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Do you ever feel like you know just enough about Phuket to be dangerous? Let's see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from Phuket experts. sailboats and motor yachts arrived from all over the world for the sixth annual Phuket Invitational Superyacht Rendezvous. The event gathered even more cachet this year at its new venue, the exclusive Resort on Phuket's Andaman coast. The champagne flowed at the opening cocktail party on board the classic motor yacht Maid Marian II, which was celebrating her 75th birthday. Following cocktails, owners and crew were whizzed ashore for another party. Hein Velema of the principle sponsor Feadship then announced "The Feadship Challenge" over finely flavored canapés.
The objective was simple: Teams had to design and build a model Superyacht in 15 minutes! Feadship knows a thing or two about boats but wasn't giving away any secrets, leaving teams scrambling. Hein looked on with amused curiosity as the teams tackled the challenge, paying homage to ancient shipbuilding traditions with balsa wood, plastic, superglue, sailcloth and a few basic tools. Suitably inspired by generous quantities of Moet and fellow guests, the teams came up with some super - and not so super - yachts while pondering the age-old question, "Does size matter?" The boats took to the water in the specially built racing trough. Wind power proved tricky as team members attempted to blow maximum gale force to propel their boats. To separate the men from the boys, a beer had to be downed at the halfway point.
The team from Sylvia encountered steering problems, while superior wind power assisted Maid Marian through several heats until Yanneke Too - built for speed, emerged the fastest. "The Best Design" award went to the Silvertip team for sleek clean lines. "The Ugliest Design" (fast but ugly) went to Cordelia for an extreme flat bottom. Truthfully, the only difference between you and Phuket experts is time. If you'll invest a little more time in reading, you'll be that much nearer to expert status when it comes to Phuket. The following day dawned with glorious weather conditions. The sun shone; a fantastic fresh wind blew to fill the sails; the sky was a brilliant deep blue - all set against the lovely coastline of Phuket. Veteran King's Cup race master Andy Dowden, reminding everyone "it's a rally not a regatta," set the triangular course leading the yachts close to land. Long legs and downwinds provided spectators with a magical sight, as sails were unfurled in majestic splendor. The classic ketch Sylvia, always memorable, was an inspiring sight as southwest winds filled her 600-square meters of sail setting her on course for Sri Lanka.
"Everyone got their passport?" joked Capt. Bryce after Sylvia missed the starting line. The 5O-year-old lady was challenged with rigging and renegade sails that took a lot of combined muscle to rein in. As every year, she followed a slightly different course. Capt. Bryce acknowledged that perhaps a few regatta rules had been broken, but everything was fine. Yanneke Too - operating with push-button efficiency led the field. After an exciting start, which had Yanneke Too and Intrigue neck and neck, Yanneke the only boat that hoisted her fabulous spinnaker, made headway. Unfortunately the spinnaker just dipped in the water and Intrigue sailed sovereign in the winner's position. This year's Invitational captured a moment in history.
Following last year's tsunami, Phuket and the Andaman coast have made an incredible recovery and many visitors felt a new era was beginning for the region. The sponsors, including organizing sponsor SEAL Superyachts, see Asia and especially Phuket emerging as the ultimate yachting destination in the not-too-distant future. At the final gala dinner their predictions seemed to be on track. The private beach was beautifully decked out. The lavish buffet included fresh Andaman seafood and an array of sensuous chocolate delights. Lashings of champagne added to the general bonhomie as dozens of traditional hot air lanterns were launched in the night sky, forming a canopy of tiny lights above the yachts. " That's how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news. http://www.phuket-cannacia.
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