asia Pacific Superyachts, the organizer since day one, treasures taking a different approach. Gordon Fernandes of the agency explains, “Unlike many superyacht gatherings and regattas, the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup is all about having a jolly, fun atmosphere where participation is encouraged, but not required.”
Given what you can participate in, however, it stands to reason that you’ll want to do so. All the on-land activities center on the SALA Resort & Spa Phuket. In fact, the resort will treat owners to a dinner the evening of the first day of racing, the 19th. Considering 10 to 15 superyachts should attend the race, you’ll be in good company. The night of the 18th sees a cocktail party at the resort to welcome everyone. In addition, the resort will treat crews to their own special celebration the night of the 19th. (More on that later.)
For the racing, Mai Khao Bay is a stunning setting. In the northwest corner of Phuket, it remains largely undeveloped. Competitors will follow two different courses over two days. Not surprising, Fernandes says that regatta attendees often stay on to use Phuket as a base for exploring during the season. Specifically, yachts cruise to Myanmar and throughout the Andaman Sea.
Yet another race takes place during the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup. It’s “The Challenge,” featuring model boat races. This, as hinted at above, is for crew. However, following the owners’ dinner, you’re encouraged to cheer yours on. Crews receive a bag with myriad fabrics, sticks, and other pieces to create a model sailboat. Once they assemble the boat, they “power” it via well-filled lungs, along a trough of water.
While the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous Cup is worth the bragging rights, The Challenge winner surely earns the same.