Spectacular scenery in ‘the Mediterranean of the East’ | photo by Gordon Fernandes
The longest-running superyacht event in Asia, the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous for power and sail vessels offers three days of on and off the water activities in Phuket, ‘the Mediterranean of the East’. Participation is by invitation only.
The emphasis is on a fun gathering, with some vessels departing afterwards to explore the Andaman Sea during the holiday season.
Based at the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, the Asia Superyacht Rendezvous includes sailing from Nai Harn Bay to Surin Bay, with courses set out by long-serving Race Officer Andy Dowden.
Following the first race, guests gather for the popular ‘Challenge’ team boat-building and racing contest.
Social events range from cocktail parties to barbecues and the Boat International Media Gala Dinner, with previous participants commenting on ‘the camaraderie of a superior party’.
The 2011 rendezvous
This year’s guest list featured an impressive array of local boating beauties MY Andara, MY Celebrity and MY Happy joined by a parade of global motor giants including MY Onyx, MY Maverick, MY Aveline, MY Hye Seas 2 and MY Cavallino, as well as two elegant sailing yachts, SY Ciliam and SY Silandra V that would later take centre stage in two days of racing on the Andaman Sea.
Surin Bay provided a spectacular backdrop for the eleventh edition of the annual event which began with the Welcome Yacht Hop, with revellers enjoying the yachts and toasting a starlit tropical evening.
On the first of two days’ action packed sailing, the 23m Swan Silandra V competed in a friendly race with the Lago 92 catamaran Ciliam on a course set by race directors Andy Dowden and Simon James. Both yachts took full advantage of the steady winds, while guests enjoyed the spectacle either helping out aboard one of the competing vessels or lounging in cushioned comfort on one the glistening motor yachts that followed the contest. Silandra V, fresh from racing at the King’s Cup, took the line honours in style, while her equally striking adversary cruised to an honourable second.
As the sun set over Surin, guests gathered around the Surin Hotel’s pool to enjoy a delicious Thai buffet and take part in the second competition of the day – the traditional ‘Feadship Challenge’, which requires teams to construct a model sailboat from basic materials which they then race up and down a trough of water using only their breath to power the sails. This year, after an intense design and construction session followed by a hotly contested series of races, the team from Andara took the trophy, their designated captain clearly delighted by the victory.
Day two saw Silandra V and Ciliam take to the waves once again, tacking their way through the course on a morning blessed by perfect sailing conditions. The Swan 76 claimed the bragging rights for the second time. After the race, the full fleet converged off Surin Beach in a spectacular formation that offered guests a rare display of nautical splendour.
Back onshore, the yacht owners and crew then took part in a new event in the schedule called The Rendezvous Booty, a fun filled Treasure Hunt on the land and in the water designed for kids and adults alike to make the most of Phuket’s fabulous beaches and bays.
With the action on sand and sea complete, invited guests and VIPs gathered at the Surin Hotel for a lavish international feast hosted by Boat International Media. Thai dancing and live music performances added to the extravagant ambiance, while a slideshow of professional photographs showcased the weekend’s highlights. Captain Riccardo Benoni and the crew of Silandra V were honoured with the traditional ‘Spirit of the Rendezvous’ prize – in the shape of a bottle of champagne – which recognises a yacht that contributed in notable enthusiasm and spirit to the event.
The next rendezvous meets 16-18 December 2012.
For more information visit www.asia-superyacht-rendezvous.com
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