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4 December 2004, 04:50 pm
Robertson To Make Appearance
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Phuket Kings Cup

Shirley ROBERTSON, who made history in Athens by becoming the first British woman ever to win two Gold Medals at successive Olympic Games, in any sport, will be a special guest at the 18th annual Phuket King's Cup Regatta, which will take place from December 4-11 off the shores of Phuket.

Yachts from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, US, UK and Italy will be amongst the 70-plus entries in this international event, one of the highlights of the worldwide yachting calendar.

Scotland-born Shirley, who has been awarded the MBE for her services to sailing, and who was named BBC South Sports Personality of the Year, won a Gold Medal in the Yngling Class at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, and in the European Class at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Other recent successes include coming first in the Hyere Olympic Regatta this year, and winning a Gold Medal during the Princess Sophia Trophy, Palma, in 2003.

'Although Shirley will not be competing during the King's Cup, she has expressed a keen interest in being involved,' says Phuket King's Cup president Christopher King. 'She is one of the best-known names in sailing, and we are delighted to welcome her. It is all very indicative of the level of interest that the King's Cup now attracts.'

Shirley Robertson began her career in a modest way, helping her father sail a home-made kit boat at Scotland's Loch Ard Sailing Club. Now, she says, her greatest weakness is 'not being able to stop sailing', and she has made her home at the United Kingdom's premier yachting centre of Cowes, in the Isle of Wight.

With a range of yacht classes that includes everything from sport boats to cruisers and clipper classics, this year's King's Cup Regatta promises to maintain its standing as the region's premier international sailing event.

The regatta was inaugurated in 1987 to celebrate the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King. It is has been held every year since then, always during the first week of December.

Based on last year's successful format, there are plans for eight classes: Racing, Sports Boat, Premier Cruising, IRC1, IRC2, Ocean Rover, Classic and Ocean Multi-hull. This year's race management committee is also planning a highly flexible format, schedule and course configurations.

The King's Cup Regatta is held under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, and organised by the Phuket King's Cup Regatta Organising Committee under the auspices of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy and the Province of Phuket.

Krung Thai Bank and Royal Phuket Marina are co-principal sponsors and the continuing support of Kata Beach Resort as host sponsor, demonstrates the loyalty amongst local island businesses for this prestigious event.

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