Sailing enthusiasts in Thailand would probably have heard of — if not regularly frequent — the Top of the Gulf Regatta. The largest multi-class regatta of its kind in Asia, and one of the biggest sailing events in all of Thailand, the Top of the Gulf Regatta is hosted by the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya, and has been supporting Thai sailing talents for over fifteen years.
Providing a platform for Thai sailors of all abilities and ages to compete on an international field — or seas? — the regatta is also considered a key sports tourism event, and provides major contributions to the local economy. This year, the Top of the Gulf Regatta is set to welcome over 700 competitors from 30 countries worldwide. From what the event is all about to what to expect from this year, we’ve gathered a lowdown on everything you need to know.
What to Expect at Top of the Gulf Regatta?
The Top of the Gulf Regatta takes place in the waters of the Gulf of Thailand in Pattaya, based at Ocean Marina Yacht Club — South East Asia’s largest marina. The regatta encompasses fun and exciting competitive races, along with on-shore activities and social events for sailing enthusiasts to meet, mingle and compete. An event that truly encourages sailors of all skill-levels and boats of all sizes to participate and enjoy the races, the Top of the Gulf Regatta offers a wide variety of options. There will be over 200 boats competing in up to 16 classes that go from Optimists to Dinghies, One-design Platus, Keelboats, Multihulls and even RS: one Windsurfs and an IOM Radio Controlled class. Racing days have been increased to five for keelboats, ending off with a beach BBQ session on a deserted island.
What’s New for 2019?
New to the regatta this year is the introduction of a Para Sailing class — a first for Thailand. Prior to the racing days, a three-day pre-regatta clinic will be held under the lead of a training officer from World Sailing. The Ocean Marina Yacht Club have had long supported Disabled Sailing Thailand’s many initiatives in increasing the accessibility of sailing, and this year they have offered a location for the development of a S/V14 two-person dinghy — specifically designed for Para Sailors. Eight S/V14s have already been bought by the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, and will be available for use by Para Sailors during the regatta free of charge — making this the first fleet of its kind in the world, a fact that has drawn the attention of Para Sailors worldwide, from countries including France, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Indonesia, Estonia and the Philippines as competitors express interest in participating.
The 15th Top of the Gulf Regatta presented by Ocean Marina will take place from April 30 – May 5, 2019 at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club. For more information, visit topofthegulfregatta.com.