Asia Superyacht Rendezvous draws luxury yachts to Phuket
2015-01-15By Risa Merl

The Asia Superyacht Rendezvous celebrated its 14th anniversary with a collection of luxury yachts moored off Kata Rocks, the host venue, in Phuket, Thailand.

“The growth in the number of superyachts coming to Asia has been phenomenal, especially over the last three years,” says Gordon Fernandes of Asia Pacific Superyachts, who co-organizes the Rendezvous with Captain Charles Dwyer. “Our aim has always been to promote the fun side of yachting, so this event offers owners and crew the chance to bond and share their love of yachts in a relaxed environment while making the most of the stunning location.”

The fleet for the 2014 Asia Superyacht Rendezvous featured some of the most impressive motor and sailing yachts cruising the world’s oceans. The motor yacht fleet featured four stunning vessels; principal sponsor Feadship’s 55-metre Samax, 41-metre Moon Sand, 73-metre Titania, which joined for the first time, and the iconic 50.9-metre Northern Sun, which assumed the role of committee boat. A collection of beautiful sailing yachts also graced Kata Bay, including 40.2-metre Si Datu Bua, 36-metre Yanneke Too, 38-metre Sunshine and the recently launched 37.5-metre Escapade.

The Asia Superyacht Rendezvous is well known for its fun-filled social programme, and the celebratory scene was set on the first evening aboard Indonesian-based Si Datu Bua. Owner Patti Seery and her talented crew hosted Rendezvous guests with traditional Kroncong music, extravagant cocktails and delicious Indonesian culinary delights.

The following morning – Race Day 1 – saw experienced Phuket-based race officers Andy Dowden and Simon James set a course that took full advantage of the 12 knot northwesterly wind to produce some fascinating racing. Schooner Sunshine began racing with all eight sails in full bloom, pushing Escapade and her muscular form as they cut through the clear waters of the Andaman. Si Datu Bua provided the perfect platform for the audience watching intently as the two-horse race unfolded in front of them. Built for speed and comfort, it was the fast cruising sloop Escapade, which took line honours.

The second evening’s revelry took place around Kata Rocks’ elegant poolside bar and restaurant, culminating with the return of the now famous “Feadship Challenge” boatbuilding contest. As always, the heat rounds were hotly contested, with a range of clever designs made from a kit of balsa wood, polystyrene, fabric and string on display. The crew from Samax eventually won after a rematch following a photo finish in the first head-to-head leg.

After a competitive first race day, sailing yachts opted for a leisurely cruise on Day Two, allowing them to enjoy the picturesque backdrop to the full. Motor yacht guests joined in the Rendezvous Booty - a pirate treasure hunt that saw teams dress up in costumes and search for clues on land and in the sea using their marine navigation skills to discover the hidden treasure of chocolate coins and sponsor goodies.

A Gala Dinner took place on the evening of the final day, with a superb dining experience prepared by Chef Steve Baker, Executive Chef at Kata Rocks. The champagne and wine flowed freely as guests were ‘wowed’ by violin-playing trio Vietrio against the spectacular backdrop of superyachts in Kata Bay.

The Asia Superyacht Rendezvous returns to Phuket in December 2015, with many owners and captains vowing to return for a very special 15th anniversary edition.