May 14 2013
The Samui Regatta is the island’s biggest sporting event and brings in competitors and spectators from around the world. The regatta forms the final event of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix, and it’s a lot of fun, even for non-sailors.
This year, the festivities and races start on 25 May, and end on 1 June, with the gala dinner and prize-giving at the Centara Grand Hotel in central Chaweng. The five official days of racing begin on 27 May, including a reserve day should there be no wind on one day — Samui, being a tropical island, can have unpredictable weather.
As the race starts out at sea (where exactly to be confirmed, due to best winds), if you really want to see the action, it’s best to buy a ticket on a spectator boat. Email the organisers for a list of boats available. Several parties are held throughout the week, and non-competitors can also buy tickets to these. The biggest of the parties is the one at Beach Republic in Lamai, this year held on 29 May from 19:00 onwards. It’s quite a happening event with big-name DJs keeping the atmosphere alive.
A new event this year — the Open Paddleboard Challenge — should be fun to watch from shore, with competitors racing SUP boards. It starts on 30 May, and the finals will take place from Chaweng beach the following day.
Always cute to watch is the Junior Regatta, where children race optima yachts from outside Tradewinds Resort, next to Centara Grand in Chaweng. These young sailors give it their all, and there are prizes for them too, at the daily prize-giving, held on the beach from 17:00 to 19:00 daily.
Spectators can buy a pass, entitling them to free drinks from the sponsor stands at the daily prize-givings, or buy individual tickets to the parties. Other than the party at Beach Republic, most of the action takes place in central Chaweng, so either make sure you stay here, or if you prefer to not be involved, stick to the other beaches for this week.
See the regatta’s website below for photos and videos of past races to give you an idea of what to expect. Or email the organisers for more information on tickets, spectator boats — or even last-minute crewing.
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